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CSC 167: Game Strategy, Interaction and Design

Term Fall 2009
Course Website
Instructor Bruce Gooch
Office: ECS 320
Phone Number: 250-472-5758
Office Hours: Friday 10:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Lecture Schedule
TWF     9:30 - 10:20 a.m.     SCI A104
Laboratory Schedule Labs begin the week of Sept. 14, 2009. Please attend the lab you have registered for. Lab times and locations are available from the timetable through uSource.
Materials Required:

One large 3 ring binder.
1-3 highlighter pens
One dice game, such as the ones at
One card game, such as the ones at
Software Required:

Adobe CS4 Flash Pro (~$160.00) To be purchased with a group of 5.

Flash Develop (~Free).
Textbooks No Textbook is Required, the following is Recomended Reading:
Introduction to Game Development, Edited by Steve Rabin, Charles River Media
Game Architecture and Design, Rollings and Morris, Coriolis Publishing.
Game Design: The Art and Business of Creating Games, Bates, Prima Tech.
Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design: Rollings and Adams, New Riders.
Game Design: Theory and Practice, Rouse, Wordware Game Developer's Library.
3D Game Engine Design, David H. Eberly, Morgan Kaufmann.
Game Programming Gems 1, 2, 3, 4 Mark DeLoura, Charles River Media.
Course Objectives As computer technology weaves itself into the fabric of our culture, it has combined with the arts in unexpected ways. Technology has allowed artists to develop new genres and media, but art has also acted reciprocally upon technology. In the 1950s, the idea of dedicating a computer to entertainment was unthinkable, yet revenues from the computer game industry now exceed Hollywood box office revenues. The computer’s role has expanded from the ENIAC as a calculating machine to the Pocket PC as a fashion accessory, the Smart Phone as a companion, and software like FrontPage as a medium for self-expression. However, the cultures of art and technology remain largely separate. While computer science has created useful artistic tools such as Photoshop and Flash, the design and implementation of those tools has been left largely to the programmers, not to the artists who would use them. Conversely, programmers are often frustrated when working with artists and designers who are uninformed about the practical realities of engineering. The differences in goals, vocabulary, and culture between the two groups bring progress on many multimedia projects to a standstill.

We believe the only solution is to train a new generation of artist-technologists who understand and respect the traditions of both disciplines. We believe it is both important and practical to create a new interdisciplinary undergraduate major that will train artist-technologists in the diverse disciplines required for work in emerging media. We are developing a new curriculum that will combine computer science with visual design, sound design, and narrative theory. Computer gaming provides students with a useful metaphor to bring together the theory of algorithms and data structures taught in early classes in an engaging and meaningful application. A course on computer game authoring also fosters teamwork among students, while combining concepts from art and physics with programming to create a tangible product.
Topics In this course, we will study the technology, science, and art involved in the creation of computer games. Students will review current trends in computer game programming and build their own games on top of available game engines. We will study a variety of software technologies relevant to games including algorithms, programming languages, compilers, operating systems, file systems, networks, simulation engines, and multi-media design systems. We will also study some of the underlying scientific concepts from computer science and related fields including: simulation and modeling, graphics, artificial intelligence, real-time processing, and game theory. Finally, we will study the art and design principles for developing useable and engaging games including: software engineering, human computer interaction, thematic structure, graphic design, choreography, music and sound effects, and game aesthetics.
Assignments In this course there will be 4 assignments worth 50% of the final grade. The schedule appears below, but may be changed during the term.
Assignment Schedule
Assignment Weight (out of 50%) Due Date
Design Document 1 5% September 25
Game 1 15% October 23
Design Document 2 5% November 6
Final Project 25% December 11
Exams There will be 36 Quizzes given during the semester. Each quiz will be worth 1% of the final grade. Students will be allowed to drop their lowest six scores.

The final exam will be a presentation of your final project, worth 40% of the grade on the final project. It will be scheduled by the University.

