Informatics Video Game Design Courses

NEW FOR FA2018! INFO 403: Game Design- Virtual Worlds. Instructor is Dan Cermak.   CRN = 70674.  Tues/Thurs, 3:30 – 4:45 pm in 2078 NHB.
Top Down Video Game Design: The emphasis of this course is on developing an understanding of top down video game design using the various design methodologies and tools introduced in class.  Students will form small groups (4-6) and work on their own design within a selected genre (to be determined at the beginning of the semester).  Areas of focus include high level design vision, audience evaluation, User Interface and its impact on the design, iteration of a series of design documents (high, medium and low level) and the team dynamics of communication, critique and integration.  The goal of the class is to have the small teams use the concepts and the tools taught in class to create a complete design document that will be cataloged.   Sophomore level or above.

NEW FOR FA2018! INFO 490 DC:  The Video Game Development Process.  Instructor is Dan Cermak.   CRN = 70697.  Tues/Thurs, 5 – 6:30 pm in 2078 NHB.
The emphasis of this course is understanding the video game development process as seen in current Game Studios. The course will focus on key elements of the process including each phase of the development timeline, scheduling, prototyping, iteration, QA, game builds and player research. Students will form small teams (4-6 with the goal of using the concepts taught in class to create a video game from a catalog of pre-existing designs. Considering the limited time frame of the semester, the state of the final product is not as important as understanding the game develop cycle. Prerequisites: Knowledge of a programming engine (preferably Unity).  Sophomore level or above.

NEW FOR FA2018! INFO 490 A: Makerspace Studio 2.  Instructor is Emilie Butt.  CRN = 65245.  Wed 3 – 5:50 pm in the FabLab.
This course is a foray into game studies via makerspace production mediums. Students will study the role of play, tinkering and gaming in design, research and innovation and be challenged to learn a variety of makerspace production tools and techniques to create games. This course will include three major components (1) physical board game design, (2) introductory computer game design and (3) investigation into the narrative themes, artistic production, interaction mechanics and culture that make games engaging. Class will meet in the CU Community Fab Lab in Art Annex II. Students who have taken a makerspace class before are encouraged to enroll. This section is for undergraduate students only.   Section AG (CRN 68913) is for graduate students.

INFO 490 JP: Designing and Programming Text Based Games and Simulations.  Instructor is Judith Pintar.  CRN 65396.  Wed 12:00 – 2:20 pm in 172 Armory.
In this course, you will be introduced to the “design work” of game authoring, and will apply these theoretical ideas to specific programming practices and skills. You will become proficient in Inform 7, a programming language and design system for interactive fiction (IF), and text-based computer games and simulations. By the end of the semester you will have developed a game or literary work of IF, and made a substantive contribution to a team-written, historical simulation project, dramatically recreating a key moment in Illinois history. This class meets with CWL 461 JP. No prior programming knowledge is required for students to be successful in the course. Students will be expected to bring a laptop to class. Sophomore level or above.

Registration for MCB 245



Registration for MCB 245 is being managed via wait list. Students who submit their information in our signup form are very likely to be placed in a lab section, but no student will be allowed in the course without being on the wait list. The form can be found at 

Registration for the lecture component of A&P I, MCB 244, is open to all students with no restrictions.

Summer Courses at Parkland College

If you are considering taking any courses at Parkland this summer, please review the following:

Admissions and Registration
Continuing University of Illinois students need to begin with the appropriate Parkland Concurrent Enrollment web form (Domestic or International) and complete it in its entirety (including providing the course rubric, number and section, i.e. ENG 220 – 201). As always, students need to attach a PDF of their Academic History (not DARS audit) to ensure that course pre-requisites are met. For students receiving financial aid, they should also complete the Financial Aid Concurrent Enrollment form.

Academically dropped students and those stepping away from the University are to apply as degree-seeking students and do not complete any concurrent enrollment forms.

The Parkland summer and fall schedules will be online soon. Students/advisors can easily search for available courses at Parkland right from the home page by clicking “Academics” and then “Find a Class”. Open registration dates are as follows:

    • Summer –April 2, 2018
    • Fall – April 9, 2018

Meeting Prerequisites
If a student wishes to take a math course, or a course that has math as a prerequisite (e.g. CHEM, CS or Physics), they must show proof of the prerequisite completed through their Academic History (not DARS audit) or a screenshot of their ACT/SAT score (test taken within the last two years). If they do not have either, they will be required to take Parkland’s ALEKS assessment test in person. The break down for the ACT/SAT requirement cutoffs follow (scores are valid for two years):

SAT MATH Score ACT MATH Score Parkland Course Placement
 530-619 22-24 MAT 108 (STAT 100 equiv)
 620-649 25-26 MAT 124 (MATH 112 equiv)
 650-719 27-29 MAT 125, 141, 143, 145, 160, 200 (MATH 115, 124, 143, 125, and ECON 202 equiv)
 720-800 30-36 MAT 128 (MATH 128 equiv)

If the course requires “successful completion of high school chemistry” and the student hasn’t taken chemistry at the University, then the high school transcript is required for Parkland’s review.

