CSCI 370
Interactive Game Development


TR 9:45am - 11:00am


MC Reynolds 316 (MARS)


Dr. Mark Goadrich
(501) 450-1367
Office Hours

background image from Fantasy Map Generator


An introduction to contemporary tools and algorithms for building interactive games. Students will learn fundamental design mechanics and implement a substantial development project. Topics may include steering and flocking behavior, path finding algorithms, finite state machines, behavior trees, alpha-beta pruning, Monte Carlo Tree Search, shaders, 3D modeling, animation, procedural content generation, and the intersection of games and society. Prerequisite: CSCI 151

Learning Goals

Upon completing this course, our goals are for you to be able to:


Additional Resources

In-Class Code

Here is a link to the repository for our in-class demonstrations.


[Adapted from Spencer Bagley and David Clark, via Robert Talbert]

CSCI 370 uses a real-world policy on due dates—but this may not mean what you think! In the real real world, due dates exist but they are often not ironclad. Assignments have due dates to help you make progress in the course and solidify your knowledge before moving on to something new. Your life and schedule may not perfectly coincide with the due dates I have chosen. If you need more time to get the job done well, you email whoever set the deadline to ask if you can have more time. Studies have shown that deadline extension requests—in moderation and when truly needed—often lead to better employee evaluations (not to mention better work). [See Go Ahead and Ask for More Time on that Deadline by Ashley Williams.]

If you need an extension on a due date, email me and explain what you need, and it will probably be fine. It helps if you propose a concrete new deadline (e.g. “I can get it done by 5pm on Wednesday”). If you ask for lots of extensions, we’ll work together to find a way to help you keep up. Note, however, that late submissions may not receive feedback as quickly as on-time submissions.

If you have significant extenuating circumstances that cause you to miss multiple deadlines, please come to office hours to discuss broader accommodations. I’m happy to be flexible, but it helps to know what you need so I can figure out the best way to help.

If you would like to improve an assignment after it has been graded and improve your grade, you may revise and resubmit the assignment until you do. This must be within two weeks of receiving feedback. If you need more than two weeks, you must schedule a meeting with me to discuss your reasons for the delay.


# Name
1 Introduction to Unity
2 Game Aesthetics
3 2D Platformers
4 3D Models and Shaders
5 NPCs, Pathfinding and Steering

Much of your experience with game development in this course will be through labs for making games every other week. Each lab will be assigned with time allotted to work through the materials.

On these labs, you will work with partner(s) on the lab assignments. Their name must be listed on any code you hand in as joint work. A partnership should only turn in a single copy of the assignment.

Presentations and Streaming


Throughout the semester, you will be learning how to stream yourself playing video games, using Twitch. To help you understand different game genres, mechanics, aesthetics, narratives, and player motivations, for each topic you will broadcast yourself playing one of the games for that topic, plus one more game from this list of your choice.

A Complete stream will

A Partially Complete stream is missing no more than one of these elements, otherwise the stream is Incomplete.


You and a partner will be presenting to the rest of the class on a tool that can be used with Unity to enhance your games. This will not be a presentation with slides, but a live demonstration of the tool. You should choose something interesting to demonstrate for your tool, yet small enough that it can be accomplished in your time limit. After 8 minutes, your presentation will be over.

You will be using your own laptops to present, so you can practice as much as you want. Practice is essential for a good presentation. Your laptop must be able to project for our classroom, please test this before class.

A Complete Tool-torial presentation will

A Partially Complete presentation is missing no more than one of these elements, otherwise the presentation is Incomplete.


You will have one large final project in this course, starting in the second half of the semester, developing a larger-scale game in coordination with a subject-matter expert (SME) relevant to ???. The ultimate goal is for the games you develop to be used by future students in Arkansas as part of their courses. This project will build on concepts we have discussed in class and in labs. More details of the project can be found here.

Checkins and Participation

Three times throughout the semester, you are expected to make an office hours appointment. A Complete checkin will also include conversation and feedback about your current progress and understanding.

You are expected to participate in classroom exercises and discussions to reflect on the course material.

Also, please complete the CSCI Survey so I can better understand your situation and motivations for taking this course.

Specifications Grading Scale

A Level Work

B Level Work

C Level Work

D Level Work


It is my ultimate goal for this course, and my teaching, to develop your academic skills, advance your learning of computer science concepts, and support the liberal arts in general. To do so will require commitments from myself and from you toward meeting this goal.

Active Participation

I will be prepared and on time for class each day, ready to use class time to help you understand the course material. I will respectfully listen to, understand, and answer questions asked in class.

You are expected to attend class and actively participate in discussions every day, answering questions, asking questions, presenting material, etc. Your participation will be respectful of your classmates, both of their opinions and of their current point in their educational journey, as we each approach the material with different backgrounds and contexts.

Constructive Feedback

I will keep office hours and be available for outside appointments, and respond to emails within one business day (not including weekends). I will provide feedback on group presentations within one day. For exams, projects, and homeworks, I will provide graded feedback within two weeks.

You are encouraged to provide constructive comments for improving this course for furthering your learning throughout the semester. There will be an opportunity for anonymous course feedback at the end of the term, in which I hope you all participate. Through your feedback I can improve this course and others for future students.

Academic Integrity

I will abide by the above syllabus and grade your work fairly.

As stated in the Hendrix Academic Integrity Policy, all students have agreed to adhere to the following principles:

  • All students have an equal right to their opinions and to receive constructive criticism.
  • Students should positively engage the course material and encourage their classmates to do the same.
  • No students should gain an unfair advantage or violate their peers' commitment to honest work and genuine effort. It follows that any work that a student submits for class will be that student's own work. The amount of cooperation undertaken with other students, the consistency and accuracy of work, and the test-taking procedure should adhere to those guidelines that the instructor provides.
  • Members of the Hendrix community value and uphold academic integrity because we recognize that scholarly pursuits are aimed at increasing the shared body of knowledge and that the full disclosure of sources is the most effective way to ensure accountability to both ourselves and our colleagues.
More details of our departmental stance on integrity can be found in the Hendrix Computer Science Academic Integrity Policy

Learning Accomodation

I will make this classroom an open and inclusive environment, accommodating many different learning styles and perspectives.

Any student seeking accommodation in relation to a recognized disability should inform me at the beginning of the course. It is the policy of Hendrix College to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal and state law. Students should contact Julie Brown in the Office of Academic Success (505.2954; to begin the accommodation process.

Physical and Mental Health

I am willing to work with you individually when life goes off the rails.

Coursework and college in general can become stressful and overwhelming, and your wellness can be impacted when you least expect it. You should participate in self-care and preventative measures, and be willing to find support when you need it.

  • The Office of Counseling Services welcomes all students to see a counselor in a private and safe environment regardless of their reasons for making an appointment. Counseling services are available to all Hendrix students at no cost.
  • Student Health Services provides free healthcare to Hendrix students. Services are provided by an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in collaboration with a local physician.

The Offices of Counseling Services and Student Health Services are located in the white house behind the Mills Center for Social Sciences at 1541 Washington Avenue.