This is a team and project-based course on video game design and development using Unreal Engine and C++. Topics covered will include geometric modeling, game physics and AI, shader programming, and software and engineering practices within the game industry. The central focus of the course will be the design and development of a game by teams of 3 to 5 students. The course strongly emphasizes code development and there are no exams.



We will use CampusWire for answering questions and administering the course. Click the header to join/view the forum.
Use the passcode 2549.

  • For any question involving a grade you should select Post to instructors and TAs.

Course Staff

  • Professor Eric Shaffer,
  • TA Jason Situ
  • TA Pranav Asthana
  • TA Billy Li
  • TA Yi-Hsiang Kao
  • CA Nathaniel Cohen
  • CA Ian Rudnick
  • CA Charlie Agriogianis
  • CA Jeffrey Liu
  • CA Heather McNaughton

Instructional Content

The course will be taught using online lectures along with additional reading materials. There will be one live online meeting per week.


  • Lectures will be available as asynchronous video links posted on the course schedule.
  • You can attend live lectures/discussions at 12:30pm Central Time on Tuesdays at this Zoom link.
  • For the first week of class, we will NOT be live on Tuesday…
    …instead we will meet Thursday Jan. 20 at 12:30pm CT at the above link.
  • These lectures will be recorded and available on the course schedule.

Development Resources

You will need to have access to a computer capable of running Unreal Engine.
You can test your computer by downloading and installing Unreal vesion 4.27 from here
You should choose the publishing license.

Test your installation by working through the Your First Hour with Unreal Engine 4 tutorial.

If your computer is not capable of running Unreal, you can use the Siebel Center 4107 Lab either in person or remotely for development. The lab will be open after the second week of class and everyone taking the course will have keycard access to the lab. You can find instuctions for accessing the machines remotely on the Resources page.


Assigned work will include 8 quizzes, 2 programming assignments, and a final project.

Bi-Weekly Quizzes

There will be 8 short quizzes on PrairieLearn. These quizzes will be based on the lecture material.

  • The quizzes can be taken asynchronously…outside class time.
  • There is no time limit but each quiz has to be taken in one sitting
  • You should budget 45 minutes to take a quiz.
  • Each question allows multiple attempts at reduced credit.
  • The quizzes are open web.
  • Each quiz will be available for 1 week at full credit.
  • After that week, the quiz can be taken for half credit.

Programming Assignments

There will be 2 programming assignments that will serve as an introduction to Unreal.


The course project will be team-based with teams of 3 to 5 people working on a project. You will have a choice of what to implement, but your proposed project is expected to be related to game development in some way…typically it should be a game. The grading citeria and development process are described on the Project page.

4 Credit Project

Students taking the course for 4 credits should select one of the projects to complete from the assignment page describing the 4 credit assignment. The level of effort will be about the same as one of the programming assignments.


We will post grades on Canvas.

We weight grades as follows:

  3 credits 4 credits
MP 1 15% 10%
MP 2 20% 15%
Quizzes 25% 25%
Project 40% 40%
4 Credit Project NA 10%

The course grade cutoffs can be expected to be:

Percentage lower bound Grade
99% A+
93% A
90% A-
87% B+
83% B
80% B-
77% C+
73% C
70% C-
67% D+
63% D
60% D-
0% F

Mental Health

Diminished mental health, including significant stress, mood changes, excessive worry, substance/alcohol abuse, or problems with eating and/or sleeping can interfere with optimal academic performance, social development, and emotional wellbeing. The University of Illinois offers a variety of confidential services including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, psychiatric services, and specialized screenings at no additional cost. If you or someone you know experiences any of the above mental health concerns, it is strongly encouraged to contact or visit any of the University’s resources provided below. Getting help is a smart and courageous thing to do – for yourself and for those who care about you.

Counseling Center: 217-333-3704, 610 East John Street Champaign, IL 61820 McKinley Health Center:217-333-2700, 1109 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, Illinois 61801

Statement on anti-racism and inclusivity

The intent of this section is to raise student and instructor awareness of the ongoing threat of bias and racism and of the need to take personal responsibility in creating an inclusive learning environment.

The Grainger College of Engineering is committed to the creation of an anti-racist, inclusive community that welcomes diversity along a number of dimensions, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity and national origins, gender and gender identity, sexuality, disability status, class, age, or religious beliefs. The College recognizes that we are learning together in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement, that Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous voices and contributions have largely either been excluded from, or not recognized in, science and engineering, and that both overt racism and micro-aggressions threaten the well-being of our students and our university community.

The effectiveness of this course is dependent upon each of us to create a safe and encouraging learning environment that allows for the open exchange of ideas while also ensuring equitable opportunities and respect for all of us. Everyone is expected to help establish and maintain an environment where students, staff, and faculty can contribute without fear of personal ridicule, or intolerant or offensive language. If you witness or experience racism, discrimination, micro-aggressions, or other offensive behavior, you are encouraged to bring this to the attention of the course director if you feel comfortable. You can also report these behaviors to the Bias Assessment and Response Team (BART) ( Based on your report, BART members will follow up and reach out to students to make sure they have the support they need to be healthy and safe. If the reported behavior also violates university policy, staff in the Office for Student Conflict Resolution may respond as well and will take appropriate action.

Statement on CS CARES and CS Values and Code of Conduct (Approved by CS CARES Committee, January 13, 2022)

All members of the Illinois Computer Science department - faculty, staff, and students - are expected to adhere to the CS Values and Code of Conduct. The CS CARES Committee is available to serve as a resource to help people who are concerned about or experience a potential violation of the Code. If you experience such issues, please contact the CS CARES Committee. The Instructors of this course are also available for issues related to this class.