The Winter 2021 Semester will be remote-only, with all lectures, assignments, playtesting sessions, and the final showcase taking place virtually.
EECS 494 is the University of Michigan’s premiere game-development course.
Students will learn to…
- Implement small-to-medium sized video games using the industry-standard Unity3D Game Engine.
- Design purposeful, engaging user experiences.
- Practice non-engineering disciplines (art, music, psychology, writing, marketing) at a basic level.
- Carry out user testing and the analysis of user feedback.
- Pitch new game concepts / loglines in an concise, efficient way.
- Work effectively and efficiently in teams of 2-4 using agile production methods.
- Make non-game software more interactive, engaging, accessible, and aesthetically impressive.
- Exhibit game projects to large crowds.
- Explore the rapidly expanding games industry from various perspectives.
Q: Should I take EECS 494?
- The skills above strike you as valuable.
- You’re ready for a formidable, time-consuming, yet immensely rewarding challenge.
- You enjoy games, visualization, or interactive, engaging software in general.
- You hope to gain employment in the video game industry.
- You’re taking EECS 482, 381, or otherwise have a high-intensity schedule (Spring 2016 Workload Survey: ~60% extremely heavy, compared to ~63% extremely heavy for 482).
- Your schedule won’t allow you to be present at the vast majority of meetings for the full duration of lecture.
- You’d like your final semester to be a little lighter.
Q: How might I prepare?
EECS 494 does not require any work before class begins, but students who are interested in the material can give themselves a small head-start with the following tips.
- Install / Experiment with Unity
- Participate in Wolverine Soft, the University of Michigan’s premiere game-development club.
- Review past EECS 494 student game projects.
- Play EECS 494 games from the past on the MichiGames Arcade Cabinet
- Review C# language features (Unity uses an older version of it).
- Play your favorite games! Ask yourself, “Why does this game appeal to me? What changes would I make, and why?”
- Get to know your instructors.
Q: Is there a book?
There is no required book. If you’re looking for one to accompany the course, Introduction to Game Design, Prototyping, and Development by Jeremy Bond is highly recommended.
You may! Overrides are typically considered several weeks into the course if there is any remaining room. Please let us know by contacting us.
EECS 494 typically experiences 8-12 drops per semester, allowing 8-12 undergraduate CSE students off the waitlist.
If you have any questions regarding the course, feel free to reach us via our Contact page.
EECS 494 is designed for junior and senior undergraduate computer science students, but courageous graduate students are welcome to apply for admission via this CSE Grad Enrollment Form. Students who are not eligible to receive credit for EECS 494 may also consider auditing the course. If we begin to run out of seats, you may be asked to vacate yours for an enrolled student.
Q: How else may I study game development at the University of Michigan?
The University of Michigan has a lean-and-mean game development environment including several impactful classes…
- EECS 494 : Game Development
- EECS 499 (section 210) : Video Game Independent Research
- EECS X55 : Wolverine Soft Studio MDP (Earn credit for making a big studio game with other multidisciplinary students. Email Austin Yarger for more information.)
- ENGR 100 (section 650) : Gaming for the Greater Good
- EDUC 333 : Games and Education
- PAT 305 / MUSPERF 300 : Video Game Music
…and several excellent clubs…
Q: Does the State of Michigan have any game studios?