Course curriculum

    1. Game Definition: is it important?

    2. The Magic Circle and your first objective as a game designer

    3. What other designers say about the Magic Circle

    4. Types of Fun

    5. Gamer Archetypes and why you need to know them

    6. Game Theory - Learn the terms

    7. What other designers say about Sum games

    8. Game Terminology and Theory Quiz

    1. What are Themes and how can you use them to help your game?

    2. What other designers say about theme

    3. What exactly are Roll and Write games?

    4. Using the Roll and Write Design Guide

    5. Let's play some games!

    6. Follow up after playing many games

    7. Demo of the Roll and Write Game Design Guide

    8. Mechanics Assignment

    9. Creating a Game Design Document

    10. Designing your game quiz

    1. How to prototype in real life

    2. What other designers say about prototyping

    3. Introduction on how to make a game on Tabletop Simulator

    4. What other designers say about Tabletop Simulator

    5. How to playtest all by yourself

    6. What other designers say about solo playtesting

    7. How was your first playtest?

    8. How to use the Fail Faster Playtesting Journal

    9. How to playtest with others

    10. What other designers say about playtesting with others

    11. Prototyping and Playtesting quiz

    1. How to write a rulebook

    2. Review some example rulebooks

    3. What other designers say about writing rules

    4. How and why you need to do a rulebook test

    5. What other designers are saying about rules playtesting

    6. Wrap up!

    7. Rules and Final Playtests quiz

About this course

  • $99.00
  • 39 lessons
  • 4.5 hours of video content

Do you have an idea for a board game but don’t know where to start?

The Fail Faster Game Design Program will take you through the steps to create your own board game.

After taking the Fail Faster: Intro to Game Design Program with Jay Cormier, you will not only understand more about the concepts behind game design, but you’ll also design your own board game throughout the course. Over 5 and a half hours of videos, all guided to help you become a better game designer!

Your Instructor, Jay Cormier

Designer, Publisher, Teacher, Enterpreneur


  • Designer of over 20 published games (Junk Art, Belfort, Akrotiri, Scooby-Doo Escape from the Haunted Mansion, In the Hall of the Mountain King, Draw Your Own Conclusions, and many more)

  • Teacher of board game design at Vancouver Film School for over 10 years, and at Langara College for just over a year

  • Founded Off the Page Games and published MIND MGMT: The Psychic Espionage “Game” which raised over $1.4 million on Kickstarter and through the pledge manager, and $300,000 for Harrow County: The Game of Gothic Conflict.

  • Creator of The Pitch Project that resulted in providing 50 designers a chance to pitch to over 40 publishers

  • Creator of the Fail Faster Playtesting Journal - a guide to help designers become better at playtesting.



What you will learn and do

Over 5 1/2 hours of video lessons guide you through the process of making your own "roll and write" game! These lessons will give you the foundations to make any kind of board game.

  • Learn relevant terminology, game theory, as well as player archetypes

  • Hands-on activities that guide you through the steps to create your own roll and write game

  • Learn how to make prototypes, both in real life and on Tabletop Simulator

  • Learn how to playtest your game and how the playtest changes at each stage of development.

  • One on one time with the instructor at end to pitch/present your game to get insights and direction on what to do next

Hear from other professional game designers

Numerous videos from professional game designers and their insights on the topics being taught in this course.


Matt Leacock (Pandemic, Forbidden Desert) Eric Slauson (Tattoo Stories, MonsDRAWsity) Kathleen Mercury (Greece Lightning)  Brian Neff (Betrayal Legacy, Return to Dark Tower)
Brenna Noonan (Spectrum) Jon Gilmour (Dead of Winter, Dinosaur Island) Emerson Matsuuchi (Century, Spectre Ops) Sen-Foong Lim (Jiangshi, Kingdom Rush)
Julio Nazario (Ctrl, Holi: Festival of Colors) Christopher Chung (Lanterns, Spell Smashers) Gil Hova (Networks, High Rise)


What are people saying about this course?

A lot of experience to learn from here!

by Chris Backe

"Jay's course is great! Short videos (usually 5-10 minutes) make listening and interacting with them easy. Whether the game you're making is your first or tenth, there's a lot of experience to learn from here. Really enjoyed the roll-and-write guide and hearing from other designers as well."

Highly Recommended!

Gareth Mottram

"I would highly recommend this course to anyone who designs games, whether you want to bring a game idea to life for the very first time or you’re an experienced designer who wants to double-check you’re doing the essentials right."

Excellent program!

Amir Salamati

"It's an excellent program for new designers, with pro tips for more skilled ones."

Step-by-Step Design-thinking Framework

Ethan Low

"As a newbie in this industry, it is very helpful to have someone really experienced to give us all the concise information and tips. And the step-by-step design-thinking framework in Jay's course together with his Fail Faster booklet, that there are always more ways I can improve."

Approachable and Easy to Understand

Marc Kirkland

"I found Jay's presentation of the material really approachable and easy to understand and the layout of the course (using a series of shorter chapters rather than long lectures) kept me engaged and stopped me from feeling overwhelmed."

Resources included with this course

All of these tools and resources are included and explained as part of the course

  • The Fail Faster Playtesting PDF Journal ($13 value)

  • The Fail Faster Your First Playtest Guide

  • Roll and Write Game Design Guide

  • Game Design Document template

  • Rulebook test feedback form

Fail Faster Playtesting Journal

Get just the PDF of the journal to help guide you to take the notes you need to take to be a better playtester

Design like a pro, starting today