CS 425 Game Programming I



C or better in CS 310 and CS 351


Required: Game Engine Architecture by Jason Gregory. ISBN# 978-1-56881-413-1


This course is a requirement of the ACS Game Design degree and can be used as a Senior CS Elective for the BS CS degree.

The course will provide an introduction to technologies and techniques used in modern computer games, animations, and special effects. Students will gain knowledge and experience needed to build games, simulations, and animations. Therefore, the key elements of the course will be knowledge, experience, and fun!


Late policy:

Each student will be granted 3 grace days that can be used with programming assignments. The smallest unit that can be used is one day. After using the grace days, students will receive no credit for late assignments. All assignments will be given and submitted through Blackboard.

Course Outcomes:

a) Become familiar with advanced techniques used in object-oriented programming

b) Realize the manner with which the graphics pipeline may be utilized to create animations, games, and simulations

c) Utilize mathematical abilities to create optimum algorithms

d) Exhibit skills that demonstrate understanding of physics simulations

e) Realize the appropriate techniques for maximizing code reuse

f) Experience employing a variety of data structures and algorithms

Tentative Schedule:

Topic Assignment
Week 1 Introduction 1. Installation
Week 2 Character animation 2. Walking
Week 3 System design 3. Level Loading
Week 4 Pathfinding
Week 5 Pathfinding 4. Pathfinding
Week 6 Flocks and swarms
Week 7 Flocks and swarms 5. Flocks 
Week 8 Collision Detection
Week 9 Rigid Body Dynamics
Week 10 Rigid Body Dynamics 6. Physics
Week 11 Artificial Intelligence
Week 12 Artificial Intelligence
Week 13 Low level systems
Week 14 Project Presentations Final Project

Classroom Behavior:

Regarding electronic devices (such as laptops, cell phones, etc.), please be respectful of your peers and your instructor and do not engage in activities that are unrelated to class. Such disruptions show a lack of professionalism and may affect your participation grade.

Academic Integrity

Mason is an Honor Code university; please see the Office for Academic Integrity for a full description of the code and the honor committee process. The principle of academic integrity is taken very seriously and violations are treated gravely. What does academic integrity mean in this course? Essentially this: when you are responsible for a task, you will perform that task. When you rely on someone else’s work in an aspect of the performance of that task, you will give full credit in the proper, accepted form. Another aspect of academic integrity is the free play of ideas. Vigorous discussion and debate are encouraged in this course, with the firm expectation that all aspects of the class will be conducted with civility and respect for differing ideas, perspectives, and traditions. When in doubt (of any kind) please ask for guidance and clarification.

Office of Disability Services

If you have a documented learning disability or other condition that may affect academic performance you should: 1) make sure this documentation is on file with Disability Services (SUB I, Rm. 4205; 993-2474; http://ds.gmu.edu) to determine the accommodations you need; and 2) talk with me to discuss your accommodation needs.

Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Interpersonal Violence

As a faculty member and designated “Responsible Employee,” I am required to report all disclosures of sexual assault, interpersonal violence, and stalking to Mason’s Title IX Coordinator per university policy 1412. If you wish to speak with someone confidentially, please contact the Student Support and Advocacy Center (703-380-1434), Counseling and Psychological Services (703-993-2380), Student Health Services, or Mason’s Title IX Coordinator (703-993-8730; cde@gmu.edu).


Students must use their MasonLive email account to receive important University information, including communications related to this class. I will not respond to messages sent from or send messages to a non-Mason email address.


Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

(703) 993-2380; http://caps.gmu.edu