CS 426 / CSC 4263 - Video Game Design and Development

Spring 2013

University of Illinois at Chicago
Louisiana State University

Version: January 20, 2013

Time: Fri, 3:00 - 5:30

Place: 2068 Engineering Research Facilities Bldg (ERF) on 842 W Taylor St.

Office Hours: Fri, 1:00 - 3:00


Jason Leigh

Office: Room 2032, Engineering Research Facilities Building
(842 W Taylor St)

Office Hours (2032 ERF):
Thursday 12-2pm

Robert Kooima

Louisiana State University

Kevin Cherry

Louisiana State University


Arthur Nishimoto

Office Hours (2068 ERF):
Tuesday & Thursday: 2-4p
Or by appointment.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of video game design and programming. Video game programming is one of the most challenging disciplines in Computer Science because it attempts to combine, in real time, concepts in: computer graphics, human computer interaction, networking, artificial intelligence, computer aided instruction, computer architecture, and databases.

In this class students will form project groups consisting of both CS and Art majors, to design, build and demonstrate a simple video game. Some of the topics you will learn include:

Warning: This class will take up a lot of your time. Do not expect to get an A in the class unless you are able to put in a lot of effort. It's a fun class but it's a lot of work!

This Year's Theme

Non violent video games. For example, games that are educational, relaxing, involve puzzle solving, or promote health.

Here are some just a few examples you can draw inspiration from:


Katamari Damacy

Echo Chrome

Neurosky-based Games



Required Course Materials

If you are a student taking this class, follow this link and sign up on Lore.

Join the class using this code: NGMU8K

Both undergrad and graduate CS students, as well as MFA students in Art, Communications etc, are encouraged to enroll. Undergrad students should have at least had CS 107 (Intro to Computing and Programming) and CS 201 (Data Structures). Art students should have at least some experience with using computers and software paint packages.


You need to own your own PC and a copy of the  software below to take the class. PC should have hardware 3D acceleration and sound card.


All students should read the purchase this stack of cards.

The Art of Game Design : A Deck of Lenses [Cards]

Purchase either the physical cards or the iPhone, Android app.


You need to order the following (or equivalent):


Course Schedule and Logistics

     Schedule for Spring 2013

EVL Guest Wireless

Go to this page and enter your information if you want access to EVL Guest wireless during class.

3D Modeling Tutorials

All students should learn a 3D modeling program because the artist will have more than they can handle while trying to create every asset the programmer wants. Programmers may have to make some basic objects themselves until the artist can create a final version.

Blender Tutorials - All students can access Blender's homepage tutorials here.

3ds Max Tutorials – Essential skill movies provided by Autodesk 3ds Max.

Maya Tutorials – Contains tutorials for Maya 2009, 2010, and 2011.

If you are a UIC student and trying to learn a 3D modeling program, whether it be 3Ds Max, Maya, or Blender, you can access Lynda.com tutorials through this website, scroll down to "How do I access tutorials?" and click the link and login with your UIC account and password. Once logged in you can search for tutorials on your own or click the links provided below.

Once logged into lynda.com click here for Blender tutorials.

Once logged into lynda.com click here for 3Ds Max tutorials.

Once logged into Lynda.com click here for Maya Tutorials.

Free Unity Tutorials

All objects and scripts from the Unity example projects can be used in your own game. So if you like a character, script, particle emitter, or any object, take it and use it in your own project.

Unity Tutorials - Start here by going through the Basics. Take a look at the Video Tutorials as well. Then try one of the step-by-step tutorials. Note: some of the tutorials use Unity 2 so the interface may be slightly different from what you see in Unity 3. So try to understand the concepts rather than remembering where the buttons are.


Sewer Control Room - Artists may want to check this out for Objects and Texture ideas.

First Person Shooter Tutorial - Helps the user construct their first project which includes the creation of a first person controller, projectiles, object rotation, particle systems, basic enemy AI, sound effects, and colliders.

3rd Person Shooter - (NOT A TUTORIAL) A good example project. Unity also lets you use their scripts and objects in your own games, so feel free to take anything from this game.

Students may also purchase a design3.com account and access more tutorials for Unity, 3ds Max, and Maya. Design3.com lets users watch the intro to tutorials to see if you think they are beneficial before you sign up.

Any questions about Unity? Students can Google it, post on the Unity forums at http://forum.Unity3D.com.