CS 4154: Analytics-driven Game Design

Frequently Asked Questions
and Frequently Answered Answers

Who can take the course, and what are the prerequisites?

CS 4154 is primarily divided into two tracks, each of which has its own prerequisites.

Programmers
CS 2110. While the programming in this course is in Flash/ActionScript3, and not Java, these languages are similar enough that you should be able to get up to speed quickly. See the course resources or the TA if you need more help.

Designers
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 highly recommended.

How is the course graded?

This course is project-based. 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).

Group Grade

Game Grade (30%)
The game grade, determined in part by performance on online game websites, reflects the quality of your finished product on the following scale.
  • 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
D's and F's are for extreme problems and handled on a case-by-case basis.

Presentations, Postmortems, and Group Work (30%)

Individual Grade

Game Grade (30%)
By default this is the same as your group game grade. However, it may be adjusted by your peer evaluations. Individuals that contributed more than the rest of the group may receive a higher grade. Individuals that contribute less than the group may receive a lower grade. Ds and Fs are reserved for individuals that abandon their group in the middle of the project.

Attendance, Participation, and Individual Assignments (10%)

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. 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?

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:10-11:25, in Snee 1150.


How do project teams work?

Students usually work in teams of about 5-6 people. 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'll 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?

No.


What does CS 4154 count for?

Talk to Walker White. This is complicated because this class is being offered for the first time.


For other questions, please check out the labs, homeworks, and past projects on this site and the GDIAC site, or contact the course staff.