CGDD 4814 - Studio 2 (aka Capstone)

Faculty Information
Instructor: Dr. Allan Fowler, Professor
Teaching Assistant: N/A

Office: J-352
Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday & Friday - 10:00 am to 11:15 am

Course Information
Lecture: Wed 1:00 pm - 4:45 pm
Room: J-202

Project websites

Here are the links to the project websites

Course Description
This course continues the studio experience from CGDD 4803 and further explores the application of game design and development in a structured environment; teams build applications utilizing best practices in software engineering including asset, project, configuration, and requirements management.  Students taking this Capstone course will assume a senior position within their teams and provide mentoring to students taking the Studio course.  This course involves weekly status, design, and development meetings.

Course Prerequisites

Course Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Apply software engineering principles in a game/media development environment
  2. Provide direction and leadership to a junior developer/designer
  3. Define a new design/system
  4. Lead and contribute to project process meetings 

Required Textbooks

Grading Scale
A [>= 90]
B [>= 80, < 90)]
C [>= 70, < 80)]
D [>=60, < 70]
F (<60)]



Due date


Project Site



Game design document



Alpha Testing

see D2L


Demo (C-Day)



Game Appreciation

see D2L








Final Project



















Course Philosophy
The project that you create this semester says something to your future employer: "This is the best I could do".  This class is a chance to show off your skills, but is also scary in the fact that if you don't, employers won't know what you're capable of.  In summary: produce something of quality.
You've made it through all the pre-requisite CGDD courses and have exposure to the breadth of game design and development.  You're also progressing through your depth CGDD component via your specialization courses.  Congratulations!  Now you get to apply all of that which you've learned.
In general, you'll submit your updates once a week and present your status reports each fortnight (every second week). Notice that this is a 1-9-4 course; this means we will meet regularly but briefly each week to discuss the projects and work out any problems you're having, but the bulk of the time is in "lab" which means you should dedicate a significant portion of your week to this project.  You can work in J202 (the game lab) and also the dedicated CGDD studio space.  If you need software/hardware resources beyond what we have, please let me know.  It'll be up to you to make this class productive and successful.


 It is HIGHLY encouraged that you participate in the Game Jam weekend and attend GDC as these will be vital to your experience and progress for the course.  If you cannot attend these, please let me know ASAP.
An important part of this class is the final write-up of your project.  This will count toward your final grade, so please read the guidelines and follow them.  You should not start your write-up until the last few weeks of class; this gives you something to write about.
You must attend all status meeting and update your website before class.  For each report that you fail to submit or for each meeting you fail to attend, you will receive a 0 for that week.  If you need to miss a meeting, negotiate this beforehand.

Between Us
Here are some things to keep in mind as we go through this course:
1. Start early. It will be embarrassing for you when you have nothing to show in front of the group, or if you have a totally lame game. Start with the minimal mechanics (movement, shooting, etc) and build from there. If you’re reading this, you’re already behind.

2. Slackers! Don’t pick groups of more than 2. The problem is there’s always a slacker who has no skills, mooches off of the group, but ultimately won’t be hired. It’s OK to be
weak, but take it seriously and get stronger.

3. Industry: I want you to be employed, so I take a rather applied approach to this course. Keep the code that you write, because that’s why companies will hire you. It’s
not because of your design skills. You’ll also have something pretty cool to show at the end.

4. Listen to others: you’ll pitch your ideas and show your progress to the group. You’d be amazed at the insight some folks have!

5. Participate: I expect that when someone is showing their progress that YOU watch what they’re doing and give them some feedback on how they could be better.

Course Policies
Academic Misconduct (Required for Syllabus)
Every KSU student is responsible for upholding all provisions of the Student Code of Conduct, as published in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs. The Code of Conduct includes the following:
Section II of the Student Code of Conduct addresses the University’s policy on academic honesty, including provisions regarding plagiarism and cheating, unauthorized access to University materials, misrepresentation/falsification of University records or academic work, malicious removal, retention, or destruction of library materials, malicious/intentional misuse of computer facilities and/or services, and misuse of student identification cards. Incidents of alleged academic misconduct will be handled through the established procedures of the University Judiciary Program, which includes either an “informal” resolution by a faculty member, resulting in a grade adjustment, or a formal hearing procedure, which may
subject a student to the Code of Conduct’s minimum one semester suspension requirement.

