Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Game Development course in Spring 2012

I'll be offering a Game Development course in the Spring 2012 semester for computer science majors. The prereqs are Data Structures and OOP. This is the first time this course has been offered since fall 2009. Like the fall 2009 course, this one will use the XNA platform, the same platform used by Xbox and the new Windows Phone 7 OS.

I am considering structuring this course like my ongoing Android course. Students would be placed on two-man teams and would deliver a number of software engineering milestones in order to produce noteworthy games which could be released in the Xbox Live Marketplace as XBox Live Indie Games.

I'm also considering having our students compete in Microsoft's Imagine Cup or perhaps the Dream.Build.Play Challenge. These would be exciting programs to participate in, but I'm not sure if they would be something we could tackle in just a single semester.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Android student projects

The fall semester has turned out to be much busier than I anticipated, but I wanted to take a moment to write about the Android course that I'm teaching this semester. Although I've joint-taught an Android course before, I revamped the course to have more group work and focus more on software engineering principles by following the direction of David Janzen's Android course at Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo.

Seventeen upper level CS students are teaming up with 12 upper level Graphic Design majors to work on eight Android applications with the intention of releasing a working beta on the Android Market in December. The projects range from kid apps to useful utilities and everything in between. I'll share more details about the projects in a blog post later this semester.

This is the first time I've been able to coordinate a joint project with our graphic design students. Not only will the joint venture lead to better looking apps, but I believe my students will benefit greatly from having to interact with non-CS majors who use a different vocabulary and see software differently. I'm thankful to Stacy Schoen, a colleague of mine in the Dept of Art and Design, who is helping me in this experiment.