Tentative Summer Semester 2018 deadlines:

      • Instruction begins May 21, June 18, and July 16 and ends no later than August 9.
      • Final exams will be held during the last class meeting
      • Early registration for continuing students: March 26–April 1
      • Open registration begins: April 2
      • Last day to register for classes that begin the week of May 21: May 20
      • Last day to register for classes that begin the week of June 18: June 17
      • Last day to register for classes that begin the week of July 16: July 15
      • Campus holidays and closures
        Memorial Day (college closed): May 28
        Independence Day (college closed): July 4
        College offices closed: Fridays, June 22–August 10

Tentative Fall Semester 2018 deadlines:

  • Registration for continuing students: April 2–8
  • Open registration begins: April 9
  • Last day to register for classes that begin the week of August 20: August 19
  • Full-semester and first 8-week classes begin: August 20
  • Last day to register for classes that begin the week of September 10: September 9
  • 13-week classes begin: September 10
  • Last day to register for classes that begin the week of October 15: October 14
  • Second 8-week (midterm) classes begin: October 15
  • Deadline to petition for fall graduation: November 9
  • Last day of classes: December 7
  • Final examinations: December 10–14
  • Campus holidays and closures
    Faculty and Staff Development (offices closed 8–10 a.m.): August 13
    Labor Day (college closed): September 3
    Thanksgiving recess (begins at 5 p.m. on November 21; college closed): November 22–25
    Winter break (college closed): December 22–January 1

Drop Deadline – Friday, March 9

Don’t forget – tomorrow, Friday, March 9, is the last day to drop a full-semester (POT 1) course! You can drop courses in Enterprise up until 11:59 PM on Friday (but don’t wait until the last minute!).

Friday is also the last day to elect to take a course CR/NC and the last day to turn in Grade Replacement forms for full-semester courses you are taking now. You will need to get CR/NC forms signed by your advisor, and both CR/NC and Grade Replacement must be turned in to 2002 Lincoln Hall by the end of the workday.

If you have questions, need a form signed, or want to stop by to discuss, I’ll have drop-ins all day tomorrow (9-12 and 1-4).



Don’t drop the ball – drop that course by the deadline!

EPSY 203: Social Issues Group Dialogues

Spring 2018 EPSY 203: Social Issues Group Dialogues sections have been announced. If you are interested in issues of diversity and social justice and/or need to add 1 or 2 credit hours this semester, these second 8-week (POT B) courses are worth considering.

These 1 credit hour elective courses provide students with opportunities to converse on specific diversity and social justice topic areas offered as separate sections under the course heading. Each section uses a structured dialogue format to explore intergroup and intragroup differences and similarities within historical and contemporary contexts. Specific focus will be on participants sharing their experiences and perspectives related to the specific dialogue topic. The dialogue format uses active learning exercises in addition to weekly readings, journal assignments, and topic based dialogues. Current course topics available: Being White in a Multicultural Society, Exploring Disability, 2 Race/Ethnicity dialogues, Exploring Sexual Identity, Resisting Marginalization, Conservative/Liberal Dialogue, and Exploring Socioeconomic Class. Course descriptions available at

May be repeated in the same term to a maximum of 2 hours. May be repeated in separate terms to a maximum of 6 hours. Students can directly enroll in one section. If a student wants two sections they should email to provide UIN for departmental duplicate override.

Graduating Students – Declare Your Concentration and Apply to Graduate!

If you plan to graduate in Spring 2018 or Summer 2018, please be sure to add your name to the appropriate graduation list in Enterprise by applying to graduate. Just follow the instructions in Enterprise Self-Service. For Spring 2018 graduation, you will need to do this by the 10th day of classes (Monday, January 29). This will notify the College of LAS that you intend to complete your degree; your records officer will contact you if there are any shortages towards the completion of your degree.

Keep in mind that when you apply to graduate, your current major and concentration (if any) will be what you are applying under. If you are graduating between December 2017 and December 2018 and wish to declare a concentration, please do so as soon as possible. If you have already applied to graduate and still need to add a concentration, we can still do that, too! Just let me know.

To check your degree audit in uAchieve, log in at, select UKV as the College, use the drop-down menu to find the appropriate concentration, and choose Fall 2015 or later as the catalog year (for Social, Personality, Intradisciplinary, Diversity Science, and Cognitive Neuroscience, choose Fall 2017 or later).

If you have already applied to graduate for December 2017, May 2018, or August 2018 and you do not need to declare a concentration, ignore this post!

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Drop-ins and Appointments

Hi everybody!

I’ll have all-day drop-ins tomorrow, Friday, October 20: 9:00 – 12:00 and 1:00 – 4:00. Tomorrow is the drop deadline, as well as the Credit/No-Credit and Grade Replacement deadline. If you need to drop a course, get a CR/NC form signed, or discuss Grade Replacement, please stop by the Advising Office – just sign in at the front desk in Room 12.

As a heads-up, during the three weeks of registration (Oct. 30 – Nov. 17), we’ll be trying something new in the Advising Office. We’re going to try “Express Advising Appointments” of 20-minutes in length to cut down on the lines that often happen during drop-ins. Our hope is that this will also allow more people to get in to see us during this busy period. We cannot change over to 20-minute appointments until after Friday, October 27, so don’t be alarmed that no appointment times are available in the On-Line Scheduler for the weeks of registration yet. They will appear at the end of the day next Friday!