Interactive Media & Game Development
Worcester Polytechnic Institute


Course Title: The Game Development Process
Course Number: IMGD-1001
Term A 2007

Meeting Info: AM Section: Mon., Tue., Thu., Fri. 11:00-11:50am, Salisbury Labs (SL), Room 104
PM Section: Mon., Tue., Thu., Fri. 1:00-1:50pm, Higgins Labs (HL), Room 116

Instructor (AM): Kent Quirk
E-Mail: kent_quirk at
AIM: kentquirk

Instructor (PM): Robert W. Lindeman
E-Mail: gogo at
Telephone: x6712

TAs: Can Ozmen (canozmen at
Jeff Zhou (jeffz at


Read each chapter during the week it is assigned. The readings discuss much more than can be covered in class, and we will cover things not in the books. You must come to class prepared!

Other helpful books:

Course Objectives:

This course is one of the three core courses of the IMGD program. The core courses are designed to provide students with the essential building blocks for learning how to create successful interactive experiences.

This course discusses the process of game development. It examines the roles of different participants in the development process and how technical and artistic development proceed in tandem. Group work is emphasized, especially the importance of collaboration between technical and artistic efforts. Students are expected to participate in game development using appropriate game development tools.

While playing video games has become very popular, actually building them requires the bringing together of various technical and artistic pieces.

It seems most people involved in game development first got into the field because they found creating games was at least as much fun as playing them. Hopefully you will feel this way too.

There are several objectives for this course:

There are many other things that must come together to make a successful game. Thankfully, you have four years, and a whole array of courses, within which to accumulate skills and experience in many of these.

Therefore, there are some things we won't be stressing in this course. The main ones include deep programming skills, and traditional detailed artistic skills. These and other topics will be covered in other courses, and your projects.

Here are the Final Projects that were produced by this class.


40% Two Exams
60% Projects


Attendance is required. If you have an unavoidable need to be absent from the lecture, you do not need special permission, but you are responsible for the work covered even if you are not in class.


The projects for this course consist of a set of game development assignments, designed to supplement the material covered in the lecture with practical experience. Some of the projects build on each other, so it is important that you don't fall behind.

Late Policy:

Projects are due at the specified date and time.
Late projects will be penalized 10% for each 24-hour period after the due date/time. Whether a project is 3 hours or 20 hours late, it will be graded down by 10%. You will be given adequate time to complete each project, if you start when it is assigned. Projects will be turned in electronically, and the date/time received will be used to determine any late penalty. PLEASE do not miss class in order to finish up a project.


Exams will be closed book and closed note. If you read the books, keep up with the projects, ask questions in class, and study hard, you should have no problem with the exams. Participation in the exams is mandatory. See the instructor if you expect not to be available on the exam dates.

Office Hours:

You do not need an appointment to come to office hours; just show up and take your turn. Office hours (the lecturers' and the TA's) are an important way for you to get help or to discuss anything you have on your mind. We are there to help you; that is an important part of our jobs. Please make good use of these hours. You are cheating yourself if you do not. The table at the bottom shows the times of the office hours.

Discussion Boards:

There is a place on MyWPI for this course, and you are encouranged to post your questions there, and to look for answers there. We will be using this heavily during the course for clarifications, corrections, etc. Please take advantage of this as well.


Questions and discussion are highly encouraged throughout the lecture hours. The best way to reach the instructors is by using e-mail.

The IMGD lab (AK 120D) can be used for this course, and the latest version of Game Maker (7.0) has been installed there. It will also be installed shortly in Kaven 202 and 207. The rest of the labs on campus should have version 6.1 in stalled. Both versions should work fine, though 7.0 is more robust (read: it doesn't crash as much ;-)

Class Conduct:

This course is intended for serious students. Participants will be expected to adhere to all rules of professional behavior.

Individual projects are expected to be done individually. As such, students are encouraged to discuss their work with each other, but are also expected to do the work by themselves.

