“First Principles of Game Design Immersion Program”

Acquire Practical Industry-Proven
Game Design Skills

Program is designed for:
  • Game design graduates - who have trouble getting hired
  • Junior designers - looking to level up and advance their careers
  • Beginner game developers - looking to break into the industry
  • Studios - looking to enhance their teams & improve processes
  • Enroll Now

    We’ve helped our readers & members get jobs at:

    “First Principles of Game Design Immersion Program”

    Built to equip you with the skills to get a job. Faster.

    Want to design games for a living? Game Design Skills is a leading place to start your journey and master the fundamental principles of game design(with or without previous experience)

    We designed the “First Principles of Game Design” as an accelerator to acquire the skills needed to become and excel as a game designer without coding.

    Overwhelmed & anxious about your interview or portfolio? We are here to help. You will get clear & abundant support on your resumes, interviews, and portfolios to help you land your dream job.

    Hear it from our Alumni Students:

    Michael Swedo
    Game Designer

    “After college I applied to every game studio on the west coast and only got 3 replies and 0 interviews.

    Thanks to the immersion program, I was finally hired at JamCity as an associate content designer. Now I work at Riot as a level 2 game designer.

    Alex’s lessons helped me find my voice as a designer, emphasizing clear, consistent mechanics and empathizing with my players. He balances teaching the psychology of design and the skills young designers should seek to execute on their ideas.”

    Abdul Banglee
    Jr. Level Designer

    Justin Chin
    Assoc. Game Producer

    Meet your Instructor:

    Alexander Brazie
    Sr. Lead Game Designer & Creative Director
    Work(ed) & collaborated on:
    Alexander Brazie
    Sr. Lead Game Designer & Creative Director
    Work(ed) & collaborated on:
    READ Full Bio & Relevant Skills

    About Alexander Brazie, aka Xelnath

    Alexander is a skilled Design Director, Combat Mechanics and Systems Designer and Creative Director with over 20+ years of AAA and Indie studio experience.

    He has worked with Microsoft, Blizzard, Riot Games, Moon Studios and his own studio Atomech.

    Alex has shipped titles like World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2, Hearthstone, Overwatch, League of Legends, Ori and the Will of the Wisps and many more. Loved by millions of players for his “players are the lifeblood of your game” approach to design.

    Xelnath has been actively sharing his knowledge and experience with aspiring game designers for over a decade now through his podcast, blog and “First Principles of Game Design” Program.

    Relevant Skills & Accomplishments

    • 20+ years of combined AAA & Indie studios experience
    • 15+ years mastery of C# and Unity experience
    • 10 years of teaching aspiring game designers & beginners
    • 7 years of design consulting from his own studio Atomech
    • Trained over 40 Tencent game designers
    • Helped students from across the world start design careers at major studios like Blizzard, Riot, Sony Santa Monica, Bethesda, Activision, WB Avalanche and many more
    Control Your Learning

    You’ll have the flexibility to learn at your own pace: 24/7 program access and 100% online

    Refine your Design Thinking

    Learn our proven design methodology distilled & refined from over 20+ years of experience – no fluff

    2-Layered Money Guarantees

    We offer 2 Money-Back-Guarantees – 7 days & 365 days. Check out the FAQ section for details.

    What skills you’ll acquire once you master FPGD?

    You will be equipped with in-demand & job-ready skills after finishing the program, completing all assignments, and meticulously applying the FPGD principles.
    Skills Level 1 - Understanding the methodology in theory
    You’ll be able to:
    1. Have the ability to take ideas from concept to delivery and rapidly iterate them as needed.
    2. Know how to create and provide multiple potential design solutions for a problem.
    3. Confidently articulate trade-offs and risks between different design options.
    Skills Level 2 - Turning your learnings and ideas into practice.
    You’ll be able to:
    1. Design and improve mechanics and systems that satisfy players and further solidify your game concepts
    2. Learn how to playtest a game & iterate on existing designs and fresh prototypes
    3. Accurately predict the consequences of adding new features to gameplay and how players react to those changes.
    Skills Level 3 - Mastering the “First Principles of Game Design”.
    You’ll be able to:
    1. Develop a strong sense of what makes a gameplay experience compelling and fun.
    2. Articulate well why a game design decision is effective or not for its context.
    3. Learn how to be more empathetic and understanding with respect to many different player audiences and needs.
    4. Build & polish your portfolio in a way that is enticing for the hiring studios

    What does “First Principles of Game Design” Include?

    Hands-on Course Materials
    Guaranteed Feedback (Mentorship)
    Monthly live Q&A
    Prototype Challenge
    Networking & Collaboration

    FPGD consists of hands-on drills, design principles, Q&A calls and prototype challenges.

