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EECS 494: Computer Game Design and Development

Instructor: John Laird

In this course we study the technology, science, and art involved in the creation of computer games. The course emphasizes hands-on design and development of games, including the underlying computer science and technology that supports game development: networking, simulation and modeling, 2D and 3D graphics, artificial intelligence, and real-time processing. We study the principles of game design and game balance and how those principles apply to specific game genres, such as arcade games, action games, sports games, strategy games, and narrative games. We also study the game industry, and ethical issues that arise in the game industry.

The course includes visiting lectures from game industry experts and two individual and one group projects. The individual projects include an arcade game and a 3D game. The final group project requires the students cover all phases of game development including system conceptualization, specification, design, implementation, and evaluation.

We assume significant programming experience and knowledge of programming language concepts. We also assume student can learn new programming concepts and systems (such as DirectX or OpenGL) on their own.

Adams, Ernest. Fundamentals of Game Design. 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: New Riders, 2010.

1. History of Computer Games
2. Game Design Principles
3. Arcade Design Principles
4. Arcade Game Architecture & 2D Graphics
5. Zenlib Game Engine
6. Basic Physics and Collision Detection
7. Game Design Process
8. Movement and Path Planning
9. 3D Graphics
10. HCI and Computer Games
11. Videogames & Learning
12. Development Documents
13. Example Final Projects
14. Computer Game Business
15. Networking for Computer Games
16. Artificial Intelligence
17. Serious Games
18. Game Audio
19. Working in the Game Industry
20. Developing Games for Mobile Devices
21. Strategy Games
22. Massively Multiplayer Games:
23. Story-based Game Design
24. RPG Games
25. Ethics in Computer Games