This course teachings the fundamentals of building a game engine. We will be using C++, software engineering techniques, and several libraries to build a game engine. This course will include some refreshers of using Object-Oriented methods to build software. There will also be some case studies of game engines and programming throughout this course.
Registrar Description:Discusses the components of game engines and strategies for their software implementation. Includes graphics management algorithms (animation, scene graph, level of detail); basic artificial intelligence algorithms (search, decision making, sensing); and related algorithmic issues (networking, threading, input processing). Explores the use of data-driven software design. Offers students an opportunity to use a rendering engine and to build and integrate several software components to create a complete game engine. Requires students to work on individual assignments and then develop a project in a team, which requires a report. Offers students an opportunity to learn team/project management; work division; team communication; and the software development cycle of implementation, testing, critique, and further iteration.
Undergraduate level CS 3520 Minimum Grade of D- or Undergraduate level CS 3540 Minimum Grade of D-
Undergraduate level CS 5010 Minimum Grade of D or Graduate level CS 5004 Minimum Grade of C
or Graduate level CS 5010 Minimum Grade of C
(Unofficially-Mike says) You need to be willing to learn a systems programming langauge (e.g. C++) and understand things like how to compile software, link in static and dynamic libraries, and understand memory allocation
There will be no required textbook to purchase for this course. However, these resources have been vetted, and I recommend for mastery (while taking this course, and reviewing later on in your career).
Northeastern Academic Integrity Policy - You only cheat yourself if you are not honest. Most often cheating occurs when an individual falls behind or perhaps has other circumstances occurring in their life. Please consult the instructor before ever considering cheating.
If you are caught cheating I have to report the violation. My official policy is you receive a 0 in the course. Always remember, if you use any external sources, you must cite them.
Student Code of Conduct: Students and instructors will follow the following guide for how we conduct ourselves. This is to create a respectful environment where everyone can learn.
Students participating in varsity athletics(this does not include club sports or intramurals) or other University sanctioned events may have the need for a make-up. Please contact me in advance of such events, so that appropriate accommodations can be made.
This semester we will be using a "tokens" system such that you can extend an assignment or lab (but not final project) by up to three days total. Simply move the token file to the assignment or lab directory in your github repo and it will be automatically applied. Further directions are in the repository
E-mailing me asking for extensions just because is unfortunately not fair to your classmates, thus in this course, we have the token system which allows you up to extend your assignment by up to 3 days throughout the semester (or otherwise to split 3 tokens for multiple assignments) to complete your work and stay on track. Assignment submissions that are otherwise submitted late without using a token receive a 10% penalty per day.
Occasionally, other life events and circumstances occur that were not planned. If this is the case, please e-mail me privately.
Boston-based undergraduate students (with the exception of CPS) may take up to two Wellness Days (excused absences) during the Spring 2023 semester as part of this program. Wellness Days cannot be used consecutively or on days of scheduled exams, presentations or labs. Students are encouraged to reach out to faculty if they need a day off that does not qualify as a Wellness Day. We encourage faculty to read through the details of the program: https://wellnessdays.studentlife.northeastern.edu/.
Part of what makes university unique, is our diverse cohort of students, faculty, and staff. In order to support this, the university is committed to providing equal access and support to all qualified students through the provision of reasonable accommodations so that each student may fully participate in the University experience.
If you have a disability that requires accommodations, please contact the Student Accessibility Services office at DRC@northeastern.edu or (617) 373-2675 to make an appointment with the Disability Resource Center representatives in 20 Dodge Hall to determine appropriate accommodations.
We Care is another university resource for helping tackle challenges you may be facing. Asking for help is okay!
Lateness and Attendance Policy
Students who do well in this course tend to show up to the course consistently, participate, start coursework the day it is assigned, and engage with their peers. Come to class, come on time, and build good habits! In-Class activities that are not completed during attendance are a zero.
While university can be difficult at times, please do take care of yourself. It is okay to seek help and take a break. Please communicate with your instructor, advisor, and officials at the university if you just need a mental break.
Northeastern University provides resources for student healthcare and general wellness:
I personally remember how difficult university can be juggling myself multiple jobs, multiple clubs, and trying to learn. Do take your wellness seriously!
Another resource at Northeastern is We Care which provides resources for students at Northeastern.
Please find below the grading distribution that will be used for this course to compute a weighted average for your final grade. You will find grades you earn through the semester on Canvas and your final grade in banner.
Please do not ask me for an A on the first day of class (It happens enough I have a bullet point here).
In the event of a sick/snow day (i.e. we miss a lab or in-class activity) the weight of each assignment increases (There may also be shuffling of course material if we are interrupted).
The expectation is that the assignments are fair but difficult, so you should start early!
Late Submissions of Assignments can be extended up to 3 days max with your tokens without a penalty--otherwise your assignments lose 10% each day it is turned in late if a token has not been used
Unfortunately, with large classes I cannot make individual exceptions (i.e. "special deals") fairly to your classmates who are likely making other personal sacrifices to complete work on time.
Come speak to me about your wellness if something is otherwise impeding your progress so we can provide you available resources to succeed.
Assignments that do not compile/open receive no credit Simply put, programs that do not compile do not do anything.
There are no "re-grades" or points awarded one week after your grade is posted. "re-grades" may result in a higher, equal, or lower score.
Re-grades are done cautiously to correct any errors that may occur from the course staff.
Re-grades are not for "redoing assignments", you have the opportunity to improve based on the feedback for your next assignment.
There are no "re-grades" after the semester is over.
Do not ask multiple members of the course staff for "re-grades"
If you are currently waitlisted, you must submit your homework on time. That is the gamble! If you do not have Canvas access, you will submit by e-mail or other course mechanism (e.g. github).
There are no extra credit assignments just for you. I reserve the right to add points to assignments that do go above and beyond however. I reserve the right to give an extra credit assignment to the entire class, though this is highly unlikely.
I reserve the right to modify the grading scale in your favor if you show exemplary proficiency in any of the categories. I will never modify the scale to lower a students grade.
In class work cannot be made up at a later date unless otherwise arranged with the instructor well in advance.
Course work completed after the date cannot be graded, as solutions will have been discussed (this includes if taking this course for an Incomplete).
Once again, "in-class" work must be completed in-class unless there is a documented emergency or you have prearranged with the instructor a make-up well in advance.
Lab time (in-person courses) is meant for helping students with the lab, not completing homework. I have to prioritize lab first, then can answer homework questions.
Generally speaking I like Microsoft Teams for office hours, but do not prefer it for ad-hoc questions (use e-mail or piazza).
No Facebook, no cell phones. Not only does it distract you, it distracts others!
Everyone needs to come see me in office hours (or by appointment) at least one time during the semester to introduce yourself. The purpose is so that you:
Know where my office is (physical or virtual)
Get used to coming to office hours.
Let me know how I can help you achieve your goals.
Please do not redistribute or host any materials without e-mailing me first. I generally am happy to share the latest .pdf or slide presentation with those who ask. Thank you for your time!