You are on page 1of 4

Course Syllabus

Issues in ATEC Business and Digital Arts—ATEC 4340-002 September, 2005
Class day: Thursday 7:00 pm- 9:45 pm Classroom—CB 1.110 Course Description: This course is intended to expose students to a real life business exercise in developing a start up in digital media and interactive software development. The course will integrate the classes’ interdisciplinary skills of business management, software engineering, and creative content development. Using the case study method and readings of carefully selected articles students will have an opportunity to learn about important issues in intellectual property development, product development, legal issues, asset protection, explore product marketing and funding sources for a new business. Working in small integrated teams students will develop a business plan based on their product concept, marketing program, and product development map. The students will present their product ideas and business plan to a panel of industry and funding profe ssionals. Each assignment during the 15 week course will provide the tools to successfully navigate through the course to the final deliverable. Using this real life simulation of business practices close to 120 students in 20 teams have successfully created and presented to industry leaders over 8 commercially viable projects. Previous projects include puzzle games, cell phone games, real time strategy games, role play games, educational game, and first person shooters. The course is taught by a 19 year veteran of the interactive entertainment software industry. In addition to the course instructor there will be guest lectures from the local and national industry leaders and practitioners who will add to the real life experience. The all important part: This class is about creating intellectual property, digital media and new software products. We will develop business models to take these new products to market. It does not require vast programming skills or art skills. It does require an ability to open your mind to new ideas, work in and contribute to a team effort, and have fun doing it.


The Course outline: Below is a class outline for this new business course in ATEC degree program. The course is an excellent opportunity to cross list with the School of Management. Class Date
8/18/05 8/25/05 9/1/05 9/08/05 9/15/05 9/22/05 9/22/05 2/28/05 10/06/05 10/20/05 10/27/05 11/3/05 11/10/05 11/17/05 11/24/05 12/1/05

Class No.
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 Final

Self Assessment Strategy Identifying Opportunity CreativityProduct Development Company Formation IP creation Is there a Market? Financial Plan and Measuring Risk Organizational Structure Leadership and Ethics Funding and Raising Money Technology Evolution Digital Products Company Building Thanksgiving Presentation

Deliverables There are ten deliverables required to complete the course. Each of the deliverables is a step or milestone in the process of developing a successful business plan and will enable you to successful complete your final project. In addition there are cases to prepare for class as homework assignments. These cases are required to supplement in class lectures and learning. All deliverables are expected to be handed in on time is hardcopy and softcopy formats. See Attached Schedule Communications All communication in this class will be via the students’ UTD EMAIL ACCOUNT. This will ensure that each student will receive email communication about class assignments, teacher feedback and changes in schedule. Starting on Wednesday August 24,2005 this course will be set up on WebCT with each team having its own private work area. Students and the instructor will use WebCT for posting of class slides, materials and instructional chat sessions when required.


Classes Class begins at 7:00 pm sharp and will run until 9:45 pm. Class sessions are roughly divided into two sessions with a short break between sessions. There will be time available in most classes for teams to breakout in order to discuss and work their projects in class. I will have guest speakers at some of the classes who will impart valuable information that will help you develop your ideas and demonstrations. Final presentation will be made to a “venture capital” committee of game developers, industry professionals and venture capitalist. Instructor Name: Office Hours: Office Location: John Fowler By appointment School of Management Building Executive Education Center Room 1.915 Mail Stop: SM10 Office Phone: 972-883-4697 E-Mail: Experience: I am a practitioner I am a 19 year veteran of the game industry and have held positions of increasing roles of responsibility with three major publishers. I have been responsible for video game sales calling on major retailers, managed multiple million dollar marketing budgets, managed marketing creative teams and launched several major video game titles. I have been CEO and founder of my own development company with five completed and published projects. (I will share many lessons learned with you in this class.) I have been involved with UTD School of Management the past ten years. I am currently working in the School of Management, Executive Education Department. I have taught graduate level project management and been the Director of the UTD EMBA program. I earned an EMBA in 1996 from UTD and I have a BFA from Manhattanville College. During Class There will be one break during the class, but in an emergency use your own discretion. Please do not cruise the internet or play games during the class unless it is to add something to the discussion. Guests are welcome. Please set all phones, pagers, and PDAs, to quiet mode. Making or answering calls in class are intrusive interruptions for me and your classmates. Please no calls or leaving during class to take a call.


School Closings If the University closes, that information is immediately posted to the home page at The major radio and TV stations will also receive the and broadcast the information. Scholastic Honesty The university has policies and procedures regarding scholastic dishonesty. Detailed information is available at: All students are expected to maintain a high level of responsibility with respect to academic honesty. Students who violate university rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from the university. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students and the integrity of the university, policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. I will fully conform to the Federal Education and Responsibility Act (FERPA) and take every precaution to protect your right to privacy. For example, I will not allow another student to ask for one of your graded assignments in case of your absence, unless you have made prior arrangements with me. I will also fully support the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as it applies to UTD. If these provisions apply to you please make me aware of your needs so I can accommodate you. Disabilities Disability Services facilitates the delivery of academic accommodations for students with disabilities. All new and returning students needing this service should contact Kerry Tate at 972-883-2098 before classes begin each semester, and should provide that office with a copy of their class schedule once registration is complete. Disclaimer This syllabus is subject to change