Paladin, a cooperative VR videogame created in cs426 S16
by students Kamil Piekutowski, Maciej Szpakowski, Shi Yin (CS)
and Olga Ziminska (Writer).
All class-related information (including handouts, electronic readings, and assignments) should be accessed through the CS426 web portal located at:
For a quick view of results, please see the gallery of final projects: Gallery.
1:: Prerequisites and AttendancePrerequisites: CS251 (Data Structures).
The class meets Thu 3:30-6:00pm in ERF 2068 CyberCommons. Attendance is mandatory, as this course employs massively in-class exercises, presentations, discussion, and critiques. Class will start right on time, always with a quiz; being consistently late (e.g., 2 or more times) is subject to the ``fair-play`` penalty described in Section 9. :-)
On many class meetings, this class will have a restrictive policy regarding laptops and smart phones. Devices need to be off for the duration of class discussion and critiques, unless they are specifically requested by the staff for specific tutorials and exercises. We need you to be present, active and alert for the duration of the entire class.
While there is a wealth of gaming books available, few enough resources are dedicated to video game design and implementation for computer science and engineering majors. This does not mean that we will not read in this class; quite the contrary. However, most of the class readings will be online. We will read additional articles as necessary (electronic copies will be provided for these). The book we require for this class is:
Liz Marai, SEO 932
Email: gmarai at uic.edu
Office Hours: M 4pm-5pm, Th 6:30pm - 7pm or by appointment.
Graduate Teaching Assistant:
Juan Trelles Trabucco, ERF 2068
Email: jtrell2 at uic.edu
Office Hours: T 4pm-6pm, W 2:30pm-3:30pm, F 2pm-3pm or by appointment.
4:: Course Grade, Assignments, and Final Project
The course grade will be decided based on the following factors:
Classes will be divided among short lectures, discussions and debates,
in-class exercises, quizzes, design critiques, student
presentations, and group meetings.
Many of the assignments will be done in groups. Please note that in
this course, as in real life after graduation, whom you get to work
with for several exercises is determined by us/your project manager,
not by you. When appropriate, all members of a group will earn the
same grade, barring exceptional circumstances. We will closely monitor
member contributions to the group work, as well as repeatedly ask for
Your primary grade will come from the course projects. While the
class discussion and debates will not define your grade, your
performance on them can alter your grade (in particular, not paying
enough attention to them can cause you to lose a letter grade or
Sometimes you may think that you have been graded unfairly.
Please take this up with the TA who graded your assignment. If there is
still a problem, Dr. Marai is the final word in grading and will be
happy to hear what you have to say. Also, once the grades have gone out,
you will only be given two weeks to lodge a protest.
In other courses, students have tried to get points back on all of their
assignments in the last week of class, and though we would like to
promote fair grading, we would like to dismiss malintentioned hassling.
Our first priority is fairness (both to us and to you), so please do
complain about grades if you don't agree with them.
Last, but not least, this edition of CS426 emphasizes teamwork and
oral communication skills, both essential componens of game design and
implementation. This emphasis is reflected in both assignments and the
class participation component of the grade. To help define successful
oral communication, we provide two grading rubrics, one for student
presentations and the other one for class discussion (see Section 9
5:: Late Policy
We will not accept late assignments. The assignments will sometimes
be timed to coincide with a lecture on a topic, so completing the
assignment is crucial class preparation. After the class, the
assignment will have much less value. The more deadlines you make, and
the more serious the ones you keep, the better your
grade. An assignment that is 5 minutes late will receive 0 points.
You may not discuss the assignment with anyone outside of the
permitted group (by default, nobody else) with the sole exception of
the course staff.
7:: Academic Honesty
The University has an Academic Code that governs all our transactions.
In this course, we interpret this code as: All submitted work must be
your own. You may not submit as yours work done by a classmate, by a
friend, by someone on the internet etc. Always give proper credit. We expect
that you, as students and scholars, will abide by this faithfully and fully. Cheating in this
course will result in an F for the course.
8:: On Writing
We care about your ideas, and we also care equally deeply about the
quality of your writing. We care about spelling, capitalization,
punctuation, sentence construction, paragraphs, and so on. Avoid
passive speech except where appropriate. Extremely good ideas
expressed very poorly will earn a very poor grade.
9:: On Oral Communication and Discussion of Readings
We care equally deeply about the quality of your speech -- be it
during team communication, results
presentations, or deploying the game
for testing. We want you to be
successful, and to this end this
semester we provide grading rubrics
for class presentation and class
participation (see syllabus).
10:: Students With Disabilities
If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and the UIC Disability Resource Center (MC 321), 1200 West Harrison Street, 1190 SSB Chicago, IL 60607-7163 (312) 413-0886, as early as possible in the term. DRC will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course.
11:: Recording and Copyrights