Syllabus for CSC 371: Game Design

Textbook: Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games by Tracy Fullerton. 2nd Edition is fine, that’s what I have. See the course webpage for purchasing details.

Catalog Description:

In-depth study of game design including rules, player interaction, and storytelling. Exploration of effective use of sound, art, and game controls in creating meaningful play. Development of fully functioning and engaging games, following standard domain-specific software development processes and using physical prototyping and playtesting. Current, industry-tested game engines. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory. Prerequisite: CSC 102 & 103, or CSC 202 & 203.

Course Overview:

In this course we are going to learn Unreal Engine and work in teams to make a small but fun game. You will have a lot of creative control in the genre/style/etc. of your game so start thinking now about what you want to create! Around the end of the second week we will have game pitches and start setting up teams. You won’t have to pitch a game if you don’t want to, you can just join someone’s team. Bear in mind that video games are very difficult to make in such a short time (it’s only a 10 week quarter) so try to keep your ideas simple.

Course Structure:

The course schedule including assignments, lecture slides, and lab information will be available on the course webpage.

Lecture: On some days we will have lecture material but on many days we will spend lecture doing workshops (including physical prototyping) and meeting in project groups.

Lab: In lab we will be learning Unity. We’ll use the editor and Blueprint scripting system to make prototypes and games. Lab assignments will have you following tutorials from the Unreal Engine documentation and adding on to them.

Assignments: We’ll be doing some of the exercises from the book, both in and outside of class. Out-of-class assignments will be collected on Polylearn.

Project: The major focus of this class will be two long-term projects in which you work with a team to design and implement a finished game, first a physical game and then a digital game using Unity. Teams must contain between 1-6 people. Full project details and rubric are available on the course webpage.


Honesty: We will be working in teams a lot this quarter but you are still expected to complete individual work. In lab you can help other students but everyone will be expected to complete and demonstrate their own work. Assignments must be completed individually unless otherwise specified.

Late Work: Late group assignment work will not be accepted.

Because labs can only be checked off on days when the class meets in the lab room (e.g. it is not possible to turn in a lab on a Thursday), the lab assignment late policy is with respect to course days, not real days. Labs can be turned in one course day late for 70% credit. So if a lab is due on Friday, it can be turned in on Monday for a maximum of 70%. Labs can also be turned in two course days late for a maximum of 30% credit. After that, late labs will not be accepted.

Written assignments are turned in on Polylearn and can thus be submitted at any time, so the written assignment late policy is with respect to real days (24-hour periods). Written assignments can be turned in up to 24 hours late for 80% credit, up to 48 hours late for 60%, or up to 72 hours late for 40%. After that, late written assignments will not be accepted.