Students involved in off-campus activities shall not act in a disorderly or disruptive fashion, nor shall they conduct any dangerous activity.
Students involved in off-campus activities shall not take, damage or destroy or attempt to take, damage or destroy property of another.

(Note: you may want to include the link to

Disability Statement (Required for Syllabus)
(note: see
Important notice: Any student who, because of a disabling condition, may require some special arrangements in order to meet the course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible to arrange the necessary accommodations. Students should present appropriate verification from KSU Student Disability Services. No requirements exist that accommodations be made prior to completion of this approved University process.
Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments is requested to notify the instructor as early in the semester as possible. Verification from KSU Student Disability Services is required. All discussions will remain confidential.

If you have a hidden or visible disability which may require classroom or test accommodations, please see me as soon as possible during scheduled office hours. If you have not already done so, please register with KSU Student Disability Services, the office responsible for coordinating accommodations and services for students with disabilities.
Please contact the instructor immediately if you have or think you may have a disability or medical condition which may affect your performance, attendance, or grades in this class and for which you wish to discuss accommodations of class-related activities or schedules. Accommodations are arranged on an individualized, as-needed basis after the needs and circumstances have been evaluated.

If you have a specific physical, psychiatric, or learning disability and require accommodations, please let me know early in the semester so that your learning needs may be appropriately met. You will need to provide documentation of your disability to the Student Disability Services office, located in the Student Center room 267, and obtain a list of approved accommodations.

If you believe you qualify for course adaptations or special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is your responsibility to contact the Student Disability Services office in the Student Development Center and provide the appropriate documentation. If you have already documented a disability or other condition that would qualify you for special accommodations, or if you have emergency medical information or special needs I should know about, please notify me during the first week of class.

You can reach me by phone at 470-578-3902, or you can schedule an appointment to meet me in J352 at a determined time. If this location is not convenient for you, we will schedule an alternative place for the meeting. If you use an alternative medium for communicating, let me know well in advance of the meeting (at least one week) so that appropriate accommodations can be arranged.

Course Withdrawal (Highly Recommended)

Please refer to the KSU Undergraduate Catalog
( =search#withdrawalfromclasses)

It is expected that you attend class. However, you’re an adult and (other than the first week) class attendance is not required and does not affect your overall grade. It is suggested that if (for whatever reason) you miss class, you coordinate with other students about the lecture.

Professional communication is important in presenting yourself. Don't believe me? Read this from the Harvard Business Review. You must use proper spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc. when communicating in your submissions and via email to me. Do not use L337 or texting shorthand when emailing me, or I will not respond to your email (or take off a significant portion of your grade). I don't do this to be mean. Rather, I want toencourage your professional
development; I also don't have time to decipher cryptic emails that are not clearly written. Perhaps I’ll reply in L337 to show you what it’s like…

Assignments are graded against a rubric - meaning that it is possible to receive at least some partial credit if something reasonable is turned in. The #1 reason students do poorly in
this class is failure to turn something in!

A large portion of your grade comes from the projects you will be designing. Start them early.
The other portions of your grade come from your exams (which are based on the readings and inclass discussions) as well as a few smaller assignments.

Please note that no credit will be given for late assignments without the explicit permission of the instructor. If you have difficulties, please get in touch with me before the assignment is due.

Make-up Policy
If a student must miss a test due to a legitimate reason (e.g. documented illness, family death, etc), then a make-up exam will be administered. It is the responsibility of the student to
coordinate with the instructor as soon as possible.

Religious Observance
If a student wishes to observe a religious holiday, they must notify the instructor at least two weeks in advance to discuss acceptable ways of making up any missed work because of the absence. It is the student's responsibility to be proactive and to handle this early in the semester.

Writing Center (Optional)
The KSU Writing Center helps students in all majors improve their writing. Experienced, friendly writing assistants help with topic development, revision, research, documentation, grammar, and more. For more information or to make an appointment, visit or stop by English Building,
Room 242 (Kennesaw campus) or Building A, Room 184 (Marietta campus).