The Modern Learning Computer Science and Game Design Platform


Created with faculty at Carnegie Mellon University’s game design program, the Zulama Modern Learning Computer Science and Game Design Platform translates the University's professional Masters program to middle and high school.

What's included?

11 Long Courses

Perfect for introducing computer science curriculum, replacing outdated electives, or embedding into current courses.

Evolution of Games

By exploring ancient cultures, students find out how games used available technology and reflected social norms. Students prototype and play board and digital games, as well as create their own original game. Length: 80-120 hours

GameMaker Programming I and II

Students use GameMaker Studio 2 to code in GML, a precursor to other programming languages like Python, Java, and C++. They investigate high tech careers and develop games that can be added to their digital portfolio. Length: 160-240 hours


Students understand, critique, and write original dramatic stories for modern media like movies, games, and television. They develop skills in creative writing, collaborative storytelling, awareness, improvisational acting, and creative self-confidence. Length: 80-120 hours

Game Design

Students gain experience modding, prototyping, and iterating a variety of games. Their final project includes building, playtesting, and publishing an original game that can be played with friends and added to their portfolio. Length: 80-120 hours

3D Modeling I and II

Through hands-on digital model-building, students learn professional 3D art techniques. They develop and learn to present their portfolio of original artwork. Successful completion of this course prepares students for the Autodesk 3ds Max® Certified User Exam. Length: 160-240 hours

Mobile Game Design

Using the drag and drop features of GameSalad®, a professional game design toolkit, students learn fundamental game design mechanics, playtesting, and iteration. They develop their own mobile games that are playable on iOS or Android devices. Length: 80-120 hours

Unity® Programming I

Using all-new Unity® 2018, the most widely-used professional 3D game engine, students build games that can be played on a wide variety of game consoles and VR headsets. This course prepares students to take the Unity® Certified Developer Exam. Length: 80-120 hours

Game Production and Marketing

Students find out how the game industry really works by learning the tools, skills, and methodologies used in creating and selling video games. Student teams will create, market, and "sell" a game using a virtual-dollar system; then compete against other teams for the title of Most Games Sold. Length: 80-120 hours

Real World Projects

During this "capstone" course, students utilize the game design, storytelling, art, and coding skills they learned in earlier Zulama courses to create a project for a "real-world" client! They manage the entire process, from initial design to the final client presentation. Length: 80-120 hours

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9 Short Courses

Perfect for embedding into middle and high school courses or using in summer camps and after school programs.

Making Mobile Games

Students use the drag-and-drop features of GameSalad® to make their own mobile games. Activities include using tutorials, "modding" games, wireframing, storyboarding, and playtesting. Length: 18-20 hours

Coding with GameMaker

Students learn how to code their very own stand-alone executable game using GameMaker Studio 2. Length: 18-20 hours

Arcade Game Design

Students use Scratch and a Hummingbird robotics toolkit to build an arcade game that uses LEDs, motors, and sensors! Length: 15-20 hours

Math Game Design

Students create their own math game to help friends learn math concepts like probability and chance. Length: 10-15 hours

The Business of Games

This crash course in game publishing turns students into entrepreneurs who create a game concept, business plan, and pitch their game.
Length: 10-15 hours

Gamestar Mechanic Game Design

Using Gamestar Mechanic, students will create a design document, prototype, and play a game with friends. Length: 15-20 hours

Science Game Design

Students team up to build and play a game about popular science topics of their choice. Length: 10-15 hours

Storytelling in Games

Students learn how to use techniques such as scenes, rising action, and character development to turn a game narrative into a card-based role-playing game. Length: 10-15 hours

Games from American History

Bring American History alive by making and playing historical American games. Length: 10-15 hours

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2 Full-Year Courses

Use game design to engage high school students in learning rigorous computer science concepts in a fun way. Each year-long course gives students skills they can use now and will shape their futures.

Introduction to Computer Science through Game Design

This course hooks kids who are curious about computers and technology but may not think of themselves as coders. They are introduced to fundamental programming concepts such as loops, variables, conditionals, and arrays in an easy, step-by-step method that builds their confidence. They also learn broader computer science topics such as the software development process and cyber security. Hands-on projects include building original, portfolio-worthy games that can be played by family and friends.
Length: 10-15 hours

Advanced Placement® Computer Science Principles

Our AP® CS Principles course develops computational thinking practices students use to problem-solve and accomplish goals. They plan, design, code, and test software using GameMaker Studio 2. Students who successfully complete this course will be prepared to take the AP® CS Principles Exam. This course is endorsed by the College Board!


Get your students career
or college ready!

This course prepares your students for success on the Advanced Placement® Computer Science Principles Exam.

Professional Learning

We realize that programming and game design are unfamiliar subjects for many teachers. No worries! EMC School provides top-notch professional learning to prepare you for success, regardless of your content area expertise. We work with your schedule and preferences by offering both online and in-person options.

A one hour, self-paced online pre-training experience walks teachers through the Zulama courseware and prepares them for the in-person workshop.

After completing the pre-training, participants will come to this workshop ready to jump right into Zulama! This one day hands-on, immersive experience takes approximately 6 hours and is required for teachers new to Zulama. We encourage all stakeholders to attend, including guidance counselors, principals, and administrators. A digital badge is awarded upon completion.

Ongoing, self-guided trainings are course-specific and are required for each course taught. They include up to 4 hours of content, plus:

  • working through recommended lessons and activities
  • hands-on experience with game design engines, toolkits, and course software
  • optional live follow-up Q&A sessions that can be scheduled at your convenience
  • Access to resources including webinars, teachers forum, online video library, rubrics, completed lesson files, and more
  • Technical support via 24/7 live chat and phone support 8:00am–10:00pm (CST) every day
  • a digital badge for each Course-Specific Training successfully completed


Note: The curriculum license period is from July 1st to June 30th each year. Your Professional Learning opportunities can be scheduled any time. Access to your Zulama curriculum is granted during the training.

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