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Digital Games

Code: MM0064     Acronym: JD

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Visual Arts
OFICIAL Communication Technology

Instance: 2017/2018 - 1S Ícone do Moodle

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Department of Informatics Engineering
Course/CS Responsible: Master in Multimedia

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
MM 33 Syllabus 1 - 6 45 162

Teaching - Hours

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

Teaching language



The professionals in the multimedia area can take great advantages in the use of digital games, not only as an entertainment product, but also due to the immersive and interactive capability of this technology that can enhance other applications, namely in the learning process.

The aim of this course is to convey knowledge about the process of digital games design and development, with particular emphasis on Multimedia Technology. 


Learning outcomes and competences

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

  • Identify the distinct tasks in a digital game project and all the skills involved; 
  • Apply multimedia techniques within the context of digital games design; 
  • Select the methodologies and components that are best suited to the design of a digital game; 
  • Develop a digital game project integrated in a multidisciplinary team.


Working method


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

No specific prior knowledge is necessary. However, all skills in the area of multimedia and programming can become an advantage to the development of digital games. 


The program of this course is based on the document "IGDA* Curriculum Framework", with a predominant focus on issues related to Multimedia Technology.

  1. Digital Games:
    • Concept,
    • Historical background,
    • Development process,
    • Psychological and social aspects. 
  2. Digital Games Design
    • Conception of computer games,
    • Creating the story, characters, environments and game levels,
    • Game mechanics,
    • User interaction,
    • Supporting documentation,
    • Game development Software.
  3. Digital Games Programming
    • Architecture of a game engine,
    • Graphics engine,
    • Logic engine,
    • Physics engine,
    • Artificial Intelligence,
    • Procedural content generation.
  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. Digital Games Industry 
    • Outline of the digital games industry,
    • Business areas and application of digital games,
    • Digital games  development lifecycle.

* The International Game Developers Association is the largest non-profit membership organization serving individuals who create video games.

Mandatory literature

Jeannie Novak; Game development essentials. ISBN: 978-1-4180-4208-0
Jesse Schell; The art of game design. ISBN: 978-0-12-369496-6
Carlos Martinho, Pedro Santos e Rui Prada; Design e Desenvolvimento de Jogos, FCA - Editora de Informática, Lda., 2014. ISBN: 978-972-722-762-4

Complementary Bibliography

ed. Steve Rabin; Introduction to game development. ISBN: 978-1-58450-679-9
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
Jeannie Novak; Travis Castillo; Game Development Essentials: Game Level Design, Delmar Cengage Learning, 2008. ISBN: 9781401878641
Chris Crawford; Chris Crawford on Game Design, New Riders Games, 2003. ISBN: 978-0131460997
Deborah Todd; Game design. ISBN: 978-1-56881-318-9

Teaching methods and learning activities

Classes will be based on lectures and practical assignments. One component of the classes includes lectures about 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 a practical work and a project on digital games, integrated in working groups. A workshop is taking place at the end of the semester where the students present the projects developed.




Technological sciences > Technology > Graphic techniques
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
Teste 20,00
Trabalho laboratorial 70,00
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 = PA * 25% + Proj * 45% + Pres * 10% + WE * 20%


      • FM: Final Mark
      • PA: Practical Assignment
      • Proj: Project
      • Pres: Presentation and examination of the project
      • WE: Written Evaluation

Examinations or Special Assignments

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

The written examination may be replaced by another individual assessment component, if agreed with the teachers until the date set in the first class.

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 PA to 30% and the the assessment of the project to 45%. 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 digital 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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