COMP 521: Modern Computer Games
Fall 2021, McGill University

Course Information
Course format
Lectures: Current plans are for the course to be given in-person. Online (zoom) lecturing will be used if/when advisable or necessary, in which cases announcements in MyCourses will be made on or before the day of the lecture.
Recordings: Lectures will also be recorded and made available in MyCourses for later review.
Notes: Making notes is part of the learning process. Students are responsible for either attending class or reviewing recorded lectures in order to make their own notes. I will upload whatever I write during lectures to MyCourses, but my handwriting is terrible. If you want readable notes you will need to make your own!
Equipment: In order to view the lecture recordings you will need appropriate equipment and internet access. Assignment code in this course tends to be quite large, and uploading them will require significant bandwidth, and/or good pre-planning. Most assignments will require Unity3D so you will need a computer capable of running that software. Unity3D is available for Windows, Mac and with some extra effort, Linux; note that the free personal (or student edition if you prefer) of Unity3D is all you need.
Time & Place Class Schedule
Tuesday, Thursday 11:35–12:55
LEA 219
Instructor Website Email
Clark Verbrugge
Office hours (starting September 2): Please see my main web page for specific times and method.
Teaching Assistants
TBA
Pre-requisites
COMP 251 (Algorithms and Data Structures)
MATH 223 (Linear Algebra)
COMP 303 (Programming Techniques) or COMP 361 (Systems Development Project)
Note that there is a non-trivial programming requirement and students should have strong programming skills.
Textbooks
There is no required text for this course. The following recommended texts, however, provide useful background and reference for some of the material taught in the course.
  • Artificial Intelligence for Games, Second or Third Edition. Ian Millington.
  • Real-time Collision Detection. Christer Ericson.
Additionally useful texts include the following.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Games. Georgios N. Yannakakis, Julian Togelius. Another game AI text, but with a somewhat different focus. Note that if you do not need a physical copy you can find this text online.
  • Game Physics Engine Development: How to Build a Robust Commercial-Grade Physics Engine for your Game. 2nd Edition. Ian Millington.