Game Programming Syllabus

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XNA Programming

36-1800 - Interactive Arts and Media: Topics* 3:30-6:20 Monday 1000 S Wabash Building RM 131

Columbia College Chicago 600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago IL

Instructor Name: jeff meyers Dept. Phone: (312) 369 7754
E-Mail Address: Office Phone: (312) 369 7754
Office/ Mailbox: 916 S Wabash Building RM 101
Office Hours: by apt 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM Mon - Fri
Class portal: Class website/TWiki:


Topics course focused on programming for XNA.

Course Description/Rationale

XNA Programming is a game programming course with a strong focus on developing good programming skills, design patterns and practical problem solving. This course will also focus on image/texture design and 3D mesh manipulations, trig and possible some linear algebra. All projects will stress good programming practices and design patterns. We will use interfaces, game components (strategy pattern implementation) and game services (singleton/factory) and may get to visual fx and HLSL (decorator patten), and input handling (observer pattern) and state management.


OOP or C++


  1. Focus on developing good programming skills
  2. Learn design patterns and practical problem solving
  3. Build simple 2D and 3D Games in XNA


In addition to the general work discussed above, your performance in this class is judged in part on participation, writing and critique assignments, exams, and the final project.

Assignments and Projects

Assignments and projects will be turned in as zipped Visual Studio Projects linked from your class website. The project that is turned in must build without and errors. I will not accept late assignments without prior permission. No assignments will be accepted after the end of the last class. Problems with computers (printers or emails) do not suffice as explanation for late assignments. In the event that you email an assignment because of an absence, you must confirm receipt of that email and still turn in a hard copy to the instructor’s mailbox upon your return to campus.

Course Work Percentage Breakdown

Homework 60%
2D Game 15%
3D Game 15%
Attendance/Class Participation 10%

Please note that grades are assigned as follows:

A = 93 % and above
A– = 90 - 92%
B+ = 87 - 89%
B = 83 - 86%
B– = 80 - 82%
C+ = 77 - 79%
C = 73 - 76%
C– = 70 - 72%
D = 60- 69%
F = 59%

The instructor is the final arbiter of all grades for the class.

Grade Requirements for Major: You are required to finish with a “C” grade or better if this class is required for your Major, or is a prerequisite for a class required by your major. If you do not, you must take this class again and cannot advance to the next required class.

Incomplete Grade

An Incomplete Grade (I) can only be issued for an undergraduate student who has met the following criteria: The student has successfully completed all course requirements to date but is faced with unexpected circumstances during the final weeks of the semester resulting in the inability to complete course requirements by the end of the semester. The student must have, in the instructor’s estimation, the ability to complete missed course requirements outside of class and by the end of the eighth week of the following semester. The instructor must agree to evaluate the student’s work and replace the Incomplete grade before the end of the following semester. An agreement specifying work to be completed and a due date must be signed by both instructor and student and approved by the Department Chair. In the event that an instructor is no longer employed by the College, a program Coordinator, Director, or the Department Chair can evaluate the work and assign the course grade.

Course Readings

Required Texts –

Additional Materials:



All students are assigned a email when they first register. This is the only email that instructors use to contact you about assignments, scheduling, or other classroom issues. It is your responsibility to check this email regularly for information. You can access you email via a link at the bottom of the left hand column of the Oasis portal. ( We recommend that you either check that email daily or forward it to an email account that you do check daily.

Backup and Archival Policy

Students are responsible for maintaining their own backup copies of all digital works. The Interactive Arts and Media department provides each registered student with server storage space as a courtesy and convenience, but does not guarantee access to that server space nor does it guarantee the safety of those digital files. Maintain your own electronic backup of your important files.
Additionally, as part of this class, you may be asked to provide all class work, documentation, proposals, and projects in electronic form on a CD or DVD-ROM on the last day of class. Your instructor will inform you if this is required, and of the specifics of the requirement.

Academic Honesty and Conduct

Academic honesty is expected of all students. Any inappropriate use of materials or plagiarism will not be tolerated. (See Academic Integrity Policies on pg. 18 of the Columbia Catalog.)
In line with Columbia’s Student Code of Conduct, students are reminded that Columbia expects students to treat each other, faculty, and staff with respect. Harassment of any kind is forbidden, as is exposing students or faculty to material and images that might be considered offensive.
All work submitted in this course for academic credit must be your own original work, the original work of the group of students cooperating in a project, and/or adhere to all relevant copyright and intellectual property ownership laws. You are all responsible for your own work, and while consultation and discussion of course topics with other students is encouraged, submitting another student’s work as one’s own - in whole or in part - will result in a zero for that assignment for all students involved. Additional penalty for violation of this policy could be extended to include failure of the class or other disciplinary action at the discretion of the instructor, the department, or Columbia College Chicago.

For more information on the use of copyright material please consult the following sources –


Students are expected to attend every session and arrive on time, prepared for the class at the indicated start time. It is the Interactive Arts and Media departmental policy that a student automatically fails the class upon their third unexcused absence. (You are out on the third strike.) Two late arrivals (after the beginning of class) equal one absence. Lateness of more than one-half hour is the equivalent of an unexcused absence. Students leaving class early are considered late for the amount of time missed. Students who do not get to class before mid-class break, or do not return after the break, will be marked as absent for that session. Medical and other emergency leave of absences follow a different policy. Please contact your instructor if such a situation arises.
Students are expected to maintain communication with their instructor regarding their presence in class. Maintaining communication with the instructor allows that instructor the option of marking an absence as excused, rather than unexcused, at his or her discretion. All communication regarding an absence or lateness should occur before the session in question. Contact information for the instructor is at the top of this syllabus.
An absent student is still responsible for turning in all required assignments on time, unless a prior arrangement is made with the instructor. The instructor may, at his or her discretion, require make-up work or assignments in the place of missed class work.

Class Website and Blog Policy

As part of this class, you will be expected to create and maintain a class portfolio website or blog. This website should feature all of your in-class and homework assignments. It is your responsibility to maintain working links to all of these projects. These links will be used for grading the projects and a missing link will be considered the same as a missing assignment. You are responsible for insuring that a blog posting appears properly after submission. You are also solely responsible for the content of your class website and/or blog. (See the information on Academic Honesty and Copyrights in a preceding section.)

Conaway Center Statement

Students with disabilities are requested to present their Columbia accommodation letters to their instructor at the beginning of the semester so that accommodations can be arranged in a timely manner by the College, the department or the faculty member, as appropriate. Students with disabilities who do not have accommodation letters should visit the office of Services for Students with Disabilities in room 520 of the Congress building (312.344.8134/V or 312.360.0767/TTY). It is incumbent upon the student to know their responsibilities in this regard.


Everyone is invited to visit Columbia College's Writing Center. Students may drop in or have a standing weekly appointment. Writing consultants can help a student develop a paper idea, organize a paper, or revise a paper.


  • Computer Lab: 1000 S. Wabash RM 122
  • Game Lab: 1000 S. Wabash RM 123 (limited open gaming hours)

For lab hours and software inventory, see


Game Programming Classes


This syllabus is subject to change as the course proceeds. You will be notified of any and all changes.

A copy of this syllabus is available electronically in the section for this class in the Oasis online portal. (