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Computer Games Development

Code: EIC0090     Acronym: DJCO

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Interaction and Multimedia

Instance: 2014/2015 - 2S Ícone do Moodle

Active? Yes
E-learning page: https://moodle.fe.up.pt/
Responsible unit: Department of Informatics Engineering
Course/CS Responsible: Master in Informatics and Computing Engineering

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
MIEIC 26 Syllabus since 2009/2010 4 - 6 56 162

Teaching - Hours

Recitations: 3,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Recitations Totals 1 3,00
António Fernando Vasconcelos Cunha Castro Coelho 1,50
Rui Pedro Amaral Rodrigues 1,50

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students



Software engineers can take great advantages of having skills in the development of digital games, not only as a final product of the entertainment industry, but also due to the immersive and interactive capabilities of this technology that can enhance diverse software products, even in learning.


The aim of this course is to convey knowledge about the process of computer games development, with particular emphasis on issues related to the programming of the distinct modules that compose a game engine.


  • Scientific component: 30%
  • Technological component: 70%


Learning outcomes and competences

At the end of the course the student will be able to:

  • Identify the distinct tasks in a computer game project and all the skills involved;
  • Apply computer games programming techniques within the context of computer games development;
  • Select the algorithms and programming techniques that are best suited to the specification and design of a computer game;
  • Develop, program and extend the distinct modules that compose a game engine.
  • Develop a computer game project integrated in a multidisciplinary team.

Working method


Pre-requirements (prior knowledge) and co-requirements (common knowledge)

Essential knowledge of Computer Programming (preferably C and C++), Algorithms and Data Structures and Computer Graphics.


The program of this course is based on the document "IGDA Curriculum Framework", with a predominant focus on issues related to computer games programming.

1. Computer Games: Concept, historical background, development process, psychological and social aspects.

2. Computer Games Design Creating computer games: creating the story, characters, environments and game levels; the game mechanics; user interaction; supporting documentation.

3. Computer Games Programming Architecture of a game engine, data structures and algorithms, graphics engine, logic engine, physics engine. Artificial Intelligence. Procedural modelling.

4. Visual and Audio Design Design, creation and analysis of the visual components of computer games; design and creation of sound and sound environments for computer games.

5. Industry of Computer Games Outline of the industry of computer games; business areas and application of computer games, computer games development lifecycle.

Mandatory literature

Jeannie Novak; Game development essentials. ISBN: 978-1-4180-4208-0
ed. Steve Rabin; Introduction to game development. ISBN: 978-1-58450-679-9

Complementary Bibliography

Deborah Todd; Game design. ISBN: 978-1-56881-318-9
Troy Dunniway; Jeannie Novak; Game Development Essentials: Gameplay Mechanics , Delmar Cengage Learning, 2008. ISBN: 9781418052690
Kevin Saunders; Jeannie Novak; Game Development Essentials: Game Interface Design, Delmar Cengage Learning, 2007. ISBN: 9781418016203
Chris Crawford; Chris Crawford on game design, New Riders, 2003. ISBN: 9780131460997
Jason Gregory; Game Engine Architecture, A K Peters, 2009. ISBN: 978-1568814131

Teaching methods and learning activities

Classes will be theoretical and practical.

One component of the classes is the presentation and discussion of topics from the course program as well as a series of lectures by guest speakers featuring real cases of computer games development.

In another component, the students develop two projects on computer game development, integrated in working groups. A conference is taking place at the end of the semester where the students present the final projects developed.


Technological sciences > Technology > Graphic techniques > Computer graphics

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Defesa pública de dissertação, de relatório de projeto ou estágio, ou de tese 10,00
Participação presencial 10,00
Trabalho laboratorial 80,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Estudo autónomo 50,00
Frequência das aulas 42,00
Trabalho laboratorial 70,00
Total: 162,00

Eligibility for exams

Do not exceed the maximum number of absences and participate actively in the development of the proposed assignments. Students with worker statute or equivalent are exempted from classes but must present the progress of their work, and should make their presentation together with ordinary students.

Calculation formula of final grade

The final mark is calculated by the following formula:

FM = PP * 30% + FP * 50% + Pres * 10% + EC * 10%

  • FM: Final Mark
  • PP: Preliminary Project
  • FP: Final Project
  • Pres: Presentation and examination of FP
  • EC: Evaluation from classes

Examinations or Special Assignments

The presentation of the final project, will be held at the conference in the presence of a jury.

Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)

For students with worker statute or equivalent the EC component may not be considered, with a consequent increase in the assessment of the preliminary project to 35% and the the assessment of the final project to 55%. Additionally, they must comply to the stated in " Admission to Exams".

Classification improvement

Classification Improvement will be held in a single moment with the delivery and presentation of a computer game project. The student should contact the teacher staff for the project specification. It is also necessary to present the evolution of the work at regular intervals.

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