CS 451: Syllabus

Syllabus for Spring 2009

Topics and Reading Assignments


Chris Crawford, On Game Design, available through Colby's Safari Online subscription.

Chris Crawford, The Art of Computer Game Design

Maurina, The Game Programmer's Guide to Torque.

Finney, 3D Game Programming All In One.

Finney, Advanced 3D Game Programming All In One.


Game Design and Development 50%
Class Participation 10%
Assignments 20%
Portfolio 20%

This course is a project based course, focused on participation in the game design and development process. There will be a number of milestones during the semester for which your group needs to prepare and present your work. These presentations should be well-organized and give everyone in your group the chance to speak. The game design and development grades will be based on these presentations, game design materials and on the final product.

Your portfolio will also be an important component of your grade. As you develop content, work through tutorials, develop gameplay and rules, or write code, keep track of your efforts and build your portfolio. If you collect it all at the end of the semester, you run the risk of losing prior work or not including work for which you should receive credit.

The assignments will be small activities during the semester that will support your game design and development process.

Late Policy: Assignments need to be handed in on time. The remaining components have hard deadlines (presentations can't be late). The final games will be judged based on presentations and gameplay during the scheduled final exam.


We're going to use the college wiki for handing in all assignments and games. You may also want to use the wiki for coordinating your group.

For each assignment, I'll provide a unique label. When your writeup is ready, give the page the appropriate label and it will automatically be linked to the course wiki page.

Group pages

Once you've formed your groups, create a wiki page in one student's space and give everyone else in your group permission to edit that page. Give your group page the label cs451group and that will link it to the course page.

Weekly Topics and Readings

  • Introduction, course concept
  • Intellectual property
  • Game Definitions
  • Game design process
  • Blender and 3D models
  • Game engine tutorials
  • Game development / Audience
  • Rules
  • Building Torque objects in Blender
  • Gameplay
  • Torquescript, classes, datablocks
  • Animation
  • Character design
  • Texture Mapping
  • Game engine tutorials
  • Level design
  • Lighting, interiors
  • Torque Constructor
  • GUI design
  • GUI elements
  • Torque GUI designer
  • Modeling and simulation
  • Game AI
  • Motion Planning
  • Character AI
  • Motion and Physics
  • Graphics Pipeline