IFDM 250 – Fall 2017

Introduction to Game Development (IFDM 250)

Instructors: Nathan Fabian (ndfabian@gmail.com) Jonathan Whetzel (jon.whetzel@gmail.com)

Office Hours: Mesa del Sol PC Lab, Tuesdays 30 minutes before and after class.

TA: Allie Valdez (alvaldez@unm.edu)

Extra Office Hours: By appointment

Online Syllabus: tosos.com/ifdm-250-fall-2017

Summary: In tandem with innovations of modern computing machines, people have been devising ways to “play” with these systems through programming games on these devices. Video games have matured into an expressive medium rooted in using algorithms as the means for constructing interactive experiences. Building these games requires an understanding on principles of interactive design, computer science, and storytelling.

This course serves to provide fundamental knowledge on the process of video game development. Students will gain this hands-on experience on through altering existing games and making their own creations. We expect that students will learn: fundamentals of game engine architecture, programming of game design concepts / game mechanics, the business and career pathways for game development, and how to use industry development tools.

Prerequisites: There is no formal course prerequisite, however we expect students to have taken an introductory programming course (e.g., IFDM 105) or equivalent outside experience. We will use JavaScript as the language for all programming related assignments.

Course Materials: This course does not have a required textbook. All reference materials will be online or provided by the instructors.

We do encourage all students to download the following on their personal computers for assignments outside of class:

Students will have access to the IFDM PC labs at both Mesa del Sol and Hartung Hall to perform their work.

Class Structure: Class meets every Tuesday & Thursday from 3:00 pm – 4:15pm in the IFDM Mesa Del Sol PC Lab (Rm 210). Classes will vary between lectures, demonstrations, and open sessions to aid in completing lab assignments throughout the semester.

Assignments: Students will develop a 2D platforming adventure game (a modified version of Terraria) using templates provided by the instructors. Students will learn Unity’s tool base for performing necessary tasks (e.g., importing art assets, animation, lighting, user input, etc).

Students will also learn Unity’s script interface (e.g., Javascript) for programming mechanics and game features (e.g., event management, artificial intelligence, file I/O, etc). Students will have an opportunity to apply their skills and game design prowess through creating their own modifications to the game for their final project.

Students will also have periodic quizzes covering lecture topics. All quizzes, assignments, and the final project must be completed individually.

Turning-in assignments: Assignments will be submitted electronically to a repository owned by the instructor. Students must have their assignments checked into the repository by 11:59 pm of the due date. Any check-ins of your project following the due date will be considered late. The instructors will deduct ten (10) points per day after the due date.


  • Bi-weekly quizzes (200 points total, 50 points each)
  • Bi-weekly assignments (200 points each)
  • Final Project (200points)

Students may earn additional points by turning in all assignments through Git and other challenges offered within each of the assignments.

Grade Levels:

  • Level of Noob: 0 – 959 points(Incomplete)
  • Level of Youngling: > 960 points (GradeD)
  • Level of Tinker: > 1120 points (GradeC)
  • Level of Journeyman: > 1280 points (GradeB)
  • Level of Master > 1440 points (GradeA)
  • Level of Legend > 1600 points (Grade A++)

Attendance Policy: Regular and punctual attendance is required. UNM Pathfinder policies apply, which in part means instructor drops based on non-attendance are possible. This policy applies regardless of the grading option you have chosen.

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