AR Game Dev: Introduction
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Augmented Reality Game Design and Development
Professor: Brian Schrank, call me Brian
bschrank [at]

School of Design
College of Computing and Digital Media

DePaul University

Course Description

In this workshop, students cultivate the skills to design, program and develop augmented reality (AR) games. Students learn about the unique affordances and design opportunities inherent to the platform. Based on the studio model, each student adopts a role on the development team, such as programmer, designer, and artist, and each is responsible for contributing professional work consistently each week. Because the platform of AR games presents unique challenges to developers (players often feel disoriented, overtasked or underwhelmed) teams first create a dozen AR toys, and build up the most promising experiences into games. Class time consists of lectures, workshops, workdays, playtests, critiques, and class discussions.

Course Project Goal, Theme, and Process

The goal of the class is to develop augmented reality games that appeal to experienced as well as novice players. They will be intuitive with pick-up-and-play mechanics but advance the field by leveraging the unique affordances of AR to advance the field of games into new exciting territory. The Hololens has a dearth of games so this is your opportunity to change the world of games. An extrinsic goal is to get your games into the Microsoft store, academic conferences, indie festivals, and art game exhibitions. If your game gets into a festival or conference DePaul has a history of paying for your flight and hotel to attend the event and represent your amazing work as well as the university.


The conventions of Hololens AR Games aren't culturally established and are new to players. The technology is still imperfect and awkward. Therefore developers must use extremely intuitive designs for players to feel oriented and in control. You will conceive of, craft, and rapidly iterate to develop utterly ENGAGING EXPERIENCES in AR. The nature of these experiences could be serious, silly, horrifying, or aesthetically striking, but regardless, your games need to GRIP and ENTERTAIN the player.

You will begin by playing games and apps on the Hololens to get a feel for the technology. Then you'll develop a handful of AR toys that are simple to play with. These toys will be iteratively developed with increasingly fleshed out prototypes. By the end of the quarter each team will have a short, punchy, polished game that is noteworthy for showing off the potential of the medium and is competetive in festivals and conferences.


Each student will adopt a role on the development team and will be responsible for contributing professional-level work to the game project. To perform adequately in this course, students should already possess advanced skills and experience as an artist, designer, programmer, or sound designer. Each member is expected to work on the project at least 15 hours a week outside of class.

Attendance and Tardiness

Do not be absent. Do not be late. Do not screw over your team by making us wait for you to show up for a presentation, meeting, or to develop in class.

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, in which case the absence will be excused. However, the notification must occur before or shortly after an absence or it will not be excused. If you miss class, you are responsible for catching up on missed material by referring to the class website and asking a classmate.


Half of your grade will be determined by the quality and quantity of work completed for the project. The other half of your grade will be determined by how well you work with others. Here's a more detailed breakdown of grading:

Criteria Grade Due

Seeks and receives constructive criticism and feedback from teammates.

25 Daily (including in class)

Is courteous, communicative, and available to teammates. This includes responding to email and questions promptly.

25 Daily (including in class)

Works hard on doing high-quality work for their role on the team.

25 Daily (including in class)

Works quickly and efficiently through tasks.

25 Daily (including in class)

Extra Credit* - Helping AR game classmates not on your team

10 Anytime

*Extra Credit: The student who you help must notify me by email regarding the duration 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 as to what counts as Extra Credit. It will be allocated and awarded at the end of the quarter.

Letter Grade to Point System Conversion Table:

A+ >= 100
A >= 95
A- >= 92
B+ >= 88
B >= 85
B- >= 82
C+ >= 78
C >= 75
C- >= 72
D+ >= 68
D >= 65
D- >= 62
F+ >= 58
F >= 55

Final grades are calculated: A (90-100), B (80-89.9), C (70-79.9), D (60-69.9), F (below 60).

Academic Integrity
Work done for this course must adhere to the University Academic Integrity Policy, which you can review in the Student Handbook or by visiting the Academic Integrity page at DePaul University

Students with disabilities
If you feel you need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability please contact me privately to discuss your specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential. To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact me as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted either:
PLuS Program (for students with LD or AD/HD) at:
The office of Students with Disabilities (for all other disabilities) at:

College Policies

Online Course Evaluations Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar.  Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at: