Final Project — Background & Initial Proposal

Due Date

Tuesday, October 6th — 11:59pm

Background

A significant portion of your course grade (40%) is based on your final project. However, your overall final project grade will be based not only on your final application (which itself is graded on originality as well as the criteria for the week-long projects), but also on the quality of other deliverables.

The final grading breakdown…

  • Written Initial Proposal (5%)
  • Oral Proposal Presentation (5%)
  • Written Final Proposal (15%)
  • Oral Final Presentation (15%)
  • Actual Application (60%)

Guidance

For the final project, you may choose to work by yourself of with a partner.

Your app should strive to be interesting, novel, and unique. With over 85,000 apps on the store this may seem like a daunting task, especially if someone has already implemented your idea. However, if there already exists an app for your idea, think about how you can differentiate your app to make it stand out. Or, think about how you can do do something better and go with it.

Any type of application is acceptable, as long as it follows Apple’s general guidelines and would be rated less than Apple’s 17+ category. Apple’s current 17+ description is listed below for reference — if you have any questions or concerns that this might be an issue for your app, come talk to me.

17+
You must be at least 17 years old to purchase this application.
Applications in this category may also contain frequent and intensive offensive language; frequent intense cartoon, fantasy or realistic violence; and frequent and intense mature, horror, and suggestive themes; plus sexual content, nudity, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs which may not be suitable for children under the age of 17.

Your app could be a game, a musical related-app, a social or location aware app, a business app, reference app, etc. Your app must include more than one view and must persist some form of data (preferences, game state, data, etc.). It is recommended that you consider including some form of animation and sounds into your app. You are encouraged to explore areas of the SDK and APIs beyond what is discussed in class. Part of being a professional developer is the ability to read documentation, research APIs and write code without instruction.

Project Scope

It is easy to become excited about a project and bite off more than you can chew. Some things to keep in mind…

  • You will have until the end of the semester to complete your project — about 2 1/2 months
  • The weekly projects should taper off around mid-November leaving the last month or so of the semester to dedicate to your final project
  • Be sure to think about your other coursework and commitments when describing what you plan to hand in at the end of the semester

If you have an idea for a larger project think about how you might be able to segment it into discrete parts that are doable within the semester. I’d much rather see a smaller app (or portions of a lager app) that are polished and done well versus a larger unfinished/unpolished/buggy app.

Initial Written Proposal

Your initial written proposal and should contain the following elements…

  • A working title that sums up your app
  • Listing of team members — name and myUMBC username
  • A brief (a paragraph or two) description of what your app will do

Example

Below is an example (based on Apple’s stock app) that shows the level of detail I’m looking for at this point…

Initial Proposal

Initial Proposal

Submission

Your initial project proposal should be submitted as a PDF document. Both Macs and Linux have supported exporting/printing to PDFs for some time. If writing your proposal in MS Windows there are a couple of free PDF generation options including: Save as PDF Plugin for MS Office or PDFCreator (a PDF print driver for MS Windows).

If you are working with a partner, only one of you should submit the proposal.

Submit using the command:

submit cs491i initialproposal proposal.pdf

If authoring on your own machine, you’ll need to transfer the file into your GL account (via SCP) and then SSH into GL and issue the submit command.

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