Computer Game Design & Development

Comp 7930/4960 - Introduction to Computer Game Design & Development

Spring 2009
Computer Science & Software Engineering
Time: TBD
This course will provide an introduction to current and future techniques for electronic game design and programming. Topics will include graphics game engines, motion generation, behavioral control for autonomous characters, interaction structure, and social and interface issues of multi-user play.

Instructor Cheryl Seals, Ph. D.

105 D Dunstan Hall
sealscd at auburn dot edu

Office Hours: 1:00-2:00 T/W or by appointment.


Introduction to Game Design edited by Steve RAbin

Game Design Workshop: Designing, Prototyping, and Playtesting Games (Paperback) by Tracy Fullerton, Christopher Swain, Steven Hoffman

The Schedule is tentative and will be modified to support appropriate level of instruction for the class. The textbooks will be supplemented by handouts in class and pointers to web pages.

Game Development Groups

The Psych Experiment     Hidden Motives     Mindcept     Xtreme Rally     Team SRX

Group Project Specs     Teaching Game Descriptions     Final Project Submission

Final Presentations




Jan. 7-13
Jan. 16
  • Readings Ch 1.2
Jan. 18
Jan. 21-27
  • Project Description Work[P1]
    • Readings Ch 2.1, 2.2
    • Discussion Chapter 2.1 (#1, #2)
      Discussion Chapter 2.2 (#1, #9, #10)
    Jan. 28 - Feb. 3
    Feb. 4 - 10
    Feb. 13
    Feb 15
    • Project Descriptions
    • Game scripting and programming
    • Human-computer interaction (HCI)
    • Level design
    • Assignment 5 Due Feb 16
    Feb. 20
    Feb. 24
    • Animation and Collision Detection
      Jian, Michael, Joseph, Kinnis
    Collision Detection
    Animation Extras
    Activity & Extras
    Suggested Readings - Ch4,Ch5.1,5.2
    Feb. 27
    Mar. 6
    • Art and Asset Creation by
      Pako, Robbyn, Vince, Wanda
    Art & Asset Creation Extras
    Suggested Readings - Chapter 6.1-6.7
    Mar. 8
    Mar. 13
    • Graphics, 3D Models & Textures
      Christin, Jacqueline, Shuang
    Graphics, 3D & Textures
    Suggested Readings - Ch5.1, 6.2, 6.4, 6.7
    Mar. 15
    Mar. 20
    • AI, Audio & Networking by
      Cong, Lacey, Sundeep, Brandi
    • Game Minimum Target Due
    Suggested Readings - Ch5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 6.8
    Mar. 26 - 31

      Spring Break
    Apr. 1 - 7 Best Selling Game Title of All Time
    Readings - Chapter 8 (Game Design Workshop)
    Apr. 8 - 14
    • Chapter 7.1
      Production Management
    • Play testing
    • Game Usability Testing
    • Game Beta Release
    Readings - Chapter 7 (Intro to Game Development)
    I have no words & I must design
    Apr. 15 - 21 Readings- Chapter 7 (Intro to Game Development)
    The Cabal: Valve's Design Process for Creating Half-Life
    Apr. 22-28
    • Final Gaming Presentations
    • Playtesting
    May 4
    • Final Writeups of Projects Due

    • Final Exam TBD
    • Graduation Friday May, 2007.


    The final grade will be based on assignments (written and programming), project, attendance/participation, and exams. If you miss an exam or fail to turn in an assignment on time (without an official University excuse), you will receive a zero. No late assignments will be accepted! The grading scale for all exams and assignments is as follows:
    90-100 A
    80-89 B
    70-79 C
    60-69 D
    below 60 F

    Final grades will be determined using the followings:

    Assignments and Quizzes ( 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) 20%
    Exams (Feb/April) 20%
    Topic Presentation (Feb/Mar) 20%
    Project 40% (Feb/Mar/Apr)

    Exam dates are tentative and may be changed at instructor discretion. Final exam date is fixed by the university.

    Assignments (2-4) will consist of programming and/or written exercises. Quizzes (3-4) assess reading of course reading materials. All work is to be done independently (unless explicitly stated by instructor). The project: Multidisciplinary Teams of 3-4 individuals will implement of a complete video game, includes evaluation of the game as well as one or more presentations in the course of the game design. The aim is to have both designers and developers on each team. We will use multiple methods of game creation visual programming and textual programming based upon team experience. Game design and development will be completed in project teams. Late homework solutions will not be accepted. I reserve the right to keep all homework assignments.

    I reserve the right to keep all exams. You will be informed as to the exact format of an exam as well as the format of the questions on an exam. Exams will be closed book; however, one 8.5x11 inch sheet of paper filled with any handwritten information a student thinks is necessary is permitted. This 8.5x11 "crib-sheet" must be handed in along with the exam. Failure to hand in a "crib-sheet" will result in a zero for that exam. Scratch paper will be provided by the proctor. All scratch paper issued by the proctor must be handed in along with the exam. Failure to hand in scratch paper will result in a zero for that exam.

    Accommodation policy
    If you need special accommodations, please contact me during the first week of classes.

    Instances of cheating will be handled according to university policy. Cheating covers any case in which a student has received unauthorized aid in his/her performance that contributes to a course grade or submits material contributing to a course grade with the intent to deceive the instructor or grader. If the unauthorized aid includes help from another student, then that student is considered to have cheated as well.

    3D Game Studio and MAYA will be available in a CSSE lab ASAP for our class use. You may download the trial version to complete the first couple homeworks until you get access to a licensed version.

    Last Updated April 2007
    C.D.Seals 2007