Riot Games has recently announced that they have made their URF Academy available on the web. The new program, called URF Academy Online, is a curriculum-based teaching method for both middle school and high school teachers looking to teach their students about game design. The lesson plan for each module breaks everything down, starting at the fundamentals for each lesson, and moves into hands-on group activities, allowing students to work together to better grasp and practice the concepts. The URF Academy Online is available as a free resource through the Riot Games website for download.
We’re excited to launch URF Academy Online, a free game design curriculum for middle school + high school teachers looking to inspire the next generation of game designers. https://t.co/MyIbg8DuTT pic.twitter.com/uVTBwNj11V
— Riot Games (@riotgames) September 26, 2019
According to the website, the six-module curriculum will “outline the principles of game design using a simple framework and explore concepts through engaging workshops and activities.” The program is designed to be ultra-accessible, “any teacher with access to the internet and a printer should be able to teach students how to design a fun game.” The modules cover the entire spectrum of game design, including pacing, complexity, and even the way a good game makes players feel. The lesson culminates with a group project where students brainstorm, prototype, and playtest a paper-version of their very own game.
The URF Academy Online originally started as a classroom-based workshop back in 2016. The program was available to local high school students at the Riot Games headquarters in Los Angeles with the goal “to teach local students about fundamental concepts in game design and showcase the breadth of careers in the gaming industry.” After the initial success of the program, it was expanded to several regional Riot offices across the globe. During the initial expansion, Riot began work to take the program to the world-wide-web, ultimately ending up with URF Academy Online.