CS 269/369: Syllabus

Syllabus for January 2011

Topics and Reading Assignments


The Crawford book you can find on-line. It is a little dated, but the fundamental ideas of game design haven't changed much. The other textbooks are good quality texts on game design, if you are interested in continuing in the field.

Chris Crawford, The Art of Computer Game Design

Ernest Adams, Fundamentals of Game Design, 2nd ed.

Jesse Schell, The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses

Salen and Zimmerman, Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals


Short Assignments 20%
Presentations 20%
Class Participation 10%
Game Design and Implementation 30%
Portfolio 20%

The course is about creating a game. Along the way there will be short assignments that will help you to learn about game design. On Thursday afternoon of each week, your group will give a short presentation about your game design and implementation to the rest of the class.

Over the course of the term, you should keep examples of work you do, whether or not it ends up in the final game design. These examples will form your portfolio at the end of the term, which should be a collection of work that you can show to demonstrate your abilities. I strongly suggest you make your portfolio page an actual web page so that you can easily show it to other people in the future.

Your group presentations and your group's final game constitute half of your grade. Your individual portfolio, assignments, and participation constitute the remaining half of your grade.

Late Policy:

At the end of the four weeks your group should have a working game. There are no extensions to the final deadline, which is the last day of the term.

Each Thursday afternoon, your group will give a presentation on particular aspects of your game design or development. Everyone in the group needs to participate in the presentation and discuss their contribution. There are no exceptions.

The short assignments will be done in class, or will be due the following day after they are assigned; there will be no credit for late assignments.

Daily Topics and Readings


  • Introduction, course concept
  • Evaluation of 2D Games; Genre discussion
  • TGB tutorials
Crawford, Chapter 3
  • Elements of a game
  • Game design exercises / TGB tutorials
  • Group development and formation
Crawford, Chapters 1-2
  • Intellectual property / Project planning
  • Game concept development
  • Presentation 1: Game Concept
Crawford, Chapter 5

  • Game Rules and Controls
  • GUI development
  • GIMP tutorial
Crawford, Chapter 6
  • GUI development
  • Gameplay development
  • Gameplay development
  • Presentation 2: Game Play

  • Game Development
  • Game Art Exercise
  • Game Development
  • Game Development
  • Presentation 3: Game Art and Interface

  • Game development
  • Game completion
  • Game Play
  • Presentation 4: Game Demonstrations