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 divided into two tracks, each of which has its own prerequisites.

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.

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?

Game (60%)

Group Game Grade (30%)
This comes from two releases:
  • 10%: Newgrounds Release (Nov. 17th)
  • 20%: Kongregate Release (Dec. 3rd)
Note that the game counts for 60% of the final grade when the individual game grade is included.

Individual Game Grade (30%)

By default, this is the same as the group game grade. However, it may be adjusted by peer evaluations. Individuals that contributed more than the rest of the group may receive a higher grade. Individuals that contributed less than the group may receive a lower grade. Students who abandoned the group in the middle may receive very low scores.

Analytics (30%)

Group Analytics Grade (30%)
This comes from three postmortem presentations:
  • 5%: Friends Release Postmortems (Nov. 10th)
  • 10%: Newgrounds Release Postmortems (Nov. 24th)
  • 15%: Final (Kongregate Release) Postmortems (Dec. 12th)

Participation (10%)

Attendance, Participation, and Assignments Grade (10%)
Other assignments/sessions that are not included in the above categories, such as:
  • Pong/Asset Creation assignment (individual)
  • Attendance at playtesting and postmortem sessions (individual)
  • Game design document and revised plans (group)
  • Alpha, Beta, and Friends prototype submissions (group)
  • Alpha and Beta postmortem submissions (group)
These are mostly pass/fail grades and do not necessarily carry the same weight.

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?


What does CS 4154 count for?

Computer Science BS: Software Engineering Vector

Computer Science MEng: Elective

Game Design Minor: Required Course

Game Design Minor: Additional Course

What does INFO 4154 count for?

Information Science BS: Elective

Information Science MPS: Information Systems Track

Information Science MPS: Human and Social Systems Track

Game Design Minor: Required Course

Game Design Minor: Additional Course

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