Instructor

Dr. Marc Olano <olano@umbc.edu>
Office hours (ENG 005a): Tu 11:45 — 1:00; Th 2:15 — 3:30

Recommended Text:

Agile Game Development: Build, Play, Repeat, Clinton Keith, Addison-Wesley

Course Description

In this class students will learn to apply their talents towards developing computer games. They will learn the processes, techniques, and toolsets used in game development from industry professionals. Students will learn about business aspects of the games industry and how to apply the principles of entrepreneurship there. Students will also learn how to function in an interdisciplinary team on challenging and complex projects.

Objectives

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 canceled, 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.

Final Demo

In lieu of a final exam, we will schedule a time (7-9pm) one evening during finals week to invite professional game developers to see demos of your final projects and meet the project team members. Since this may conflict with other final exams, attendance is not required, but I will try to find a day when every team will be able to have some representation to do the demo. Plus, if you want a job in the games industry, this is a great chance to get some face-time with potential employers.

Class Topics

Class time will consist of an amorphous mix of things I think will help you succeed: lectures on game development topics, guest appearances by people from the games industry, time to work on your games, and milestone presentations. The in-class work days are so I can observe your team at work; you will definitely need to also plan to work and meet outside of class. Also, the mapping of topics to weeks will certainly change depending on guest lecturer schedules. Here are a list of topics to be covered through the semester

Grading

These are the weights for graded elements of this class:

What Who Weight
Pitch* Individual 10%
Prototype* Group 10%
URCAD Group 10%
Sprint 1* Group 5%
Sprint 2* Group 5%
Alpha* Group 10%
Beta* Group 10%
Final Demos* Group 10%
Attendance & personal performance Individual 20%
Personal portfolio site & resume Individual 10%

* This class is an approved elective for the Entrepreneurship minor. This 60% of the course grade supports entrepreneurship.

Tentative Schedule

I'll update the online version of this schedule as we go. Check here for updates.

Resources

This syllabus is a snapshot of the class web page. Important announcements and updates will be made to this page throughout the semester. I will announce if I make significant change or addition. Also, as we proceed through the semester, slides will be added as links in the topic list above.

UMBC Writing Center: The Academic Success Center offers free writing assistance through our Writing Center, which is located on the first floor of the Library. We also offer online and asynchronous tutoring. Writing tutors are students like you who receive ongoing training to stay up-to-date on the best tutoring techniques. To make an appointment, please visit academicsuccess.umbc.edu/writing-center

UMBC Policies

Academic Integrity

Accessibility and Disability Accommodations

Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, Gender Based Violence and Discrimination

Additional Policies


Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is an important value at UMBC. 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, suspension or dismissal. These principles and policies apply in both face-to-face and online classes. Resources for students about academic integrity at UMBC are available at academicconduct.umbc.edu/resources-for-students.

For this course, you can use external toolkits and code if you credit them and their rights permit you to use them. The core design, art, and game code must be your own.


Accessibility and Disability Accommodations, Guidance and Resources

Accommodations for students with disabilities are provided for all students with a qualified disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA & ADAAA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act who request and are eligible for accommodations. The Office of Student Disability Services (SDS) is the UMBC department designated to coordinate accommodations that creates equal access for students when barriers to participation exist in University courses, programs, or activities.

If you have a documented disability and need to request academic accommodations in your courses, please refer to the SDS website at sds.umbc.edu for registration information and office procedures.

SDS email: disAbility@umbc.edu

SDS phone: 410-455-2459

If you will be using SDS approved accommodations in this class, please contact the instructor to discuss implementation of the accommodations. During remote instruction requirements due to COVID, communication and flexibility will be essential for success.


Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, and Gender Based Violence and Discrimination

UMBC Policy in addition to federal and state law (to include Title IX) prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in University programs and activities. Any student who is impacted by sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, gender discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, gender-based harassment, or related retaliation should contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator to make a report and/or access support and resources. The Title IX Coordinator can be reached at titleixcoordinator@umbc.edu or 410-455-1717

You can access support and resources even if you do not want to take any further action. You will not be forced to file a formal complaint or police report. Please be aware that the University may take action on its own if essential to protect the safety of the community.

If you are interested in making a report, please use the Online Reporting/Referral Form. Please note that, if you report anonymously, the University’s ability to respond will be limited.

Notice that Faculty and Teaching Assistants are Responsible Employees with Mandatory Reporting Obligations

All faculty members and teaching assistants are considered Responsible Employees, per UMBC’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, and Gender Discrimination. Faculty and teaching assistants therefore required to report all known information regarding alleged conduct that may be a violation of the Policy to the Title IX Coordinator, even if a student discloses an experience that occurred before attending UMBC and/or an incident that only involves people not affiliated with UMBC. Reports are required regardless of the amount of detail provided and even in instances where support has already been offered or received.

While faculty members want to encourage you to share information related to your life experiences through discussion and written work, students should understand that faculty are required to report past and present sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, stalking, and gender discrimination that is shared with them to the Title IX Coordinator so that the University can inform students of their rights, resources, and support. While you are encouraged to do so, you are not obligated to respond to outreach conducted as a result of a report to the Title IX Coordinator.

If you need to speak with someone in confidence, who does not have an obligation to report to the Title IX Coordinator, UMBC has a number of Confidential Resources available to support you:

Other Resources:

Child Abuse and Neglect

Please note that Maryland law and UMBC policy require that faculty report all disclosures or suspicions of child abuse or neglect to the Department of Social Services and/or the police even if the person who experienced the abuse or neglect is now over 18.


Additional Policies

Additional policies on pregnant and parenting students; religious observances and accommodation; and hate, bias, discrimination and harrassment can be found on the Office of Equity and Inclusion site