CMPUT 250 - Computers and Games

Sign up for CMPUT 250
Computer Game Development Certificate

Overview

A computer game is the culmination of creative efforts of many different artistic and technical disciplines, integrated through the capabilities of the computer. Computer games are a new art form. They have changed the way we think about traditional activities. For example, role playing games are a new vehicle for story-telling; the reader becomes an active participant that influences the story.

Students in the course come from various faculties on campus, each bringing their own skill set. While students from different faculties may often take other courses together, rarely, if ever, are they required to work together in a collaborative manner where their disparate skills are needed to complete a term-length project. CMPUT 250 provides the students with such an opportunity. Each team of students builds a complete, self- contained game with a provided game engine. They refine their ideas through the study and application of design, storytelling, art, scripting, and music, which ultimately leads to vertical slice prototypes, a beta version, and final release. Related to the course, although entirely disconnected from grades in the course, there is the annual award ceremony where games from both terms compete in several categories.

Instructors from various University of Alberta departments are recruited to lecture in the course. Industry partners, such as BioWare Corp., offer lectures as well, providing students with practical advice on the completion of their projects, as well as feedback on the students’ productions.

CMPUT 250 Syllabus (PDF, 179kb)

Objectives

  • Gain a hands-on experience of developing video games as a multi-disciplinary team project
  • Discuss the role of games in our society
  • Recognize games as a form of art and, in particular, as a story-telling medium
  • Understand the history of video games and the accompanying technology such as AI

Course Work

  • Lab exercises to learn game-development tools
  • Lab exam
  • Assignments
  • Midterm(s)
  • Reports and in-class presentations as game-development milestones
  • Peer-evaluation of your classmates' games
  • Project: a team-developed video game