"It does not make much difference what a person studies --

all knowledge is related, and the man who studies anything, if he keeps at it, will become learned."


Course Information

Video Game Design & Development

Students will learn the concepts of developing computer-based games in an inter-disciplinary learning environment by combining their programming skills with mathematical, scientific, and interpersonal skills. As part of this course, students will be exposed to all phases of the development process including, problem identification, analysis, criteria definition, constraints, goals, design, coding, testing and delivery.


These are the books we will be using in class to learn the Game Maker software. If you would are serious about making games and would like to have your own copy, I have included the Amazon links below.


The Game Maker's Apprentice

Jacob Habgood and Mark Overmars, Apress 2006

ISBN-13: 978-1-59059-615-9

Amazon Link, ($26.39)

The Game Maker's Companion

Jacob Habgood, Nana Nielsen, Kevin Crossley and Martin Rijks, Apress 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1430228264

Amazon Link, ($26.39)



This is a project-based course which requires a computer with specialized software. Any absences will have a significant negative impact on your learning, and in our collaborative work, your absence will also impact the rest of your team. Per the Student Handbook,during any given semester, you may accrue up to eight absences from any class. After 8 absences for a course during each semester, you will not receive credit for the semester pending an appeal. The following are considered excused absences and will not count against you in regard to the attendance policy:

  • School Sponsored Events – Confirmed by rosters, teachers and advisors.
  • Bereavement – Confirmed by a parent note or phone call.
  • Religious Requirements - Confirmed by a parent note or phone call.
  • College Visits (maximum three days per year) - Confirmed by a parent note or phone call.
  • Court Appointments – Confirmed by written court documentation.
  • Family Vacations (maximum three days per year) - Notification by a parent prior to the vacation.
  • Guidance and/or special education meetings- Confirmed by the counselor or case manager.

Absence Limit

After four (4) absences for a course during the semester, your parent/guardian will receive a phone call from me. The attendance coordinator will follow up with you on additional absences as well as your guidance counselor. If you reach 8 absences for this course during this semester, the attendance coordinator will notify your parent/guardian via telephone and inform you about the appeal process. Despite your risk of losing credit, you will remain in class until the end of the semester and will be responsible for the same high expectations of behavior and academic performance.

Three (3) tardies to class will also equal one absence, as will missing more than 25 minutes of a class period. Excessive and/or frequent tardiness may result in referral to administration for disciplinary consequences. It is your responsibility to request and make-up all work in a timely fashion. Remember that students who are unexcused tardy, cutting class or truant from school will not have the right to receive credit for missed work.

Academic Integrity

It is expected, as in all academic endeavours, that your work is either work done for tutorial purposes or your own original material, and that the use of any work belonging to others is cited appropriately. For purposes of copyright, all materials found online are to be considered the intellectual property of their respective author(s). This includes not only text, but audio, video and other web-based media. Even derivative work (new works derived or made from the original works of others) is protected by copyright unless permission has been obtained either in writing or through the author's implementation of a Creative Commons license.

Cell Phones & Electronic Devices

Unless used for specific classroom objectives (as determined by me), cell phones are not permitted to be out in the open. If the cell phone presents a challenge for you to manage, I will assist you by holding on to it until class is over. The use of iPods and other music devices will be permitted when we are working on individual projects. Understand that this is a privilege and not a right and requires respect for others which is demonstrated by the use of headphones and with the volume at a level which is not distracting to those around you. As with cell phones, if you are unable to manage your electronic devices, I will assist you by holding on to them until the end of the class period.

District Technology & Internet Policy

All student internet users will be introduced to the proper protocols to include:

  • Respect for privacy.
  • Dissemination of personal information.
  • Confidentiality of information and passwords.
  • Use of appropriate language.
  • Use of appropriate sites; sites with violent themes or content, sexually explicit themes or content, sites that advocate hatred, intolerance or contain language unsuitable for a school setting are not appropriate.
  • Proper adherence to applicable copyright laws.
  • Reasonable limitations of file space use.

The responsibility for proper use of the internet as outlined in this procedure rests with you. Anyone who accidentally accesses inappropriate materials is to immediately notify me. If you have any questions about a site, you have an obligation to ask me whether the site can be accessed. Chat rooms or similar sites are not to be accessed. Computer ‘hacking’ in all forms is prohibited. District technology equipment is not to be used to gain unauthorized access to other computers, networks or technology systems. Anyone attempting to gain unauthorized access to the District’s computer systems or network(s) may be subject to legal prosecution. You and your parents are liable for any acts of vandalism, theft or destruction, as well as any violation of copyright laws committed while using District technology resources. Likewise you will be held liable for any damage caused to remote equipment from unauthorized access, willful misuse or ‘hacking’. Misuse of the internet may result in disciplinary consequences and termination of access. As this is a computer based class, any termination of your access due to actions inside or outside of this class will have a significant negative impact upon your grade.

Missed Work Policy

Any missed work due to absence from class should be made up within one week of your return to school. See me to schedule a convenient time and to receive clarification on the expectations around the missed work. For any work not made up you will receive a zero.

Course Goals & Objectives

At the end of this course, the learner should be able to:

  • Understand the principles of design and development as they apply to the creation of video games
  • Demonstrate creativity and innovation by designing and creating their own original video game
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with team members
  • Demonstrate the ability to credit others for their contributions and protect one's own work through appropriate means (copyright, Creative Commons, public domain, etc.)
  • TBD


Classroom Contribution & Personal Reflection (30%) - Students are expected to contribute to their own learning and to the learning of others by actively participating in classroom activities. Participation will be assessed using the LHS Classroom Contribution Rubric. Learners will be expected to synthesize and refine their learning in a number of reflection postings. Learners will maintain an individual blog detailing their growth and development as the class progresses. Learners will employ categories to shape their knowledge management strategy. Original posts are due by midnight Friday of each week. Final reflections will assist the student in developing their electronic portfolios.

Individual Assignments, Quizzes & Tests [Summative Assessment] (30%) -

Individual and/or Collaborative Project(s) [Formative Assessment] (40%) - Learners will develop an activity requiring data cultivation, organization and collaborative development employing wiki technology. Learners will also explore a technology of their choice and contribute their findings to a larger class wiki that will grow to include contributions from future classes.

Class Schedule

Term Dates: 24 January 2011 - 10 June 2011

Location: Room 213A

Schedule Link

The semester begins on January 24th, and our first class will be held Monday at 12:30 p.m. in room 213A. The first class will be a review of this syllabus and a re-introduction to the world of games. Additional information regarding the class and assignments will be posted on this site.


This course was inspired in part by the following resources:


Why spelling matters (or, even g33ks can't stand poor grammar)

If the above link does not work due to the school filter, try this one.

Class progression: Launchie, Specialist, Toon Leader, Commander