Designing Cities for Video Games


(10 ratings)


8 Weeks


Cohort-based Course

Learn how to design memorable and believable cities for video games by an experienced game urbanist with a PhD in urban planning.

Previously at ZA/UM, and companies like:

Bohemia Interactive Simulations

Course overview

The Game Urbanism course for video game professionals.

Whether you are an indie developer or work in AAA, whether you are a game designer, writer, level designer or artist, this course will teach you all you need to know about the varied cities, and urban environments of gaming.

You will gain insight into how cities work, learn how to design quality game cities from start to finish, understand the ways through which urbanism can bring richness, originality, and believability into game worlds, explore the immense storytelling potential of civic life, and discover the methods that will allow you to construct living, breathing, and, above all, memorable and fascinating urban geographies.

🎓 Lessons will guide you, step by step, through the city creation process from the conception of novel urban spaces, and the defining of their architecture, civic life and history, all the way to the mapping of their functions, and the planning of their structure.

📚 Assignments will help you thoroughly understand the actual design & development problems game cities face, practice city-building, discover solutions, and explore the many facets of game urbanism in a safe environment.

👨‍🏫 Your instructor is not simply a games industry professional who specialized in game cities. He has both a MSc and a PhD in urbanism, has teaching experience that goes back to 2005, and is the current Head of the Games Department at the SAE Athens College.

By the end of the course you will be concepting, understanding, and designing playable cities like a game urbanist. You will be able to effortlessly combine the principles of urbanism and game design to enrich the games and settings you are working on.

What do you need video game city design and game urbanism for?

Cities are perfect for games. They allow us to tell stories, craft complex levels in deep worlds, and pithily encapsulate our settings. It is no accident that some of the finest and most memorable game environments include Disco Elysium's Revachol, Dark Souls' Anor Londo, Cyberpunk 2077's Night City or GTA V's Los Santos. It is no accident that cities, towns, and urban environments are such a common game setting.

Cities are packed with locations and characters, and are steeped in history. They overflow with possibilities, and can serve as elaborate storytelling stages or even protagonists of games. They can tell stories, and shape game mechanics; nurture visual ideas, and suggest traversal solutions. They can make game worlds believable, and, thus, hopefully, also immersive.

Learning how to create, how to design, and how to flesh out game cities is an invaluable skill for every creative in game development!

Who is this course for?


Level Designers and game designers working on projects involving cities or looking to explore the rich possibilities of civic space.


World builders, writers, visual artists and narrative designers looking to understand and create cities (and their surrounding geographies).


Creators working on imaginary cities (sci-fi, fantasy, cyberpunk, etc), historical cities, contemporary cities, and city-building games.


Game developers looking to explore the introduction of settlements, human geographies, towns and urban environments in their games.


Indie Developers, as well as people working in both AA and AAA game development.


Game industry creatives looking to work on city-focused projects, or looking to take such projects to the next level.


Boardgame, TTRPG, MMO, MMORPG, and video game designers and creatives, as well as anyone interested in the crafting of imaginary cities.

What you’ll get out of this course:

A tutor with 10 years of game urbanism, and almost 20 years of teaching experience.

For 10+ years Konstantinos has been working on the cities of gaming. He has been teaching at universities and colleges since 2005.

A deep dive into Game Urbanism and Game City Design.

Deeply understand how game and city design intertwine. Learn the methodologies leading to the creation of unique, fascinating urban environments.

Know what is needed for a Game City, and how to create it.

From road plans and topographies, all the way to hinterlands and landmarks every aspect of urbanism (and its design) will be covered.

Learn how to build Urban Worlds and Geographies

The course will provide students with the tools to approach cities as living, breathing worlds-within-worlds.

Design City Maps and understand Urban Space

Maps are the main tool for describing virtual and actual cities.

Gain insight into City Histories and the construction of Civic Narratives

Cities are dynamic, and come with a rich sense of history. Learn to treat them as fertile and dynamic storytelling stages.

Bring Level and Game Design considerations into your City creation

This course places game, level, and narrative design considerations at its core. Students will learn to build urban spaces within the constraints of their medium.

This course includes

7 interactive live sessions

Lifetime access to course materials

17 in-depth lessons

Direct access to instructor

6 projects to apply learnings

Guided feedback & reflection

Private community of peers

Course certificate upon completion

Maven Satisfaction Guarantee

This course is backed by Maven’s guarantee. You can receive a full refund within 14 days after the course ends, provided you meet the completion criteria in our refund policy.

