How to Create a Course

March 18, 2024

So you’re trying to make a gaming course to share all the years of experience you have or perhaps find a more time efficient way to monetize your knowledge. Well, making a course can be a bit complicated because it will be time consuming but the reward of crafting a well structured course can be exponentially higher than one-on-one coaching.

In this article, we’ll go over all the important steps you need to take to create the best course out there and make it a smooth experience for both you and your students. You’ll learn how to define your audience, create a solid course structure, define each lesson, prepare footage or other materials and towards the end we will even look at how to produce and edit the course.

1. Choose the Topic

The first thing you need to do when deciding to create a comprehensive gaming course or any other type of course really, is to figure out what you want to be teaching.

It seems simple and obvious but really narrowing down the topic(s) of what you will be explaining is a crucial step in the course creation process because it unlocks all the other pieces that will follow. Having a really clear idea of what is it that your course is going to be about is going to define the length, the complexity and the ambition of the project.

If you want to teach people how to cook meat, that’s going to look very differently from teaching people how to cook chicken or chicken alfredo. There’s different levels of complexity that require different explanations and resources. The same applies to gaming.

If you don’t know where to start here’s a few questions to think about.

  • What do your strengths lie within the game?
  • What areas do others need to improve the most?
  • What are the most important aspects of the current metagame?
  • What do you suggest players start working on?
  • What are some common misconceptions about the game?

2. Define the Audience.

The next thing you need to do is define the target group. Who is the end user of the course? Here are some questions to ask yourself when trying to define the audience.

  • What’s the intended level of the students?
  • What is the average rank of the student?
  • How much time do they spend playing?
  • What are the ambitions of the students?

The target audience is important to define because success comes down to relevance. You cannot help all players from beginners to expert players. The more specific you can be with who you want to help, the better.

Keep the target audience in mind as you further develop the contents of the course because the way you’ll be presenting the lessons in will depend on what your audience looks like. If you’re doing a beginner course in League of Legends, perhaps you want to spend some time to explain what last hits are and the importance of the lanes but, instead of going super in depth on macro game concepts to learn from pro games.

3. Set Goal for the Audience

Similar to the previous 2 points, setting the right goals for your course is going to be crucial. Once you identify where your audience is starting and what your course is about, the goals help you make sure that you have a finish line.

It’s a good idea to ask yourself the following questions

  • What do I want my students to get out of this?
  • What are the topics I need to cover to help my students achieve the goals?
  • What’s the best way to achieve these goals?

4. Create a Course Outline.

Now it’s time for us to squeeze every little ounce of information from our brains and put it all on paper to create the structure and the outline of the course. However, before we jump into that let’s do a quick recap of what we should have so far:

  • A course description and title.
  • A well defined target audience
  • Clear goals for both the course and the students.

4.1 The Outline

Creating the Outline of the course doesn’t have to be a grueling process but it will require you to spend some time thinking about the game and everything that is related to your topic. What I like to do is always start with a blank sheet and write down everything that comes to my mind with bullet points and a few notes.

I usually recommend going over this process twice. The first time, write everything that you think is important and relevant to your topic. Do not worry about formatting or going too indepth, we’ll fix that on the second go through.

Once you feel like there’s nothing else you can think of, take a break for 1 to 2 days, or at least a few hours before coming back to your outline again. Taking a small break and coming back with a refreshed mind and eyes will help you see if there’s anything you missed.

4.2 The Lesson Plan (or Episode Structure)

It’s during your second pass of the course outline that you will start grouping all of the information into sections that go well together and therefore create a lesson plan. We’ll talk more about the individual lessons in the next chapter but the main idea is the following:

💡 Keep your lessons to 1 topic per lesson. Avoid making the mistake of trying to cram too much information in the same lesson. This usually results in overloading the student with information even though it’s good information.

Before going into each lesson individually and mapping those out, make sure you take a good look at your structure and you should be able to answer the following questions.

  • Have I covered everything that I need to explain this topic?
  • Does my lesson plan help students achieve the goal set for this course?
  • Does the order of lessons matter in this course?

