CSC186: Video Game Development
Spring 2018

General Information

Instructor: Prof. Ted Pawlicki <>

Office: 2101 Wegmans Hall (see instructor website for office hours)

Lecture/Lab: Mon/Wed 1525-1640 in Gavett 208

Web: BlackBoard and

Questions? Head TA & Workshop super-leader:

Course Goals

This course is a hands on introduction to video game development using the UNREAL engine development environment. You will learn to construct video games by customizing templated systems. Topics covered include:

Details are available in the Course Calendar.

We learn by doing. Students should expect to spend time outside of lecture, lab, and workshop in order to master this material.


Any introductory computer programming course is strictly required : CSC161, CSC171, ECE114

Textbook & Resources

There is no required paper textbook. Out of class reading assignments will be taken from the official UNREAL Engine on line documentation.

The bulk of the assignments will require students to view tutorial videos found at :

Additional readings and resources:

Course Work

Class meets twice per week. Attendance is required on Mondays so that you can demo the week's project to other students and examine what other students have done. This will be a time for the whole class to meet and discuss techniques and challenges. Attendance is NOT required on Wednesdays.

There is an assignment for almost every week. These are exercises based on the week's video tutorial. You can get help getting started in lab/lecture and complete on your own time.


Late assignments without suitable prearranged excuse will not be accepted. Missed or late homework will receive a grade of ZERO.

Assignments handed in without a Monday demo will recieve 50% of what the grade would have been otherwise. You are not allowed to have another student demo your project for you. You must be present to review the work of other students in order to receive full credit. Review sessions cannot be made up.

Final course grades will be based on the following components and weights:

Weekly Technical Programming (15)75%
Written Game Concept assignments planning for final project (3)15%
Final Project10%

This scheme is subject to change at any time. Any changes will be announced in class.

Letter grades will follow the Official University of Rochester Grading Scheme. Note that the University scheme puts average somewhere between C and B. The following table is an estimate of how the numeric grades will map onto the letter grades (subject to change):

A: Excellent >=90%
B: Above Average >=80%
C: Minimum Satisfactory Grade >=70%
D: Minimum Passing Grade >=60%
E: Fail <60%

All appeals of grades for any component of the course (homework, project, quiz, exam, etc.) must be made within ONE WEEK of the grade being posted.

Course Policies

We hope that you will want to attend class (lab/lecture), but attendance is NOT required other than for the review sessions on Mondays. If you chose not to attend, you may miss important announcements or information about the course.

If you use your own computer, crashes, malfunctions, and catastrophic loss of files is NOT an excuse. Backup your files regularly to at least one external drive and/or cloud storage. You can always complete your assignments using the lab and IT Center computers.

Students with an appropriate excuse for missing a quiz, workshop, homework, or project deadline must make arrangements IN ADVANCE.

Students with an accommodation for any aspect of the course must make arrangements through the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) IN ADVANCE. Then, as instructed by CETL, contact the instructor to confirm your arrangements. Do not leave this until the last minute either.

Students who are unable to attend or complete any part of the course due to illness should contact the instructor AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Please note that the University Health Service (UHS) does not provide retroactive excuses for missed classes. Students who are seen at UHS for an illness or injury can ask for documentation that verifies the date of their visit(s) to UHS without mention of the reason for the visit. Students with extended or severe illness should contact the College Center for Advising Services (CCAS) for advice and assistance.

Academic Honesty and Collaboration

All assignments and activities associated with this course must be performed in accordance with the University of Rochester's Academic Honesty Policy. More information is available at:

You will learn the most if you do all the work in this course ON YOUR OWN.

Assignments including the final project are individual work and you must complete it individually. Your TAs are available in lab to help you with homework.

Collaboration on projects is permitted, subject to the following requirements:

Policy on Electronics

You may used your own computers. If you use your own computer, crashes, malfunctions, and catastrophic loss of files is NOT an excuse. Backup your files regularly to at least one external drive and/or cloud storage. You can always complete your assignments using the lab and IT Center computers.

NOTE : In past versions of this course, it has been found that most laptops are insufficiently powered to support the UNREAL development environment. This can result in laggy demos and demos that crash. You are encouraged to use the lab machines.

Please note Section V.7 of the College's Academic Honesty policy regarding Unauthorized Recording, Distribution or Publication of Course-Related Materials.

CSUG Tutoring

CSUG is the Computer Science Undergraduate Council. These students graciously volunteer their time to help other students, especially students in introductory and core courses.

CSUG Tutoring Schedule:

If you visit the CSUG tutors, please be respectful of their time and COME PREPARED. Try to solve the problem/question BEFORE going to CSUG Tutoring. Go to lab and work on the problem with the TAs BEFORE going to CSUG Tutoring. Go to workshop and discuss the problem with your colleagues BEFORE going to CSUG Tutoring. You MUST be able to show them what you have tried BEFORE you came to them.