If the people your are teaching this to don't already know programming and logic and your are dead set on electronic games then your are going to need a drag and drop style interface for your coding task. You are also going to need integrated physics,some sort of simple ai manipulation, integrated controller input management, some sort of asset management pipeline. This will allow them to focus on the actual design and iterate on a design.
I suggest a 2 course approach.
1st course is real game design research and instruction. This course would be about brainstorming, studying what makes certain types of games fun, categorizing games etc. Rulesets, writing, game mechanics, level design etc. This class is not tied to programming it is about designing a game. During this course you may want to prime the pump by having them do independent research on programming languages and game engines in preperation for course 2 but the course it self is not about software.
Course 2 is about software,scale and development and trade offs etc that are associated to electronic game development. Its about frustration and things not working right the first time. it is about iteration on a product. The finished project should come out of this process. You will have provide some sort of game engine, project control/versioning system for assets and such.
You will be pushing whoever takes these classes because the task of developing games is multi discipline. The part that makes the project a game is going to be off discipline for your art majors. Good luck