    We designed the program to be 100% focused on acquiring the skills game studios require. 

    Modules build on top of each other, which is designed to work together holistically as a system, not just individually.

    Alex & other support instructors will provide you with insightful & actionable feedback regarding your:

    • Assignments
    • Own games
    • Design principles
    • Any work projects you need help with

    We will help polish your personal and teamwork skills.

    You can ask our instructors anything you want or need help with from the course or anything else related to game design & development. 

    You can share your screen, clarify on the spot and get it reviewed in addition to anything else that is hard to communicate through chat.

    We’ll guide you step by step to build a virtual tabletop prototype, starting from scratch to finally a playable prototype. 

    Then we’ll host 3 live playtest sessions where you and other students can playtest each other’s prototypes to gather feedback and make informed iterative improvements.

    Networking & collaboration are important for a successful design career.

    We will provide you with an environment where you can interact, collaborate & network with other game designers and fellow students – 3 months of free access.

    Industry-Validated Curriculum

    • Perfected and validated over the years with our students’ repeated success.
    • You rapidly develop in-demand skills & create a robust portfolio to better prepare you for your job as a game designer.
    • There’s no long-winded theory like what you may find in Universities.
    • Everything taught here is actually being used by today’s leading game studios, yet not taught anywhere outside of those companies.
    Module 1: Clarity
    Module 2: Motivation
    Module 3: Response
    Module 4: Satisfaction
    Module 5: Viscerality
    Module 6: Strategy
    Module 7: Fantasy
    Module 8: Leveling up
    Module 1: Clarity – How to prioritize what’s important to the player
    • Why lack of clarity is the biggest killer to an otherwise fun and enjoyable game
    • How to identify clarity problems in your own games
    • My private toolbox of 6 proven techniques to improve your game’s clarity
    • Common sources of non-clarity in video games and how to fix them
    • Much, much more
    Module 2: Motivation – How to drive the player’s attention and keep them in your game
    • How to make players truly care about the important elements of your game
    • The secret to motivating players to finish your game
    • The two major playstyles and how to motivate each type of player
    • Much, much more
    Module 3: Response – How to create gameplay and story moments that give players a sense of agency and control
    • How to use properly response to create an AAA-level game without spending a fortune on visuals and art
    • Powerful psychological triggers to captivate players and make them care more deeply about your game
    • Proven ways to give more players a deeper sense of satisfaction and enjoyment
    • How to create amazing game mechanics that hook players
    • Much, much more
    Module 4: Satisfaction – How to properly reward and punish your players
    • The most powerful and emotional payoff players’ crave from video games, and how to give that to them
    • How to fulfill the players’ “unmet needs” through your game
    • How to discover exactly what your players will connect with and respond to
    • Common sources of dissatisfaction in video games and how to fix them
    • Much, much more
    Module 5: Viscerality – How to create moments that resonate emotionally for your player
    • How to stimulate your player’s emotional brain to create more satisfying and powerful moments that feel REAL
    • How to design your controls so they feel intuitive and natural
    • What hardware and software considerations you must take into account
    • How to use properly use animations to “tickle” your player’s pleasure buttons
    • Much, much more
    Module 6: Strategy – How to stimulate your player’s intellectual mind
    • Why having a strategy component of your game will keep players engrossed
    • The 4 building blocks to add a satisfying strategic component to your game
    • How to create strategies and counter strategies
    • Step-by-step example of creating a battle royale game
    • Much, much more
    Module 7: Fantasy – How to package the game to create a compelling story
    • How to tie all the elements of your game together into a believable whole that your players get engrossed and lost in
    • The 5 fantasy layers all successful games possess
    • How to make mundane moments in your game feel like they fit the overall theme and reinforce your fantasy
    • The brilliant “Nintendo Formula” you can use to get players hooked on your game mechanics naturally and effortlessly
    • Much, much more
    Module 8: Leveling up – Polishing your game and getting it ready to ship
    • The exact idea generation method used by creators of Pokemon and Legend of Zelda to create interesting and inspiring ideas for your next game
    • How to collect feedback from players to make your game better and better
    • How to use data to figure out what your players truly want
    • How to get out of design ruts and back into the flow
    • How to finish your game and get it ready to ship
    • Much, much more

    Get Support to Land a Job in the Game Industry

    1-on-1 Support to Land a Job
    We will provide you with career and technical coaching to get you a job, faster.
    Personalized Feedback
    Instructors will give you personalized expert feedback on your resume, portfolio, and game prototypes
    Interview & Design Tests Guidance
    You will learn to present yourself in the most effective way & ACE your interviews, and design tests with our help.
    Overcome Imposter Syndrome
    Imposter Syndrome, we all have been there, and on some days, we still are. We will guide you in resetting your mindset, overcoming insecurity, and building your confidence.
    Champion your Probation Period
    You will receive guidance & tips on how to rock the important first months on the job and better collaborate with team members and lead designers.

