ART 488 / CMSC 493: Senior Game Project

MW 10:00-11:15, ENG 005

Instructor: Dr. Marc Olano (
Office/lab hours: ITE 354; M 2:30-3:30

Recommended Text: Agile Game Development with Scrum, Clinton Keith, Addison-Wesley

Formal Description

This is a capstone class, intended for graduating seniors (& occasionally juniors) in the GAIM specializations. In it, students will propose game development projects, plan them, form groups, and implement their plans. The goal is to have interdisciplinary teams, using a broad spectrum of what they have learned as undergraudates, collaborating to build interactive computer games.

Less Formal Description

Welcome to GAIM studios! I am Marc Olano, your studio executive. In the coming months, we will be developing some awesome games. First, you will pitch your game ideas. Some of those will be green lit for prototype development, and I will form you into prototype teams. In about a month, you'll need to show those prototypes. Some will be cancelled, and some will be green-lit for further development with a larger team. About a month after that, you'll have your alpha release and demo. By May, your games will be polished works of art bringing you fame and/or fortune.

Academic Honesty

By enrolling in this course, each student assumes the responsibilities of an active participant in UMBC's scholarly community in which everyone's academic work and behavior are held to the highest standards of honesty. Cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and helping others to commit these acts are all forms of academic dishonesty, and they are wrong. Academic misconduct could result in disciplinary action that may include, but is not limited to, a reduced or zero grade, course failure, suspension or dismissal. To read the full Student Academic Conduct Policy, consult the UMBC Student Handbook, the Faculty Handbook, or the UMBC Policies section of the UMBC Directory [or for graduate courses, the Graduate School web site].

Plagiarism is the presenting of others’ ideas as if they were your own. When you write an essay, create a project, do a project, or create anything original, it is assumed that all the work, except for that which is attributed to another author or creator is your own work. Word-for-word copying is not the only form of plagiarism.

Plagiarism is considered a serious academic offense and may take the following forms:

Bottom Line: If you wish to use work that it not your own, give attribution.

[Adapted by Neal McDonald from the Modern Language Association’s MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. New York: MLA, 1995: 26.]

Tentative Schedule and Grading

Class time will consist of an amorphous mix of things I think will help you succeed, guest appearances by people from the games industry, time to work on your games, and milestone presentations. The mapping of topics to weeks will certainly change depending on guest lecturer schedules. I'll fill in the online verision of this schedule as we go. Check there for updates.

Date Class Deadlines/Events
Jan 28/30 Overview; Pitching your game
Pitch Slides (Thu)
Feb 4/6 Game Pitches In-class pitches
Feb 11/13 Revision Control
URCAD, Art pipeline
Prototype teams announced
Feb 18/20 Development Roles
Feb 25/27 Prototype Demos
Prototype complete
URCAD submission
Semester teams announced
Mar 4/6 Team selection, snow day  
Mar 11/13 Game Engines
New FX Development
Sprint 1
Mar 18/20 SPRING BREAK  
Mar 25/27 Snow day, Art & Technology Sprint 2
Apr 1/3 Resumes & Web Sites  
Apr 8/10 Budgets Sprint 3
Apr 15/17 Monetization  
Apr 22/24 URCAD Alpha
Apr 29/May 1 Marketing, URCAD round-up  
May 6/8 51 things
Art and Science of Lighting
May 13 QA  
May 22 Final Demos Final Demos 7-9pm

Course rubric

60Game milestones
10 Prototype
5 URCAD submission
10 Alpha
10 Beta
15 Final Demos
10 Social and marketing
20 Attendance & personal performance goals
10 Personal portfolio site & resume