Unity + USC Games Unlocked

Design and publish your original game

Know Unity basics but struggling to make your game? Unity has partnered with the University of Southern California (USC), the #1 game-design school in the world, to create an online course that’s laser-focused on helping intermediate Unity users achieve their dream of completing their own original game. For less than $10 per week*, you can make your own game with the help of the industry’s best creators!

*Estimated completion time is 8 weeks. Price of course is $79. Pay once, own forever.

Kellee Santiago talks about the role of play-testing in creating her iconic character in Journey

Unlock the secrets

Learn what it takes from successful game designers

Get ready to take your game from concept to reality. Unity has partnered with the world’s top game-design school to create the only online course that teaches the USC approach to game design and production. You’ll get hands-on experience with scoping, planning, building, refactoring and publishing your own game. Plus, listen to the award-winning creators of Journey, Firewatch, Threes, Whispering Willows and more as they break down the key steps and production practices they use to build and ship their games.

“This course is a tremendous opportunity for people who want to really boost their knowledge of game development and design while utilizing the Unity tools. And we’re thrilled to collaborate with Unity on such a unique partnership as we continue to expand our offerings to students and the general public.”

Danny Bilson, Chair of USC School of Cinematic Art’s Interactive Media & Games Division

Learn from the masters

This is the only online course that brings the world’s best game teachers and designers to you, wherever you are.

Proven curriculum from the world’s top game-design school
Learn from the experts who taught the creators of Journey, Uncharted, Assassin's Creed, League of Legends and more. As the top game-design school in the world, USC has raised the bar in online game development courses with video lectures and project-based assignments that capture the USC faculty’s unique and proven approach to teaching game development.

True-life development stories
These behind-the-scenes, real-life “war” stories by industry visionaries will provide inspiration and insights, giving you an unprecedented look into what it really takes to succeed. Guest speakers include creators of Journey, Whispering Willows, Cat and Coup, Firewatch, Disney theme-park rides, and Threes.

Over 8 weeks, you’ll get step-by-step instruction from the world’s best to elevate your game.

The Un-Tutorial

Build your own original game.

Unlike conventional follow-along tutorials, this course takes you through the entire production process of actually building and publishing your very own game.

Whether you’ve just come up with a game idea or completed a game jam, this learning (and doing) experience will show you the best way to complete your game and take it to market.

Your creative community

Game designers know that being part of a creative community is a key to success. That’s why this course pairs video instruction and project-based assignments with the community-building ethos of popular game jams. From the start, you’ll join peers, alumni and mentors who will help provide inspiration, feedback and support every step of the way. And even when you have completed your game, you can continue engaging in the community as you move forward in your game development career.

Course Description

This self-paced Unity + USC Games Unlocked course pairs video instruction and project-based assignments with the community-building ethos of popular game jams. Each module starts with video instruction to guide you on specific projects for your game, with suggested deadlines. Peers give each other motivation, technical assistance, and feedback on both their asset plan and their game prototype.

Course Description:

  • Welcome and Self-Assessment

    • Assignment: Finding your community
  • Scope and Constraints

    • Assignment: Concept document
  • Prototyping

    • Assignment: Digital Prototype
  • Project Planning

    • Assignment: Vertical Slice #1
  • Agile Development

    • Assignment: Vertical Slice #2
  • Code Architecture

    • Assignment: Build #1
  • Playtesting

    • Assignment: Build #2
  • Alpha and Beyond

    • Assignment: Final game

The Instructors:

  • Will Armstrong – Lead Programmer on Firewatch
  • Estefania Harbuck – Disney Imagineer for theme park rides
  • Asher Vollmer – Cocreator of Threes
  • Kellee Santiago – Producer of Journey
  • David Logan – Creative Director for Whispering Willows

Prerequisites: We recommend that you’ve completed at least two full Unity tutorials, or an equivalent, such as one school semester of instruction in game development with Unity (e.g., the Ultimate Guide to Game Development with Unity on Udemy or the Unity Game Dev Courses: Fundamentals track at Pluralsight).

Threes by Sirvo LLC

Threes by Sirvo LLC

Let’s bring your game to life

  • Get ahead with a proven USC faculty-authored curriculum
  • Stay on track with unique “learning by doing” experience
  • Advance your skills with real-world, project-based assignments
  • Enjoy unlimited lifetime access to video lectures from top industry experts
  • Explore a rich library of resources and templates from real productions
  • Be inspired by the insights of professional game designers
  • Receive regular assessments and playtests to evaluate your progress
  • Network with peers and make important game-community connections

For just $79 you can make your game a reality.

”The course was such a great resource. You come up with a concept. You clean it up. You learn how to organize it. And you get tips and tricks from other people who have launched games for profit. And even if at the end of the day, the game you made isn’t exactly the greatest Halo remake, you gain all this knowledge and experience and you are able to know next time what to do on your own … that’s priceless.”

Samantha Rodriguez, Graduate student and XRtist

Frequently asked questions

How do I access the course now that I’ve signed up?

After you purchased the course you should have received an email from Unity with one or more course redemption links. (Please check your spam folder if you did not receive the email in your inbox.) The redemption links will direct you to the course platform, where you will need to sign in or create a new account to complete the redemption of the course. Note that this is a separate account and login from your Unity ID.

Once you have redeemed the course, you can return to its homepage anytime.

What is the difference between this course and the Unity Game Dev Courses: Swords and Shovels?

The Unity Game Dev Courses: Swords and Shovels is a beginner course that uses a dungeon crawler game called Swords and Shovels to teach you the essential tools and skills to create a game in Unity and then go deeper in art, design or programming tracks.

The Unity + USC Games Unlocked course is a “learning by doing” course that takes USC’s proven approach to teaching game design and production, helping you take your original game from concept to reality. You work on your own game instead of a follow-along tutorial.

Will I have a complete game when I finish this course?

Yes, if you complete the course assignments, you will have a complete game at the end of this course.

How long does the course take to complete?

With this purchase, you get unlimited lifetime access to the course. The typical completion time is 8 weeks but it could be longer depending on how you pace your progress through the units. Expect to spend at least 2-3 hours a week over the next 8 weeks on your game (the more time you have, the better you can make it).

Will I get USC credit or other certifications for taking this course?

Although this course is designed by, and features video instruction by, USC faculty, it is currently not part of the USC academic curriculum and therefore, is not eligible for USC credit.

Do I need to have any Unity experience before I take this course?

Yes, in order to get the most out of this course, you need to have a good working knowledge of Unity. We recommend that you’ve completed at least two full Unity tutorials, or an equivalent, such as one school semester of instruction in game development with Unity (e.g., the Ultimate Guide to Game Development with Unity on Udemy or the Unity Game Dev Courses: Fundamentals track at Pluralsight).

Where can I find the Terms & Conditions that cover this course?

You can read the full text for our self-paced courseware here.

What is the course syllabus?
  • Session 1: Welcome and self-assessment
  • Session 2: Set your goals and find your community
  • Session 3: The design process
  • Session 4: Scope
  • Session 5: Constraints, and our theme
  • Session 6: Concentric design
  • Session 7: Prototyping
  • Session 8: Assets shouldn’t be liabilities
  • Session 9: The stages of game development
  • Session 10: Your first milestone: Vertical Slice
  • Session 11: Planning your project
  • Session 12: Agile
  • Session 13: Writing better code
  • Session 14: What is playtesting?
  • Session 15: How to playtest
  • Session 16: Release your game!
  • Session 17: Alpha and beyond
  • Session 18: Bonus content
Can I get a refund on this course?

Yes, you can request a refund within 24 hours of your purchase. 

It’s time. Your game is waiting.

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