Note: no class or office hours on Monday April 7.

COMP-521: Modern Computer Games

School of Computer Science
McGill University
Winter 2014

Time and Place

Monday, Wednesday: 14:35 - 15:55
ENGTR 1090
Please consult Minerva for the most up-to-date scheduling & classroom location information.


Clark Verbrugge
Office: McConnell, room 230
Office hours: Monday 16:00-17:00, Wednesday 16:00-17:00, Friday 11:00-12:00, or by appointment.
Phone: 514-398-2411 but don't call me, use email

Teaching Assistant

Qihan Xu
Office: MC-231
Office hours: Thursday 8:30-11:30 (week of Jan 30); Tuesday & Wednesday 10:00-11:30 (other weeks)


COMP-303 Programming Techniques or COMP-361 Systems Development Project
(Pre or Co)-requisite: COMP-557 Fundamentals of Computer Graphics (or permission of the instructor)
There is a non-trivial programming requirement and students should have strong programming skills.

Note: students registering without the co- and pre-requisites may find the course removed from their transcript by their Faculty. If you do not have the official pre-requisites please see the instructor.


There is no required text for this course. Two supplemental texts are recommended and available in the bookstore as references for a couple specific topics:

Course Overview/Objectives

This course will introduce students to the core concepts and algorithms in modern computer game design. It covers a wide spectrum of game aspects, focusing on components essential to or common in popular computer game styles. Concepts are backed up by non-trivial programming tasks that allow students to gain practical experience in particular components of game implementation.

Note that computer graphics will not be covered in detail, and 3D graphics will not be covered at all. Knowledge of basic graphics methods and techniques will be presumed (see co-requisite requirement).

Course Syllabus

A detailed syllabus is available here.


3 Assignments: 40%
Project: 30%
Project demo: 5%
Exam: 25%


Assignment and Exam Policy

Assignments must be submitted on time. Late assignments will only be accepted in highly-exceptional circumstances and only with written permission of the instructor. No assignment submissions will be accepted after marked assignments have been returned, or after solutions have been discussed in class. In accord with McGill University's Charter of Students' Rights, students in this course have the right to submit in English or in French any written work that is to be graded.

McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offenses under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (see for more information).

More specifically, work submitted for this course must represent your own efforts. Copying assignments or tests, or allowing others to copy your work, will not be tolerated.