Stan Kurkovsky, PhD
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Agile Game Development

CS 415 - Spring 2016

Catalog description

Prerequisites: CS 253. An introduction to the fundamental concepts of computer game programming. Students design and develop original computer games applying proven game design and software engineering principles. Topics include computer graphics and animation, elements of artificial intelligence, game-specific algorithms, human-computer interaction, as well as principles of physics and mathematics for collision detection and object interaction.


Dr. Stan Kurkovsky, Professor of Computer Science
MS 303-08
(860) 832-2720
(860) 832-2712
Office hours
MW 12:00-1:30 pm, TR 11:00-12:00 noon, or by appointment
Class meetings
TR 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm @ SSH 126

Textbook and other things you will need

  • Agile Game Development with Scrum, by Clinton Keith. Addison Wesley, 2010, ISBN 0321618521
  • Instructor's web site available at and other web sites recommended by the instructor

Course learning outcomes

Program educational objectives and student outcomes are supported by the following course learning outcomes achieved by students upon a successful completion of this course:

  1. Hypothesize about the benefits and limitations of agile practices for game development (i);
  2. Evaluate and prioritize the features of a software project based on the stakeholder needs (c);
  3. Solve problems caused by limited resources and/or limited time (k);
  4. Estimate the time and resources required to accomplish specific tasks (b);
  5. Prioritize specific efforts and/or elements relative to the production goal (j);
  6. Play an effective role in a small software development team (d);
  7. Produce a computer game using modern development technologies (a).

Tentative schedule

Please note that this schedule may change as we progress through the course material

Week 1: January 18 - January 22

  • January 18 - MLK Day
  • Topic: Introduction
    Agile game: Marshmallow challenge
  • Topic: Agile Development

Week 2: January 25 - January 29

  • Topic: Agile Development
    Agile game: Pocket-sized principles
  • Agile game: Death match

Week 3: February 1 - February 5

  • Topic: Scrum
  • Agile game: The Herculean Donut

Week 4: February 8 - February 12

  • Topic: Sprints
  • Agile game: The World of Goo deconstructed

Week 5: February 15 - February 19

Week 6: February 22 - February 26

  • Midterm #1
  • Topic: Agile planning
    Agile game: Celebrity prioritization

Week 7: February 29 - March 4

Week 8: March 7 - March 11

Week 9: March 14 - March 18

Week 10: March 21 - March 25

  • Spring Break

Week 11: March 28 - April 1

Week 12: April 4 - April 7

  • Project: Sprint #1 review
  • Project: Sprint #2 planning

Week 13: April 11 - April 15

Week 14: April 18 - April 22

  • Project: Sprint #2 review
  • Project: Sprint #3 planning

Week 15: April 25 - April 29

  • Topic: Agile design

Week 16: May 2 - May 4

  • Project: Sprint #3 review

Final: May 10

  • Final exam: Tuesday, May 10, 11:00 - 1:00 pm


Midterm exams are non-cumulative and are designed as elementary evaluation devices and to prompt the student to stay abreast of assigned topics. Make-up tests may only be given if a student can provide a written proof of a serious reason for missing a test (such as illness or accident).

Final exam

Final exam is a cumulative objective test of representative content of the entire semester's course offerings.

Course project

While working on the course project, students will use the knowledge and skills obtained in this course covering many if not all of the course topics. Working in teams, students will design, implement and document a computer game.

Catme will be used to gauge individual student contributions to the work of their teams. Members of each team will have several opportunities to provide feedback to each other. Results of the last assessment provided by catme will be used as a multiplier for the project grade to determine the grade of each individual student.

Academic misconduct

All students are expected to demonstrate integrity in the completion of their coursework. Academic integrity means doing one's own work and giving proper credit to the work and ideas of others. It is the responsibility of each student to become familiar with what constitutes academic dishonesty and plagiarism and to avoid all forms of cheating and plagiarism. Students who engage in plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct will face academic and possibly disciplinary consequences. Academic sanctions can range from a reduced grade for the assignment to a failing grade for the course. From a disciplinary standpoint, an Academic Misconduct Report may be filed and a Faculty Hearing Board may impose sanctions such as probation, suspension or expulsion.

For further information on academic misconduct and its consequences, please consult the Student Code of Conduct and the Academic Misconduct Policy.


All students are expected to attend class sessions regularly. However, recognizing individual differences, each student is responsible for his/her own attendance and for making-up any missed study or work. Limited assistance will be offered to those with plausible reasons for absences; unexcused absences will result in the student being totally responsible for the make-up process.

Help with computers

The University offers some student assistants who may be of value in helping students with basic computer functionality only, not with program writing.

Students with disabilities

Please contact me privately to discuss your specific needs if you believe you need course accommodations based on the impact of a disability, medical condition, or if you have emergency medical information to share. I will need a copy of the accommodation letter from Student Disability Services in order to arrange your class accommodations. Contact Student Disability Services, Willard Hall, 101-04 if you are not already registered with them. Student Disability Services maintains the confidential documentation of your disability and assists you in coordinating reasonable accommodations with your faculty.

Grades and evaluation

Students will be evaluated regularly during the semester and should be aware of their progress continuously during the semester. The final course grade will be reported according to the stated University policy.

The final course grade will be calculated according to the following distribution of points:

Analysis paper        10
Game proposal        5
Course project     30
Midterm 1     25
Midterm 2     25
Atendance            5
Total 100

Course letter grade will be determined as follows:

A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
94-100 90-93.99 87-89.99 84-86.99 80-83.99 77-79.99 74-76.99 70-73.99 67-69.99 64-66.99 60-63.99 0-59.99