The Computer Games Development Course
The Computer Games Development degree is a Software Engineering degree which specialises in the area of computer games. The course also brings in the maths needed for computer game development.
We have developed our own specialised game engine in order to introduce the students to game development. This engine is called the TL-Engine. The TL-Engine uses C++ and but hides away the complexities of DirectX. In this way, first year student can concentrate on the fundamentals of game programming such as the game loop, game mechanics, Cartesian geometry, meshes and models.
In year 2 students learn 3D graphics using DirectX, AI (pathfinding, game agents, and finite state machines) and game development practices (importing models, sound, architecture, entities, etc). The students also engage in a team based project and build a small game.
In year 3 students do a large final year project. Typically this means building a tech demo (e.g. a water simulation), or implementing a substantial game mechanic (e.g. squad-based AI). Aside from the project the students study advanced graphics and game programming material (e.g. concurrency, spatial partitioning, instancing, scripting), some console work, more advanced maths topics such as quaternions and some more AI (e.g. influence maps, terrain analysis).
C++ is used throughout all three years of the degree. We also include C#, Java and Python in various modules.
Students are introduced to programming using C++ at the start of the degree. We do not assume that students have any prior computing experience. Computer architecture is also introduce in this first year.
In year 2 the programming stream includes advanced C++, software methodologies and design (lifecycle, UML, requirements, etc) and mobile computing (networking, wireless, mobile devices).
The programming stream on year 3 of the course includes further work on Object Oriented Methods and computer networks.
Maths is initially introduced within Games Concepts in Year 1. Further maths is introduced throughout the course at the point when we feel that the maths has a practical application. So Quaternions, for instance, are introduced in Year 3 within the "Emerging Technologies for Games" module.
More details on the course can be found on the School's games course page.