CS425 Fall 2020: Game Programming 1




  • Yong Yang
  • yyang29@gmu.edu
  • Office: Online
  • Office hours: TBA

Course Scope

This course is a requirement of the ACS Game Design degree (http://cs.gmu.edu/~acsgame/) 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!


Grade of C or better in CS 310, CS 325 and CS 351.


Required: Game Engine Architecture by Jason Gregory. 3rd Edition. ISBN# 9781315267845.

Note: GMU students have full access to the ebook


  1. Assignments (5) 50%
  2. Midterm Exam 10%
  3. Final Exam 10%
  4. Final project 20%
  5. Participation (Quizzes and Presentations) 10%
  6. A+: > 95, A: >89, B: >79, C: >69, C-: >60, F<60

List of Topics (tentative)

  • Game engines, pipelines, and tools
  • Event handling and input devices
  • 3D Mathematics for games
  • Memory and resource management
  • Asset creation, modification, conversion, and management
  • Path finding and navigation
  • Physics: particle simulations, collision detection and response, dynamics
  • 3D Animation tools: Hierarchical animation, FK and IK, Keyframe, interpolation, motion capture, parametric blending techniques, modeling physical and articulated objects, procedural, and behavioral animation
  • Game AI: state machines, rules, sensing, memory

Course Outcomes

  • Become familiar with advanced techniques used in object-oriented programming
  • Realize the manner with which the graphics pipeline may be utilized to create animations, games, and simulations
  • Utilize mathematical abilities to create optimum algorithms
  • Exhibit skills that demonstrate understanding of physics simulations
  • Realize the appropriate techniques for maximizing code reuse
  • Experience employing a variety of data structures and algorithms


All required assignments should be completed by the stated due date and time. The total score of your finaly project score will be 10 points less every extra day after the due date (i.e., the 100 total points will become zero after 10 days pass the due date). You will be given 0 point for missing your own presentation.

Any submitted work which shows too much commonality with others' work to be completely original, or any plagiarized work, will result in a case for the Honors Committee. Any code which is presented in class or provided to you as part of the project may be included in your programs.. Please note that plagiarizing will be penalized by maximum negative credit and cheating on the exam will earn you an F in the course. Both the University and the Computer Science Department have honor codes you are expected to adhere to. We will be reviewing these in class, but more information about the university honor code can be found here: https://oai.gmu.edu/mason-honor-code/full-honor-code-document/ and the deparment's honor code can be found here: http://cs.gmu.edu/resources/honor-code/. You are bound by these honor codes.

It is your responsibility to lock your computers with a password, to not post your code to websites like Pastebin that are publicly accessible, to guard your USB drives and computers, to not upload your files to someone else's computer, etc. You will be liable for any access gained to your code.

Prime directive: Be able to explain your own work including homework code and exam solutions. The work you submit should be the product of your own effort and reflect your personal understanding. Students may be asked at any time to explain code or exam solutions they submit. Inability to do so will be construed as evidence of misconduct.

Email policy: You must use your Mason email account for all email correspondence having anything to do with your work at Mason. Federal laws protecting your privacy rights require that we only communicate student information directly to students and use of the university email system is our only way to validate your identity. You may forward your campus email elsewhere, but we can respond only to a Mason email account.

Accommodations for Disabilities

If you have a learning or physical difference that may affect your academic work, you will need to furnish appropriate documentation to GMU Disability Resource Center. If you qualify for accommodation, the DRC staff will give you a form detailing appropriate accommodations for your instructor. If you have such a condition, you must talk to the instructor during the first week of the term about the issue.

Office Hours

In addition to attending the regular meeting times, you are strongly encouraged to visit the professor and teaching assistant during office hours to further your understanding of the material: we are here to help you learn.