Frequently Asked Questions
and Frequently Answered Answers
Who can take the course, and what are the prerequisites?
CS/INFO 3152 is primarily divided into two tracks, each of which has its own
All programmers must have taken CS 2110. Programmers need to understand Java
and Eclipse. In addition, game programming involves the creation of a lot of custom
data structures. We recommend that your team's Lead Architect be chosen from someone
who has taken CS 3110.
Designers should have some ability with graphic design or drawing, and
(preferably) experience with Photoshop or Illustrator. We are primarily interested
in technical ability; the requirements for artistic ability are not very high.
INFO 2450 is also highly recommended.
In previous semesters, we allowed musicians to take the class. While you are
still welcome to work on original music for your game, everyone must still sign up for
one of the two tracks above. In particular, the track determines the
labs that you must take.
Students enrolled in the CS course must take the programming track. INFO
students are allowed to choose either track.
How is the course graded?
This course is project-based. Therefore, the majority of the grading will be at the
group level. To make sure that individuals are assessed fairly, we have a sophisticated
assessment policy to determine your contribution to the team. Part of your grade is
assigned individually, while the other part of your grade is assigned as a group (e.g.
all members receive the same grade, regardless of effort).
Game Grade (25%)
The game grade is determined entirely at
Showcase, and reflects the
quality of your finished product on the following scale.
D's and F's are for extreme problems and handled on a case-by-case basis.
Course Documents (20%)
A: Game is well-made and fun to play
B: Game is stable, but less fun than it could be
C: Game is not fun at all, or too buggy to play
As part of the development cycle, you will write many specification documents. These are
graded writing-seminar style, with many opportunities for revision.
Every two weeks, your group will present an the progress that you have made on your game.
Initial presentations are graded pass-fail. Later presentations are graded according to how
your group responded to earlier feedback.
Game Grade (25%)
By default this is the same as your group game grade. However, it may be adjusted by your
peer evaluations in CATME. Individuals that contributed
the most work or the most vision may receive a higher grade. Individuals that cause
conflict or create "negative work" will receive lower grades. D's and F's are reserved
for individuals that abandon their group in the middle of the project.
Game Labs (20%)
These labs from the first four weeks of class serve as a "boot-camp" for the game development
issues in your area of expertise. They also help us gauge your individual ability as we give
your group guidance throughout the semester.
Attendance and Reports (5%)
We will not take attendance every class. In particular, we will not take attendance during
lectures. But attendance is mandatory during in-class presentations whether your group
is presenting or not. Critiquing the work of your classmates is an important part
of this course.
In addition, every student is expected to make regular reports through
CATME. This will be part of the
two week report
at the end of each milestone. Students who do not fill out these reports will
Do I have to take ENGRC 3152?
All students enrolled in either CS or INFO 3152 must take the companion course
There is no extra meeting time for this course. It is part of the discussion sections
for this class. Students who do not enroll in this course will be dropped from the main
This course will have its own grade, but it will not have any additional assignments.
Instead, it will be graded on a subset of the factors listed above.
- Course Documents (70%)
- Presentations (15%)
- Attendance and Reports (15%)
As these are often the highest grades that you will be assigned in the course, we expect
students to make higher grades in the ENGC course than in the main course.
Who owns the games made in this class?
Your group retains all ownership of any game that you make in this class. It is Cornell
policy that students own their own work. You are free to make derivative works and
commercialize any project that you create.
However, as a student in this class, you agree to give Cornell a non-exclusive license
for the game as it is submitted at
Cornell has the right to distribute that version of the game (and only that version) for
promotional and non-commercial purposes.
How does the academic integrity policy apply to this class?
All students are reminded that they are expected to adhere to the
academic integrity policy for any course
at Cornell. The primary concern in this course is the improper use of copyrighted
materials. You may not use any material — such as software libraries, art, or
music — that prohibits Cornell from distributing your game non-commercially.
Improper usage of copyrighted materials is a violation of the code of academic integrity,
and will be treated as such.
This is particularly important if you use the
Newgrounds Audio Library
to add audio and music to your game. You must follow the licensing terms for any
material that you use. Most of the time, this requires credit in your game. In
that case, you must credit the rights holder in both you game manual and in
the game itself.
When and where does the class meet?
Because we are still waiting on them to finish our spiffy new classroom in the Upson
renovation, we are out in the hinterlands this year: Savage 200. Savage Hall
is the Nutritional Sciences building next to Bailey Hall. This is the location of
our lectures MWF 10:10-11:15.
Why are we in this room? Because we need a room with tables and chairs that supports
a projector and will hold 72 people. On the Engineering Quad, the only room like this
is Olin 245 until the Upson renovation is done. We have highest priority for the new
The labs are held in Uris CL3. This class used to use this lab for
many years before the move to Gates Hall. As Gates has become more and more crowed
with the huge increase in majors, CL3 has been newly renovated for this
class. In addition, we have access to this lab after hours for design meetings.
How do project teams work?
Students work in teams of about 5-6 people. As a general rule, each team should have
at least a character designer, a UX designer, and three programmers. One of the
programmers will have taken 3110, as we find that this is a necessary pre-requisite to
be a lead programmer.
The course staff picks the teams by matching people according to the interests they
indicate. The staff also tries to accommodate "pre-made" teams, but we cannot guarantee
that you will always be able to work with a particular person. Experienced artists, in
particular, are a precious commodity and often need to be reassigned to balance out teams.
Does this course fulfill the technical writing credit?
In the past CS/INFO 3152 fulfilled the School of Engineering's technical writing credit.
However, that is now fulfilled by the companion course
You will satisfy the technical writing requirement for taking that class. However, all
students must take ENGC 3152, even those that do not need technical writing credit.
What does CS/INFO 3152 count for?
This course satisfies a lot of requirements, which is one of the things that makes it so
popular (well, that and games). You should be sure to sign up for the version of the
course that best meets your needs.
Both the CS and INFO courses count towards the primary course in the
at Cornell. The companion course
requirement in the School of Engineering.
The CS course is one of the special electives for the
graphics vector in the
computer science major. You cannot take the INFO course and satisfy this vector requirement.
The INFO course may count as an elective in either the Information Systems track
or the Human-Centered Systems track. You may chose either track regardless of your role
on your team (e.g. designers who do no programming may still get Information Systems credit).
Can I be a TA?
We employ undergraduates TA as staff to help us deal with the course. Each year we look
for 3 - 4 programming TAs and 1 or 2 designer TAs. We will take students that have
completed CS/INFO 3152, but give priority to students that have finished CS/INFO 4152
as well. To become a TA, fill out the
in the Fall semester. Applications for Spring courses close at the end of November.
For other questions, please check out the labs, homeworks, and past projects on this site
and the GDIAC site, or contact the