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CSC3221 : Programming for Games

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Neil Speirs
  • Teaching Assistant: Mr Chris Napier
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To introduce fundamental concepts underpinning computer games programming where optimimzation through understanding the underlying hardware is essential.

Outline Of Syllabus

1) Machine Architecture - How the modern computer works and the engineering solutions to overcome design limitations.
2) Software versioning - How to use software versioning to create professional programs.
3) Memory and its Management - How memory allocation works and how it influences how code executes.
4) Efficient Object Orientation - The use of object orientation to produce maintainable code while ensuring performance of execution is considered.
5) Design Patterns - How and when to use design patterns to simplify program development.
6) From PC to Console - Understanding the differences in console programming compared to PC programming.
7) Structuring the question - The use of matrix based equation solving in general game programming.
8) Debugging - The use of tools and techniques to achieve error free code.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:307:00Revision for end of semester exam and exam duration
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion111:0011:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical221:0022:00Practicals
Guided Independent StudyProject work221:0022:00Coursework
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study271:0027:00Background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Techniques and theory are presented in lectures. Supervised practicals on a PC cluster room provide experience of writing programs and using PCs with help available. Further practical work takes place during the private study hours.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A50N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M20weekly programming exercises (10 hours)
Practical/lab report1M30Optimized games program (10 hours)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment rationale is based on the practical requirements associated with computer game development. Students must be able to understand and apply optimization techniques which take advantage of the underlying hardware platform. The written examination demonstrates that students understand the underlying theory and standard methods, and can apply them.

Study abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the length of the exam may differ from that shown in the MOF.

N.B. This module has both “Exam Assessment” and “Other Assessment” (e.g. coursework). If the total mark for either assessment falls below 35%, the maximum mark returned for the module will normally be 35%.

Reading Lists