For courses which have final exams, students are strongly advised not to make final plans for travel or employment during the exam period since special arrangements will not be made for examinations that may conflict with such plans.
Coursework Weight (out of 100%)
Assignments 50%
Readings 10%
Quizzes 30%
Labs 10%

Final Grades are obtained by converting the numerical scores using the conversion table below. The dividing line between grades may be adjusted by up to 3% to account for natural breaks in the numeric scores. Further, the "out of" values for the assignments may be adjusted downward to account for difficulty.

F D C C+ B- B B+ A- A A+
0-49 50-54 55-59 60-64 65-69 70-74 75-79 80-84 85-89 90-100
Posting Of Grades Term marks, provisional final grades and final grades will be posted by student number. NO NAME WILL APPEAR. These postings are for your information and for your validation of the data entry. If you do not wish your term marks and grades to be publicly posted in this manner, please notify the course instructor by e-mail no later than September 11, 2009.
Your Responsibilities Netlink and WebCT: Course related e-mail will be sent to your UVic e-mail account (not your csc e-mail account). Course marks will be accessible through WebCT. In accordance with departmental policy, you should only expect a response to e-mail if you sent it from a UVic account.
Attending class: The book gives a guide to the material covered, but the instructor will introduce additional material and viewpoints. If you must miss a class, you should obtain notes from a student who was present. In general, lecture notes will NOT be posted.
Reading (and understanding) the relevant material in the text: The schedule will indicate the material relevant to each of the lectures. Not all material will be covered in lectures. This is your primary responsibility in getting through the course.
Doing the homework: The assignments are an integral part of the course and you cannot learn the material without doing them. Many exam questions will be directly related to the assignments.
Csc Student Groups The Computer Science Course Union serves all students who are either in a computer science program or taking a class in computer science. Please sign yourself up on their mailing list if you would like to be informed about their social events and services.

Women in Engineering and Computer Science - The purpose of the WECS is to encourage more women and girls to consider Computer Science or Engineering as a career and to support them in their decision once they arrive at UVic.

The Engineering Students' Society (ESS) serves all students registered in an Engineering degree program, including Software Engineering (BSEng). For information on ESS activities, events and services navigate to .
Course Policies And Guidelines Late Assignments: No late assignments will be accepted unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor at least 48 hours before the assignment due date.
Coursework Mark Appeals: All marks must be appealed within 7 days of the mark being posted.
Attendance: We expect students attend all lectures and labs. It is entirely the students' responsibility to recover any information or announcements presented in lectures from which they were absent.
Electronic Devices: No unauthorized audio or video recording of lectures is permitted.
Calculators are only permitted for examinations and tests if explicitly authorized and the type of calculator permitted may be restricted. No other electronic devices (e.g. cell phones, pagers, PDA, etc.) may be used during examinations or tests unless explicitly authorized.
Plagiarism: Submitted work may be checked using plagiarism detection software. Cheating, plagiarism and other forms of academic fraud are taken very seriously by both the University and the Department. You should consult for the UVic policy on academic integrity. Note that the university policy includes the statement that "A largely or fully plagiarized assignment should result in a grade of F for the course".

The Faculty of Engineering Standards for Professional Behaviour is at

The department guidelines concerning fraud are at

Department Policies: A list of department policies regarding all courses may be found at

This course aims to provide equal opportunities and access for all students to enjoy the benefits and privileges of the class and its curriculum and to meet the syllabus requirements. Reasonable and appropriate accommodation will be made available to students with documented disabilities (physical, mental, learning) in order to give them the opportunity to successfully meet the essential requirements of the course. The accommodation will not alter academic standards or learning outcomes, although the student may be allowed to demonstrate knowledge and skills in a different way. It is not necessary for you to reveal your disability and/or confidential medical information to the course instructor. If you believe that you may require accommodation, the course instructor can provide you with information about confidential resources on campus that can assist you in arranging for appropriate accommodation. Alternatively, you may want to contact the Resource Centre for Students with a Disability located in the Campus Services Building.

The University of Victoria is committed to promoting, providing, and protecting a positive, and supportive and safe learning and working environment for all its members.