WPI Worcester Polytechnic Institute


The Game Development Process

ID 111x
C-term 2005

This course discusses the process of game development. It examines the roles of different participants in the development process and how the technical development and the 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.

(Here are the The Final Games produced by the class.)


Course Information


Professor: Mark Claypool
email: claypool at cs.wpi.edu
office hours: TBA
place: Fuller Labs, room 138
phone: x5409

Teaching Assistant: Paolo Piselli
email: ppiselli at wpi.edu
office hours: Mo 2-3, Tu 5-6, Th 3-4, Fr 3-4
place: Movie Lab, Gordon Library
phone: ???

Email aliases:
prof + TA: id111x-ta at cs.wpi.edu
class: id111x-all at cs.wpi.edu

Time and Place


There will be no formal text-book for the course. Instead, chapters selected from several text books will be made available.

Here are some good textbooks for Game Development related work:

Grading Policy


Final grades will be computed as follows:

The grading policy for each project will be provided at the time of the assignment. In general, each assignment will have a basic objective for the majority of the assignment points. There may be an extended objective for demonstrating additional work and understanding.

Final grades will reflect the extent to which you have demonstrated understanding of the material, and completed the assigned projects. The base level grade will be a "B" which indicates that the basic objectives on assignments and exams have been met. A grade of an "A" will indicate significant achievement beyond the basic objectives and a grade of a "C" will indicate not all basic objectives were met, but work was satisfactory for credit. No incomplete grades will be assigned unless there exist exceptional, extenuating circumstances. Similarly, no makeup exams will be given unless there exist exceptional, extenuating circumstances.

Late Policy

Late projects will be be penalized 10% of total assignment value per day (with the weekend counting as one day) or partial day, and no assignments will be accepted after seven days beyond the due date. All projects are due at midnight due date. Projects turned in after that time will be counted late. Projects will be submitted as directed in class. Exceptions to these rules can be made only beforehand.


Cheating ... don't do it. Cheating, either by taking credit for work you did not do or getting unauthorized help on projects or exams, is a serious offense. Punishment is in an automatic NR for the course. Note, discussion among students and even sanctioned group work is encouraged, but blatant copying of code, without attribution of sources, is not allowed. When in doubt, ask!


Here is the list of topics covered in this course:


Slides from the in-class lectures will be available shortly after they are presented, depending upon how things go. Here is what we have so far:

Admin pdf ppt
Introduction pdf ppt
Documentation pdf ppt
Game Design pdf ppt
Art pdf ppt
Audio pdf ppt
Architecture pdf ppt
Postmortem pdf ppt
Project 1 pdf ppt
Project 2 pdf ppt
Project 3 pdf ppt
Project 4 pdf ppt
Project 5 pdf ppt
The Pitch pdf ppt
Game Fest pdf ppt

Jeffery LeBlanc, Senior Systems Engineer, Integrated Computer Solutions (ICS), Inc. Jeff holds both a BS ('89) and an MS ('91) in Computer Science from WPI. He is currently a Senior Systems Engineer and Technical Trainer at ICS in Cambridge, MA, where he focuses on on Interface Design and GUI Toolkits. Jeff has been an avid player of computer games ever since he convinced his parents to buy that first Atari system. Currently, he spends his spare deal keeping the streets safe from super villains in "City of Heroes".

Ichiro Lambe, Founder and Principal Designer, Dejobaan Games. Ichiro has been developing commercial software since 1988, with experience ranging from co-developing an early online game, Final Frontier, to joining the award-winning Legends of Future Past development team, to co-founding Worlds-Apart Productions. In 1999, he founded Dejobaan Games, which has developed 9 titles for handheld and desktop platforms. The company most recently launched Inago Rage in November, 2004. (slides, trailer)

Bruce Reilly, President of Mass Bay Marketing LLC. Bruce has been working on in the video game business for over 15 years. His early efforts included publishing, developing and selling Nintendo, Sony and Sega games for Sunsoft of America where he was Vice President of Sales. He later headed TerraGlyph Interactive Studios as the acting president, developing a line of children's software. In 1999, Bruce joined Mass Bay Marketing, an entrepreneurial organization that handles video game distribution. Bruce received a B.S. and an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University in 1978 and 1985, respectively. (slides)


The projects are the game development related assignments you will have for the course. I encourage you to work in groups of 2 or 3 for the projects. Working in groups will give you valuable "real-world" experience as well as provide you with a "built in" source for help. Do remember, however, that all exams will be taken alone. Make sure each group member understands the projects completely!


In this section are any samples discussed in class, practice exams or any other demonstration-type class materials. Samples will be updated soon after the discussion in class begins.


Miscellaneous links on Game Design:

A list of some of the tools available to help build games:

Some game-related industry conventions:

Some game-related research conferences:

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Mark Claypool (claypool at cs.wpi.edu)