Example of Lesson Plan -

5. Defining each Lesson

Alright, so you have the general structure of the course and hopefully a good grasp of how many lessons you will have and what they encompass. There’s still time to lock those in, so if you’re not fully there yet, don’t worry.

There are 2 paths moving forward depending on how you want to define each piece of the curriculum. Regardless of which path you choose, your lessons need to follow a simple structure that is easy to understand and guides to user to the information. Here’s what my preferred structure of the episode looks like.

  • What is this lesson about?
  • Why is this important to learn?
  • Here’s how you do it. (Show, don’t tell)

In my years of experience working with the best gamers in the world to create courses, using this simple structure has helped me create thousands of videos and help players improve at their favorite video games.

Having a well-defined lesson is going to help you a lot when it comes to the moment of production regardless if your lesson is a video, a quiz or an article. Here’s a quick checklist to make sure you have what you need for each episode before moving on to the next.

  • A single topic
  • Bullet points with what needs to be covered in the lesson.
  • A Script (optional)
  • A list of all materials and resources required for production day.

Having the last item on the list is very important because you will need to prepare everything before the recording date in order to be as time efficient as possible. This can include, replays, gameplay examples, footage, tweets, articles, a whiteboard, physical props or anything else that might be required for you to properly explain your lesson’s topic.

💡 Additional Tips for Lessons:

  1. The ideal length of a video lesson is between 8-12 minutes
  2. Put yourself in the mind of the student. Try to anticipate their questions and answer them within the lesson.
  3. Showing is always better than telling.
  4. Explain the why rather than the what.

6. Recording the Course

We’ve chopped the garlic and diced the onions. Our preparation is all done. We have the outline, the footage/resources, the script is next to us and we’re ready to record. How do we do that?

In this section, I’ll give you my thoughts from my experience helping hundreds of gamers create courses but there are other methods to achieve the same results. If you’re working with videos there are a few things that are worth noting and keeping in mind.

  • Work and Record one lesson at a time.
  • Record your Camera Your screen separately if possible.
    • make sure to clap or do a loud noise to sync camera & screen footage. (if applicable)
  • Record the different audios on separate Tracks.
    • The microphone on track 1,
    • Computer sounds on track 2
  • Think about the editing during the recording. Feel free to drop editor notes in the recording.

When it comes to it, I always prefer doing one take per lesson. That means you only stop recording once you’ve covered everything and you don’t stop the recording for small mistakes. If you need to retake a sentence or a section, just stop and do it again. Unless you’re doing long breaks that lead to dozens of minutes wasted, I prefer to not stop the recording.

I’m a big advocate of showing and not telling so when working with extra footage like gameplay examples, replays or VoDs, I always prefer having it on hand and going over it during the explanation rather than adding it during the editing phase.

This helps you in two different ways. First, it helps speed up editing because the explanation and the footage are being recorded at the same time. Secondly, if there’s something missing in the outline, the footage can be used as a prompt to remember any additional information that you might have missed otherwise.

7. Crafting a Great Introduction

It doesn’t matter if you’ve created courses before or if this is your first time. The First lesson or episode is always a great opportunity for you to introduce yourself and position yourself as an expert on the topic at hand.

Oftentimes the introduction episode is set as free or made sharable for new audiences and its purpose is to convince the viewer to purchase or explain the value of the course to the end user.

Therefore you want to purposefully craft this episode to maximize conversions and success. After creating more than 100 courses with 75+ different experts, the most successful introductions follow a similar structure to the following structure.

  • Introduction of the expert
  • What makes you the expert? What is your legacy?
  • My general (or unique) philosophy around the topic.
  • What am I going to teach you in this course?
  • How I will teach you these things?
  • Motivation as to why you’ve created this course.
  • What can you expect to get out of this? What is the outcome?

While you don’t need to answer these questions verbatim, any variation that covers the main points described above works. You need to come across as genuine and sincere, especially if you want to charge money for this course. There are plenty of different free alternatives out there so you need to convince people that what you’ve spent so much time creating is going to be worth their time.

💡 Keep in mind - The goal of the introduction is to welcome the student, familiarize them with the teacher (you) and talk about what they can expect from this course.