    More of our Alumni Stories

    Simone Mändl
    Indie Studio Co-Founder

    “Alex demonstrates dedication towards educating others to become better game designers.

    Whether you’re a new designer looking to learn industry best practices in design or an experienced veteran with a desire to sharpen your current skills, his courses will help you become a stronger designer.“

    Michael Breese
    Game Systems Designer

    “Alex’s immersion program was a great way for me to level up and jumpstart my design career at WB Avalanche.

    I highly recommend it to everyone new to game design or needing a refresher.

    I consistently apply the principles from the program to my current job at Riot Games.”

    Jeremiah Franczyk
    Assoc. (MMO) Game Designer

    Dustin Kohnen
    Senior Game Designer

    This program has significantly helped me in my design career.

    When discussing game design and any related material,
    I can recognize that I have become more structured than most other designers.

    I can see what the trades are in design decisions and
    it’s because of the lenses I’ve learned from the immersion program.

    Ruhan Bello
    Game Programmer

    “Before joining the immersion program, I couldn’t break into the industry for a couple of years on my own, but with Alex’s help I made the cut…

    Inside, I have access to get feedback on my projects. build portfolio and much more.

    This is especially nice for beginners as we usually start with many questions in our head that not even Google knows how to answer properly.”

    Crow Tomkus
    Game Narrative Designer

    “You can only learn so much about design from playing games.

    Through the immersion program, I learned about the philosophy of design, and that includes everything from the narrative to the music to the user experience, to say nothing of the game itself.

    Now I’m working full time as a narrative designer at Big Blue Sky Games, so the result speaks for itself.”

    First Principles of Game Design Pricing

    On-Demand Program

    Best for:

    • Aspiring Game Designers
    • Game Design Graduates
    • Junior Game Designers


    • Get Into the Industry
    • Fill the Gaps In your Design Knowledge
    • Learn a Proven Design System
     One Payment
    Enroll Now
    1. Hands-on Course Materials
    2. Guaranteed Feedback (Mentorship)
    3. Monthly live Q&A
    4. Prototype Challenge
    5. Networking & Collaboration
    6. Game Design Career Accelerator
    1 on 1 Mentorship

    Best for:

    • Advanced Junior Designers
    • Mid-level Designers
    • Design leads


    • Fast Track your Career
    • Grow into a Senior Position
    • Level Up your Leadership Skills
     One Payment
    Let's Talk
    1. Everything included in “On Demand Program.”
    2. 8 weekly 1.5 hours Mentorship Calls
    Studio Consulting & Training

    Best for:

    • Game Studios
    • Studio CEOs
    • Team leads


    • Custom Curriculum based on needs
    • Level Up your Team’s Skills & Efficiency
    • Improve Workflow & Processes
    Price: TBT
    Let’s Talk


    What’s the difference between this program and other courses?
    In comparison to other courses on Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare etc. this program specifically focuses on the design part of game development, where we cover the fundamentals of how to systematically balance a game and solve design problems.

    The methodology is based on what the instructor Alex Brazie used and refined throughout 20+ years of experience working on games such as World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Ori and The Will of The Wisps, and other AAA and Indie games.

    In addition, everything is broken down into digestible step-by-step details with specific examples and actionable exercises to help you internalize the design skills based on Alex’s methodology to consistently create fun player experiences and level-up to a more skillful and effective design professional.
    Who is this course NOT for?
    This program is NOT for those who are just interested in game design or development and still exploring. You need a base-level understanding of game design and making simple games as a start.

    In order to get results, you need to put effort into practicing the exercises, getting feedback on your projects, and applying your learnings to your:

    • -Resume & cover letter
    • -Portfolio
    • -Game projects
    • -Interviews
    • -Design tests

      However, you can still take the program if you are a complete beginner looking to jumpstart your learning, understand the theories and concepts for inspiration and better design foundation, but without application you won't just magically get a game development job or make better games.
    How do I know this program is right for me?
    This program is best fit for you if you fit into any of the following:

    • Serious beginner - you are dedicated to a career in game design, whether you have a degree in the field, are currently pursuing one, or have self-taught experience creating games and building a portfolio, but have yet to break into the industry.

      The knowledge and skills gained from the program have been instrumental in the job interviews & design tests for many of our game design graduates and aspiring designers.

