COSC 405 SP2015 – Syllabus

COSC 405.001 – Business of Games [PDF]
Instructor: Bridget M. Blodgett
Office Hours:  Tuesday 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Wednesday 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Appointments available upon request
Office Location: 200C Academic Center
Phone: x5301

Course Information
Location: AC 219
Times: H 2:00pm – 4:30pm

Required Text


Drew Sikora and John Hattan. Business and Production for Games. Course Technology, 2009. (BP)
ISBN-10: 1598638092
ISBN-13: 978-1598638097

Course Description

The Business of Game Development examines the past, present and future of the video game industry, with an emphasis on business organizations and practices that have evolved along with the medium. Particular attention is given to opportunities and requirements for new ventures in games and other areas of interactive design. By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Create a business and marketing plan that adheres to and emphasizes their creative vision and values
  • Analyze the business landscape and where their company will fit in
  • Incorporate prior studies in game production, 2D design and web development to create products for as well as market a business
  • Negotiate obstacles in the formation of a company, either freelance or with employees,avoiding common legal problems associated with taxation, government regulations and intellectual property
  • Evaluate the success of business choices and adjust goals and methods accordingly
  • Use learned strategies to manage the day-to-day operations of a business

Course Requirements

Business Model: Paper outlining a company’s (of your choice) business history and current strategy. This paper should also outline how this information is useful for the planning of your company and if it is representative of the common industry practices.

Game Design Document: Document that describes a small game for your team to “produce” during the course of the semester. The game design document will include all aspects of the game from its marketability through to implementation and projected outcomes.

Business and Marketing Plan: This document will focus solely upon setting up your company and will describe your business, its development, and marketing plan.

Final Report: The final report is a presentation to be made during the last week of class. You will be required to use the information developed during the semester to market and pitch your game and company to the other teams in class seeking their “funding to finish production.”

Grading Policy
Total Points available: 500
1. Business Model (125 points): 25%
2. Class Participation (125 points): 25%
3. Business and Marketing Plan (125 points): 25%
4. Final Report (125 points): 25%

Percentage Points Grade
93 – 100 465 – 500 A
90 – 92.9 450 – 464 A-
87 – 89.9 435 – 449 B+
83 – 86.9 415 – 434 B
80 – 82.9 400 – 414 B-
75 – 79.9 375 – 399 C+
70 – 74.9 350 – 374 C
60 – 69.9 300 – 349 D
0 – 59.9 0 – 299 F

**Note: You can calculate your grade at any time by dividing your current number of points by the number of points evaluate and multiplying it by 100. The result can then be compared to the grading scheme to determine your current grade.**


Late Work
Late work will be accepted within 48 hours of the deadline for no higher than a B. However, unless there is a documented notice of illness or other excused absence, all credit will be lost for participation in that day’s workshop activities. Remember–bringing your work to class on time is the only way to participate in peer feedback exercises.

The final project will NOT be accepted late, as this would delay the submission of final grades.

Late Arrivals and Absence

If you miss a scheduled class, you will receive no credit for the group exercises. These cannot be made up–your absence robs your peers of feedback and input. In the event of documented excused absence, alternate assignments will be arranged.

If you are late to class, enter without interrupting. You will receive a zero for any work assigned before you arrived.

You are responsible for finding out what you’ve missed from classmates.

Classroom Technology Policy
This class meets in a computer lab, but this is not an invitation to use the computers in ways that detract from your learning or the learning of others. Headphones will not be tolerated in class. Personal electronics, such as cell phones and iPods, must be turned off during class time. If you have an exceptional reason for needing a cell phone let me know before class begins.

Mid-term Progress Reporting
Mid-term grades are posted on March 11th. This grade is either an S (satisfactory) or NS (not satisfactory). It is based upon the grade of all the work handed in at that point in the semester. Generally, students who have submitted work on time and show moderate effort in the course will receive an S. An NS is distributed to students who either have not submitted any work or are not making an effort. Neither grade is a guarantee of your final grade in the course.

Academic Dishonesty/Plagiarism Policy
The Academic Integrity Policy for the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, College of Public Affairs and Merrick School of Business can be found at

Equal Access
If you have a documented disability that requires accommodations, please contact the Center for Educational Access at (410) 837-4775 or via email at (for UB students) or the Center for Academic Success at (301) 738-6315 or via email at These offices provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations for students with documented disabilities.

Resource Centers for Students
Academic and counseling resources for students include but are not limited to:

  • Achievement and Learning Center
  • Langsdale Library
  • Technology Services
  • The Counseling Center
  • Office of Community Life and Dean of Students
  • Sakai Support; 1-855-501-0856




Topics and Suggested Readings
Week Month Day Topic Reading Other
1 Jan 29 Introduction BP Chapter 1 *Last Drop Day 6th*
2  Feb 5 Marketing BP Chapter 4
3 12 Documentation BP Chapter 13
4 19 Team Building BP Chapter 9 Business Model Due
5 26 Legal Issues BP Chapter 8
6  Mar 5 Design Document Review BP Chapter 10
7 12 Business Plans BP Chapter 2 Game Design Document Due
8   19 **Spring Break**  
9 26  Funding BP Chapter 14 *Last Withdraw Date 31st*
10  Apr 2 Managing Schedules BP Chapter 12 & 17
11 9 Publishing BP Chapter 15 Business and Marketing Plan
12 16 Merchandizing TBA
13 23 Sustaining a Business BP Chapter 16
14 30 Quick Business Plan & Pitch Contest
15  May 7 Final Presentations Final Report Due
16 14 Finals Week ** No final for this class**


Comments are closed.