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Video Game Design

Students learn how to create video games in JavaScript! While this course is introductory, it is an honors-level course. Its curriculum teaches the foundations of computer science and basic programming, with an emphasis on helping students develop logical thinking and problem solving skills. Once students complete the course, they will have learned material equivalent to a semester college introductory course in Computer Science and be able to program in JavaScript.


Units: 12
Contact Hours: 175

By the Numbers

Contact Hours 175
Lessons 79
Videos 72
Exercises 119
Challenges 20
Offline Handouts 81


Unit Description
Programming With Karel: Karel is a dog that only knows how to move, turn left, and place tennis balls in his world. Students will give Karel these commands in order to instruct him to do certain things. They learn what it means to program and focus on their on problem solving development.
JavaScript and Graphics: Students will learn the basics of JavaScript, including variables, user input, control structures, functions with parameters and return values, and basic graphics.
Project: Guessing Game: Students will create a game where the user needs to guess the secret number!
Animation and Games: Now, the graphics will come to life! Students will learn how to make objects move around the screen. They will also learn how to let the user interact with their program with the mouse. At the end of this section, students will program their very own video game.
Crazy Ball Game: Students will make a fun graphical game where the player's goal is to follow a crazy ball that's bouncing all around the screen and click it when it's green and not when it's red.
Project: Breakout: Students will learn to make the game invented by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak! In this module, students will build their very own breakout game from scratch using JavaScript.
Project: Fun Snake: Students will create their very own game of Snake where they guide the ever elongating snake with the arrow keys to eat food and avoid crashing into its own body.
Basic Data Structures: Students will explore lists/arrays, maps/objects, sets, and grids. These are the essential basic data structures that any program will use.
Project: Tic Tac Toe: Did you know that Tic Tac Toe may have been played in Ancient Egypt? Now, students get to make their own game of tic tac toe on the computer! In this module, students will take what they have learned about data structures and make a two player tic tac toe game.
Project: Helicopter Game: Students now have the tools to make amazing games. This module walks them through the creation of the classic Helicopter game one step at a time.
Final Project: Your Own Game: Students will apply their knowledge to build a game of their own!


Click on a demo to test it out.

Breakout Game

Snake Game

Helicopter Game


Here are a few examples of teacher resources and materials to use in the Video Game Design course

Format of Course

The entirely web-based curriculum is made up of a series of learning modules that cover the fundamentals of programming. Each module is made up of short video tutorials, example programs, quizzes, programming exercises, challenge problems, and unit tests. The course is designed for a year long class that meets 5 days per week, though schools implement it in a variety of ways.

Who is it for?

The Video Game Design course is designed for complete beginners with no previous background in computer science, though it is considered an "honors" level JavaScript course due to the pacing and depth of content. The course is highly visual, dynamic, and interactive. It is recommended for students in grades 9-12 that have completed Algebra 1.


Interested in teaching the Video Game Design course with CodeHS? Get in touch, so we can help you bring CodeHS to your school!

Bring to My School


Video Game Design is aligned with the following standards

Standards Framework View Alignment
Indiana Computer Science 1 View (58.5%)
Indiana Computer Science 2 View (52.5%)
North Carolina Computer Programming I View (64%)
Texas Computer Science 1 View (65.1%)
Virginia Computer Science Programming View (47.6%)