    • Junior designer - you are designer with a few years of experience and a desire to advance your career, but struggle with getting your ideas to resonate with players or effectively communicating them to leadership and feeling that your design voice is being ignored or not heard at all.

      Many of our alumni have been able to move to their preferred studios, create their own games, and secure promotions to senior roles as a result of the program and Alex's mentorship.

    • Indie Studio Leadership - you are looking to improve your design team's collaboration and create a consistent design lens to tackle ambiguous problems and create fun player experiences.

      This program has helped many studios successfully launch their games and ace reviews from players and critics.

    • Programmers & Graphic artists - you are transitioning into game development and want to better understand the game design fundamentals, improve communication with game designers and create the player experience they hope to achieve.

      Dozens of our students who transitioned to game development found their transition and project collaboration was made easier by the program.
    Which game genres can this program be applied to?
    "First Principles of Game Design" is applicable to all genres of games and game designers. The core principles are a reflection of the innate human psychological factors that exist in all of us. That said, the examples given are best for real-time and turn-based game experiences. Simulation and interactive entertainment products will need to use their creativity to apply some of the concepts, as these tend to have less agency and a greater focus on artistic expression.
    When does the program begin?
    You’ll get immediate access to the program. You can go at your own pace, but the content is released module by module with bonuses unlocking along the way.
    How much time is required to complete the program?
    This is a bit of a trick question. Each module is about 40-60 minutes long. I get straight to the point. So consuming all of the videos will take you about 16 hours.

    But I recommend setting aside 2 hours for each module to give you plenty of time to digest what you learn and begin applying it. Then comes getting feedback and re-evaluation of your decisions and etc.

    The amount of time you can spend applying these lessons to your own work or personal projects, which is the most effective path, is uncapped.
    Does this program teach coding?
    This program is singularly focused on the game design aspect of game development. It is designed to specialize in the challenges and issues of crafting fun players' experiences consistently.

    Inquire to us at email support@gamedesignskill.com, and we will recommend you a few pre-vetted game programming-specific resources.
    Do I need to know coding or game engines to join?
    Coding & knowing how to use game engines such as Unity, Unreal, etc, are complementary skills for game designers. Therefore, they are not prerequisite skills for joining the program.

    Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn how to use game engines as a game designer. It will definitely help improve your chances of getting into a studio.

    While coding is a powerful, useful skill, you can practice designing games without coding in various mediums and contexts as we will show you in the program.
    Am I able to ask questions and get feedback on my exercises and projects?
    We understand accountability, encouragement, guidance, and validation are all part of the “secret sauce” that helps you follow through on the course.

      You will receive personalized feedback and support from me on your:

    • - Drill assignments
    • - Work and personal projects
    • - Game prototypes
    • - Interview & Design preparation support
    • - Any design questions you may have

      So as soon as you join the program, you’ll be given instructions on how to register for our community, where you’ll find your tribe who can help you along the journey from where you are now to becoming a capable and effective game designer. This collaboration is priceless.
    Will there be plenty of examples to illustrate the points?
    Yes, this is a no-fluff program. You’ll get “the how,” together with real specifics that explain everything in step-by-step detail.

    What’s more, there are real action plans, so you know exactly what to do. Nothing has been left to chance.
    Do you offer a guarantee?
    I guarantee you that if you don’t do the work you won’t get results. There’s a reason that most people that purchase programs like this never see results… and it’s not because the program sucks. It’s because the student doesn’t do the work. But that won’t be you, right?

    We have plenty of designers and developers who got into the industry and level up their career after implementing what they've learned in our program. I’m 100% confident in the value of this program.

    With that said, we have a 2 layer fit guarantee. Here is how it works

    Layer 1: 7-day trial

    You have 7 days upon enrollment to try it out and make sure this is for you.

    And if for whatever reason you don’t feel like this is for you, we'll gladly refund all of your money, no questions asked. Just contact us at support@gamedesignskill.com

    Layer 2: Results accountability

    After the 7 days, you have an 365 days to show us that you’ve implemented what you've learned in the program. And if you can prove that you did and still didn't get results, we'll refund you. Implementation includes the following:

    • - Completing all the modules and their respective exercises and shared all of them for my feedback.
    • - Completing the prototype challenge
    • - Applying to multiple studios or start making your own game(s)
    • - With chat record of you asking for feedback and seek guidance in the private group and live coaching calls
    The game design weekly digest

    Every week, we send out an exclusive email with the goal of providing you with proven tips & strategies on how to:

    • Land a job as a game designer
    • Avoid getting stuck scoping your game
    • Build an effective portfolio that actually works
    • Learn design fundamentals to help you excel in your career
    Where do I send the supplemental tools & resources for this training?
    Note: All the mentioned resources will be sent to you right after the training.