Course syllabus

Expand all modules
  • Week 1

    May 7—May 12

    Week dates are set to instructor's time zone


    • May


      Session 1 - Introduction to Game Urbanism

      Tue, May 7, 4:30 PM - 6:15 PM UTC


    • 1. Introduction to Game Urbanism

  • Week 2

    May 13—May 19

    Week dates are set to instructor's time zone


    • May


      Session 2 - Virtual, Real, and Imaginary City Space

      Tue, May 14, 4:30 PM - 6:15 PM UTC


    • 2. Virtual, Real, and Imaginary City Space

  • Week 3

    May 20—May 26

    Week dates are set to instructor's time zone


    • May


      Session 3 - Urban Functions & Game Geographies

      Tue, May 21, 4:30 PM - 6:15 PM UTC


    • 3. Urban Functions and Game Geographies

  • Week 4

    May 27—Jun 2

    Week dates are set to instructor's time zone


    • May


      Session 4 - Game City Concepting

      Tue, May 28, 4:30 PM - 6:15 PM UTC


    • 4. Game City Concepting

  • Week 5

    Jun 3—Jun 9

    Week dates are set to instructor's time zone


    • Jun


      Session 5 - Archetypes, Genres, Navigation

      Tue, Jun 4, 4:30 PM - 6:15 PM UTC


    • 5. Archetypes, Genres, Navigation

  • Week 6

    Jun 10—Jun 16

    Week dates are set to instructor's time zone


    • Jun


      Session 6 - Zooming Into Game Urbanism

      Tue, Jun 11, 4:30 PM - 6:15 PM UTC


    • 6. Zooming Into Game Urbanism

  • Week 7

    Jun 17—Jun 23

    Week dates are set to instructor's time zone


    • 7. City Showcase Workshop

  • Week 8

    Jun 24—Jun 26

    Week dates are set to instructor's time zone


    • Jun


      Session 7 - City Showcase Workshop

      Tue, Jun 25, 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM UTC

  • Post-Course


    • Join the Alumni Discord

    • Game Urbanism Toolkit

  • Bonus


    • Ex Novo game & tool


(10 ratings)

What students are saying

Meet your instructor

Konstantinos Dimopoulos

Konstantinos Dimopoulos

Game Urbanist, Game Designer, Author

Since the early 2010s Konstantinos Dimopoulos has been developing the theory and practice of games urbanism. Konstantinos is an engineer with a PhD in urbanism, and a MSc in urban & regional planning.

He has worked on the cities, urban levels, systems, and geographies of games by studios such as ZA/UM, Bohemia Interactive, Ingame Studios, Gamious, Frogwares, Iphigames, Tuesday Knight Games, and Klang Games. His urban design work can be found in titles like ARMA Reforger, Lake, The Sinking City, Crime Boss: Rockay City or A Place For The Unwilling.

He has talked (mostly) about game cities in several conferences including Develop: Brighton, the Game Industry Conference, Game Access, Adventure X, IVIPRO Days, PocketGamer Connects, and Utopian Hours.

Konstantinos is the author of Virtual Cities: An Atlas & Exploration of Video Game Cities, and has contributed chapters to the books Game Writing: 2nd Edition, Architectonics of Game Spaces, and Virtual Interiorities. He has also written extensively on the design of video game cities in the pages of Wireframe magazine.

Konstantinos is teaching at SAE Athens, where he is also the Head of the Games Department, and at Algosup. He has also taught at the National Technical University of Athens.

Check his LinkedIn profile here.

Visit his game-cities site here.

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Course schedule

4-6 hours per week
  • Tuesdays

    18:30 - 20:15 Central European Time

    All live sessions will take place on Tuesdays, and start at 18:30 Central European Time (17:30 UK, 13:30 EST).

    All sessions will last between 105 and 120 minutes.

  • Tuesday May 7, 2024

    18:30 CET, 17:30 UK, 13:30 EST

    The first live session, and effectively the beginning of the course will go live on Tuesday, May 7 at 18:30 Central European Time, 17:30 UK Time, 13:30 Eastern Standard Time, US.

    The student portal will open one day prior to this on May 6.

  • Weekly projects & lessons

    2-4 hours per week

    Live sessions aside, students should dedicate 2 to 4 hours per week going through the prepared lessons, working on their projects, communicating with the cohort & the instructor, studying the provided notes, and engaging with suggested material.

  • Course & Alumni Discord

    Continuous communication

    The Course Discord channel will provide another option for questions, feedback, help, information exchange, and discussions.

    The exclusive Alumni Discord channel will allow you to stay in touch with Konstantinos, and students of other cohorts.

Learning is better with cohorts!

Learning is better with cohorts!

Active hands-on learning

This course builds on live workshops, and hands-on projects!

Interactive and project-based

You’ll be interacting with other learners through breakout rooms, the course discord, and common workshops.

Learn with a cohort of peers

Join a community of like-minded people who want to learn and grow alongside you!

Your instructor is always within reach

Ask questions during lectures, get detailed feedback, and use any of the available asynchronous contact channels.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I can’t make a live session?
Will the live sessions be recorded?
I work full-time, what is the expected time commitment?
How do I receive reimbursement from my employer for this course?
What's the refund policy?
More questions?

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