IFDM 491 – Fall 2015

Advanced Game Development

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

Office Hours: Fridays, 9:00 – 10:00 am at Hartung Hall

Summary: This course serves to provide more exposure to the game development industry. Lectures will focus on topics surrounding 3D game development and project management. Our course will simulate a working game development studio with students in teams and using industry production tools and techniques.  Students will also work with local game development professionals throughout the progression of their project.  Students must have taken Introduction to Game Development (IFDM 250) or have worked on game projects outside of the class. Some knowledge of programming is required for all students taking the course.

Class Structure: Class meets every Tuesday & Thursday from 4:00 pm – 5:15pm in the IFDM Mesa Del Sol PC Lab (Rm 210). Tuesdays will normally be reserved for lectures, with Thursdays for lab.  The class will be divided into two segments. First half of the semester will concentrate 3D game development topics with assignments based in the Unity 3D game engine. The second half of the semester will focus on working in small teams to design and create a 3D game.

Team projects will have multiple requirements including:

  • An initial game idea sales pitch
  • Weekly progress updates on the project
  • Reporting from in-class playtest events
  • Game trailer and promotional materials
  • Game executable & demo at the IFDM Showcase

Turning-in assignments: Assignments will be submitted electronically by the due dates set by the instructors. Late submissions will receive deductions each day until the assignment has been submitted.


Students will earn up to 1600 points over the course:

  • Three (3) introductory Unity assignments (300 points total)
  • Half-term project (1300 points total)
    • Game pitch (100 points)
    • Weekly updates (240 points total)
    • Reporting on in-class playtest events (260 points total)
    • Final trailer / video (100 points)
    • Finished game (400 points)
    • Team & individual evaluations (200 points)

Grade Levels:

  • Level of Master > 1440 points (Grade A)
  • Level of Journeyman: > 1280 points (Grade B)
  • Level of Tinker: > 1120 points (Grade C)
  • Level of Youngling: > 960 points (Grade D)
  • Level of Noob: 0 – 959 points (Incomplete)

Honor Code: We will not lie, cheat, or steal nor tolerate others who do. You will be expected to perform each lab assignment and final project to the best of your abilities. Those who gratuitously plagiarize from other students or external sources will receive no credit for the assignment.


Dec 1, 3 & 5Term Project: Update #8In-class demo, promo materialsIFDM Student Showcase, Dec 5

week lecture lab notes
Aug 18 & 20 Intro to C# Programming Intro to Unity Some Assets
Project 1 Assigned
Fig Video Game Crowdfunding site
Aug 25 & 27 Unity GUI 2D Platformer In-class example platformer+gui
In-class example from the first day
Sept 1 & 3 Animations Project 1 Due
Project 2 Assigned
Sept 8 & 10 Locomotion & Path Planning AI Waypoint examples
Mecanim Examples Agent with Steering
Steering class to use with Agent
Sept 15 & 17 Behavior Trees & Decision-Making AI Humble Weekly Bundle — GameMaker for $6!
Ludum Dare Competition
Albuquerque Game Developer’s Guild meets every Tuesday 6pm-9pm
Rival Theory (RAIN AI)
Sept 22 & 24 Effects & Lighting Shaders Shader Calibration Scene
Sept 29 & Oct 1 Project Management  Project 2 Due Sept 29.
Final Project Assigned
Game Pitches
Oct 6 Term Project: Game pitches to producers
Oct 13 & 15 Term Project: Update #1 The Door Problem (What is Game Design?)
Oct 20 & 22 Term Project: Update #2 Optimization Test Project
SXSW Keynote
Oct 27 & 29 Term Project: Update #3 In-class playtest #1
Nov 3 & 5 Term Project: Update #4 Producer Meeting
Nov 10 & 12 Term Project: Update #5 In-class playtest #2 Levitated Toy Factory
Nov 17 & 19 Term Project: Update #6
Nov 24 Guest Lecture: Ian Burch
Dec 1 & 3 Demo Day Final Project Due


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