Example 1 - Welcome to Peach Deconstructed

Example 2 - Meet your New Coach: Topson

8. Designing the Trailer

Making a trailer is not necessary for your course but it is nice to have on hand whenever trying to share your course without having to give away a free lesson or talk about it at length. While it’s not the scope of this article to teach you how to promote your course, spreading awareness is going to be important and what a better way than with trailer.

After spending hundreds of hours crafting trailers for GamerzClass & Metafy, here are the characteristics of our most successful trailers:

  • 60-90 seconds in length
  • Has a purpose
    • Explains what the trailer is for
    • Announces a release date
    • Shows who created this
    • Showcases production value / effort / depth.
  • Stirs an emotion within the viewer
    • Hyped to play
    • Can’t wait to see this
    • I am learning or will learn something new
    • Nostalgia
    • I love this game
  • Tries to grab the attention immediately

Just like when you’re watching movie trailers, there can be many different directions you go with but for us at GamerzClass we tried to make each trailer as professional as possible and really convey that our courses were worth the money over free youtube/twitch alternatives. Here’s how we tried to do that.

  • Dramatic & Upbeat/Hype Music
  • Catchy/Memorable Opening Lines (first 5 sec)
    • Everything in life is a negotiation (chris voss)
    • You want to be like a shark (nikobaby)
    • Gordon’s Ramsay’s ASMR
  • 50-50 mix on in-game footage vs player footage
  • Lots of on screen Graphics (arrows and circles work best)
  • Quick Cuts & Fast Paced
  • Use Breakers to explain what is happening
    • Course (Pro breaks down Dota 2/teaches Midlane, Meet your new Coach, Player Achievements)
    • What you Learn (Topics)
    • USPs (4 hours, 23 episodes)
  • Expert must talk about what you will learn (topics)
  • Expert to mention what you will get out of it (outcomes)
  • Includes 2-3 different tips directly from course
  • 60-90s in length
  • Include gameplay highlights of the expert
  • B-rolls from popular moments (tournaments if applicable)
  • Bit of humor never hurts.

Example of 12 Step Trailer Structure

  • Catchy Intro
    • 5-7seconds
  • Breaker -
    • Pause for dramatic effect and explain what you are watching/about to watch
      • Meet your new coach - Topson - 5seconds in
      • Nikobaby is here - Nikobaby - 8 seconds in
      • Gordon Ramsay - Gordon Ramsay - 9seconds in
      • Meet your new Instructor - Chris Voss - 2seconds in
      • Tekkz Ultimate fifa course - Tekkz - 6sec in
      • Cr1t breaks down dota 2 - Cr1t - 5 sec in
  • A. What you will learn
  • Or
  • B. What outcome u get from this class
    • Pro player explains this section
    • Often A & B are combined
  • Ex:
    • By going through this course you will learn what took me 10 years at the highest level of CS to master (NBK)
    • Watch this course if you really want to improve your MMR and try to compete against the best players in the world (Nikobaby)
    • As a midlaner you have better things to do like pushing the wave, getting the tower, rotating, pushing the top tower (topson)
    • In this course i’ll be teaching you how to play midlane from my perspective starting from drafting going through the laning phase to the late game (Topson)
    • In this course i will teach you to play position 4 at the highest level. (Cr1t)
    • Your life could be in a totally different place just by improving how you negotiate (chriss voss)
    • This time i will take you into an area where you felt your homecooking could never go (Gordon Ramsay)
  • Breaker
  • Tip 1
  • B-roll or Highlight
  • Tip 2
  • Tip 3 (if needed)
  • More B-rolls or highlights
  • Outro
    • Outro is another reminder of what outcomes you get from this product.
  • CTA
    • Start Dominating your friends.
  • Logo + Ending

Trailer Examples:

Cr1t-: - DOTA 2 • Cr1t- | Official Course Trailer

Topson: - Topson GamerzClass Trailer - Topson Teaches Mid Lane

Tekkz: - FIFA20 • Tekkz Course | Official Trailer ,

Nikobaby: - Nikobaby GamerzClass Trailer | Nikobaby Teaches Position 1 Carry

NBK: - CS:GO • NBK | Official Trailer

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