Local Open Online Course

Beginning App & 2D Game Development

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This course is all about learning to program and develop video games and applications for mobile devices. By the end of the course, you will have completed a few small games and some Android apps. Along the way you will learn C# and java. This will serve as spring boards to further your computer science education.

What should I know?

Knowledge of basic computer usage is necessary for this course. Prior knowledge of markup languages such as HTML and XML and IDE's such as Eclipse or Visual Studio is helpful but not necessary. Optionally, you can deploy your applications to Android devices if you have them.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course you will understand how to develop 2D video games using C# and XNA Game. You will be able to talk critically about the field of game development. You will also understand the basics of using Eclipse and Java to create simple Android apps.


  • Unit 1: So you want to make a game?
  • Unit 2: C# Basics
  • Unit 3: Control Statements
  • Unit 4: Arrays, Game Design
  • Unit 5: Game Design
  • Unit 6: It's all about the Pklayer
  • Unit 7: Game Design, Part 2
  • Unit 8: Player, Part 2
  • Unit 9: What it means to be Alive
  • Unit 10: Xamarin C# Basics
  • Unit 11: There's an App for That
  • Unit 12: GPS Based Apps and Others


When does the course begin?

March 5th, 2014. Units will be covered in weekly chunks starting on Wednesday of each week. There are roughly five projects timed out in sync with the schedule. It's a good idea to keep up with the course, as we will be peer grading and reviewing each others work.

How long will this course be available?

You can join the course up to the second week of class, provided it is not full!

Is this course for me?

Take a look at the class summary, and the syllabus. This class is meant for beginners and those who are ready to start exploring software development.

Will I get college credit for taking this course?

It's absolutely free!

Will I get college credit for taking this course?

If you finish the LOOC with a passing grade, you will be waived past UW-Green Bay's Computer Science 201, which is the first course in the Computer Science curriculum, and is a three credit course. Taking this LOOC will result in saving you time and money via not needing to take CS201.

Why quizes?

There are many reasons for quizes, it gets you to think about the content, and checks for understanding. It's also a way of checking you have mastered the content.

Why projects?

Projects are a great way to learn. We have five projects interspersed throughout the course, meant to increase your understanding on critical topics. Through succeeding in the projects, you will gain an understanding of the software creation process.

What about this peer grading?

Peer grading is a great new way to grade projects. It allows for you to see what your peers are doing, and in doing so you might learn something too! Additionally, this is a chance to foster communication between you and your peer group. Projects will be submitted to the group forum where they will be graded by you and your peers. The forum will be a natural place to ask questions and clarrify the results of your project. Still not sure how this will work? No worries, we will be completing a sample mini-project so you can get used to the peer grading process.

What software do you recommend?

While it is possible to run XNA Game Studio 4.0 under Windows 8, it simply works a lot better under Windows 7. Therefore we recommend you to work on a PC with Windows 7. The software used will be Visual Studio C# Express 2010 (or professional) and XNA Game Studio 4.0. For application development we will use Eclipse 4.3.1 and the ADK.

About the Instructors

Ben Geisler

Over the last twelve years, Ben Geisler has worked at four AAA game development houses: Raven Software, Human Head Studios, Frozen Codebase and Radical Entertainment. He has worked on more than six best-selling games. He has also been involved with publisher relations at Vivendi Universal Games, THQ, Konami and Activision. His past credits include Soldier of Fortune 2, X-Men Legends, Jedi Knight 2, Quake 4, The Incredible Hulk: UD, Prey 2, Prototype, and others. Ben has also created business applications for Android and iOS devices including applications for companies such as Manitowoc Crane and Cash Depot. Publications include book articles on Artificial Intelligence and papers in trade journals. Ben has a Bachelor's of Science and a Master's of Science in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin. His coursework focused on artificial intelligence but also included a study of agile development methodology. In his master's thesis he developed machine learning software which was integrated into Soldier of Fortune 2. He has taught game development at the college level at ITT Technical Institute, Herzing, UW-Green Bay and UW-Milwaukee.

Peter Breznay

Peter Breznay has been an associate professor of computer science at UW-Green Bay since 1999. He earned his MA in Latin language and literature and MS in mathematics at the ELTE University in Budapest, Hungary. He also earned a BS in computer science and PhD in computer science and mathematics at the University of Denver. Other teaching positions have included ones at the University of Denver, Ohio State University, the University of Economics in Budapest, and the National Management Training Institute in Budapest. Breznay has published numerous articles including Theory of Mind in Artificial Neural Networks: Toward A Science of Consciousness, Tightly Connected Hierarchical Interconnection Networks for Parallel Processors and many others.