Any breach of professional ethics as evidenced, for example, by copying exams or projects, downloading code from the Internet, cooperating in more than discussions and study groups, misusing computer resources, or using outside help of any kind, will be considered adequate reason for an NR in the course.

Group projects are designed so that every member gains a significant amount of new material. In the workplace, each team member is expected to contribute. Participants in group projects in this course should keep this in mind, and act accordingly. In evaluating each group, all team members will be asked to distribute a fixed set of "points" to the rest of their team, based on how much each member contributed.

It is to be emphasized that knowledge of material and professional behavior are tied together; failure in one of them negates any excellence in the other. Students who stay in the course past the first three days agree to adhere to the strictest rules of professional behavior.

The official WPI statements on Academic Honesty can be accessed at Those who have any doubt about what that means, and fail to gain that understanding after a discussion with the instructor, are encouraged to drop this class. Remember this warning - any breach of ethics will earn you an NR.

Course Schedule:

Week Dates Lecture Topic Notes Readings Projects
1 08/23-08/24 Administration; Intro to the Game Development Process; Game Industry Roles 01 pdf
02 pdf
RABIN: Sec. 7.2, 7.3
OVERMARS: Good Games
Fri. 08/24: Project 1a, b & c ASSIGNED
2 08/27-08/31 Design Week: What is a Game? Structure; The Flow; Game Design Documents; Level Design 03 pdf
04 pdf
05 pdf
06 pdf
OVERMARS: Good Games
RABIN: Sec. 2.1, 2.2
OXLAND: Ch. 18
ROLLINGS: Ch. 3 & 5
Sun. 08/26: Project 1a DUE
Tue. 08/28: Project 1b DUE
Thu. 08/30: Project 1c DUE
3 09/03-09/07 Level Design; Art-Week 1: Art Content; How Artists Work 07 pdf
Video1 (1.4MB)
Video2 (2.1MB)
Video3 (37MB)
Video4 (47MB)
08 pdf
09 pdf

Tue. 09/04: Project 2 ASSIGNED
4 09/10-09/14 Art Week 2: 2D/3D Art; File Formats; 3D Art; Tools; Sound Design
10 pdf
11 pdf
12 pdf
OMERNICK: Forward, Ch. 1 & 2
Sun. 09/09: Project 2 DUE
Tue. 09/11: Project 3 ASSIGNED
5 09/17-09/21 Tech Week 1: Platforms; Software Engineering; Game Architectures 13 pdf
14 pdf
15 pdf
16 pdf
RABIN: Sec. 3.1, 3.2
Mon. 09/17: Project 3 DUE
Mon. 09/17: Project 4 ASSIGNED
6 09/24-09/28 Tech Week 2: Programming; Debugging; Attacking a Programming Problem 17 pdf
18 pdf
19 pdf
20 pdf
RABIN: Sec. 3.3, 3.5, 5.3
Mon. 09/24: Project 4 DUE
Mon. 09/24: Project 5 ASSIGNED
7 10/01-10/05 Production and Team Management; Q/A; Post-mortem Examples 21 pdf
22 pdf

Thu. 10/04: Project 5 DUE
8 10/08-10/11 MON/TUE: Final Presentations

Schedule for Office Hours:

Note: All TA office hours will be held in Fuller Labs A21 (the sub-basement). Rob Lindeman's office hours will be in his office in FL-144. Kent Quirk's office hours will be held in FL-239.

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Kent's Office Hours

:30 Kent's Office Hours
Kent's Office Hours
10:00 Rob's Office Hours


11:00 IMGD 1001 (am)
IMGD 1001 (am)

IMGD 1001 (am)
IMGD 1001 (am)

1:00 IMGD 1001 (pm)
IMGD 1001 (pm)

IMGD 1001 (pm)
IMGD 1001 (pm)
2:00 Jeff's Office Hours

Rob's Office Hours

Jeff's Office Hours

Can's Office Hours
Can's Office Hours
Can's Office Hours



Jeff's Office Hours



Main Web Resources

Previous Offerings

In case this inspires you on what (or what not) to do, here are the final games produced by the previous offering of this class: