intro - schedule - projects - resources - classroom



Course: GAM 240
Location: CDM 634
Time: M/W 10:10-11:40


Professor: Brian Schrank
Email: bschrank [at]

Office Hours: M/W 11:40-12:40 (in 634 or 514)


DePaul University
College of Computing and Digital Media

This workshop introduces computer programming to artists and designers. Programming is an art, but before students can create masterpieces they first need to explore, play, and sketch with code. Students learn basic concepts and techniques of computation and apply these to craft gameplay experiences, improvisational experiments, and software toys. Students will author code from scratch and remix code to complete their weekly projects. No prior programming experience or knowledge is required. PREREQUISITE(S): NONE.


Success in this course requires consistent, weekly effort. There is a project due each week every Monday until the end of the quarter. Expect to put in at least 6 hours a week, every week to complete the assignments and get a B or an A.


The skills and experience you will gain in this course will empower you as a game designer and collaborator in game development. Invest in your future by fully committing yourself to the projects and you will thrive in later project courses.


Being kind, helpful, and participatory in class counts for 15% of the final grade. The remaining 85% of your final grade will be determined by your performance completing the 10 weekly projects (the final project is worth double all other projects).


Each project is graded according to two criteria:

  1. Does it run and meet all of the requirements? This is worth 80% of the grade.
  2. How creative or impressive is the solution? This is worth 20% of the grade.

If a student turns in a project that runs and meets all the requirements, then she earns 80% or a B for the project. If the student has also solved the project assignment in a creative or impressive way, meaning that she did something unique and innovative in her solution, then she can earn up to another 20%. For example, the first project requirements don't mention using color or motion, so if the student fully integrates color and/or motion in her project, then she could earn up to 100% or an A. One way to earn higher grades is to habitually comb through the references page and using functions and concepts NOT covered in class in your projects.



Every 0-24 hours a student's project is late will remove 10% points from that project's grade. For example, if a student completes a project of 97% (or A level) quality, but hand it in 12 hours late, she will earn 87% or a B for that project. If she were to hand it in 36 hours late, then she would earn a 77% or a C for that project, and so on.

You may earn extra credit from helping other students. The student who you help must notify me by email and let me know how long you helped them and nature of the assistance. Roughly 1 hour of help will count as 1% point of extra credit (with a total possible of 10% over the course of the quarter). I reserve the right to determine what counts as Extra Credit. It will be allocated and awarded at the end of the quarter.



Final grades are calculated:

A (90-100+), B (80-89.99), C (70-79.99), D (60-69.99), F (below 60).


If you miss class, you're responsible for catching up on missed material by referring to the class website and asking classmates.


Attendance is required A record of attendance and tardiness is used in determining your final grade. You are allowed 3 absences before your grade is affected. Tardiness counts as 1/3 of an absence. Each absence beyond the 3rd lowers your grade 1/2 a letter (5 points). 6 absences guarantees a failing grade for the course.


It’s up to you to notify me in case of illness or emergency. If you can provide documentation, like a doctor's note, to prove that your absence should be excused, I may excuse the absence. The notification must be timely, occurring before or shortly after the absence or it will not be excused.

Cell Phones and Mobile Devices should not be audible (including audible vibration) during class. Any student who answers a cell phone during instruction will be excused for the day.

LAB 634 and Software
Lab Room CDM 634 is your lab for this class. It's available for use anytime except when the university is officially closed or another class is using it. The building and the lab may be closed during official holidays. The main class software we're using is Processing and it is free and for Mac or Windows so you can install it on your personal computers and do your homework at home as well. See our Resources page for more info on downloading and using Processing.

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential. To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Student Center, LPC, Suite #370
Phone number: (773)325.1677
Fax: (773)325.3720
TTY: (773)325.7296