Core Module Information
Module title: Games Engineering

SCQF level: 09:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: SET09121
Module leader: Xiaodong Liu
School School of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Subject area group: Computer Science

SET07106 Programming Fundamentals
SET07109 Mathematics for Software Engineering
SET08119 Object-oriented Software Development

Examples of Equivalent Learning Two years programming experience in a high-level language – such as Java, C# or C++ - up to and including object-orientation and design patterns.
Experience in programming with C++.
Underpinning mathematical knowledge for games, physics, or graphics.

Description of module content:

The module focuses on the development of a games engine through a series of lectures and lab exercises, with the aim being to produce a game with said engine. The lecture content follows five broad themes with lectures undertaken in each theme:
1. Workflow, repository, and project management.
2. Game design fundamentals.
3. Game engine architecture and coding approaches.
4. Game asset management.
5. 2D physics.
6. Artificial intelligence for games.
7. Additional game engine features.
8. Quality assurance and testing.

The practical labs focus on the technical development of a game engine. Twelve topics are covered:
1. Git Workflow and CMake.
2. Introduction to SFML (Build Pong).
3. Entity Management (Build Space Invaders).
4. Tile Engine (Build a Maze Game).
5. Physics (Build a Platform Game).
6. Resource Management
7. AI: Steering and Pathfinding.
8. AI: Behaviours.
9. Deployment and Testing.
10. Performance Optimisation.
11. Networking.
12. Scripting.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to
LO1: Design, develop and evaluate a games engine through robust software engineering techniques.
LO2: Apply modern software development, deployment, and testing procedures.
LO3: Examine game design principles and procedures.
LO4: Demonstrate a working knowledge of the technical components of a games engine.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 2, Face-to-Face, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Face-to-Face
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Thomas Methven
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
The module uses a mix of lectures and practical labs for direct teaching, and groupwork approaches to assessment.

The lectures are themed towards separate parts of game design and engineering. The focus is on developing understanding of these principles within the context of the overall development of a game engine. The lectures cover learning outcomes 1-4.

The practical labs are threaded together to allow an engine to be developed to run a game, with several sample games developed that use features as they are introduced. The labs cover learning outcomes 1, 2, and 4.

Students are expected within their small groups to research further technologies and ideas and apply them to the overall engine being developed to provide an individualised project. There will be a significant amount of resources pointed to throughout the module, and this will allow the students to further explore the area. The additional material covers learning outcomes 1-4.

Formative Assessment:
The module blends formative and summative assessment throughout. During the lab based sessions, students will be asked to discuss their current progress through the game engine development, and feedback and advice given as appropriate. This will include general approaches to software engineering, workflow and project management, and the overall clarity of code.

The blend of formative and summative assessment is described in the summative assessment section.

Summative Assessment:
The module aims to develop the students core software engineering competencies while allowing the student to develop a portfolio piece of work. As such, the formative assessment, although having four elements, feeds into a single narrative of work. The assessment is undertaken by pairs of students as far as possible.

In week 3, the pair must present a short pitch presentation of their idea. A structure for the pitch will be provided. The aim of this presentation is to provide some experience in presentation in this manner, with suitable feedback given. Also, the pitch is designed to ensure that the pair have come up with a suitable idea, the idea fits with the module and the time available, and that the pair have undertaken an initial outline of the work involved. This assessment covers learning outcomes 3 and 4.

In week 7 the students must submit a design document for their game. A format for this report will be provided. The document is in effect a contract for the deliverable for the final assessment. The document will have allowed the student to formulate an overall plan and set of requirements for the deliverable. Feedback will be given on the quality of the document as well as the proposed game. This assessment covers learning outcomes 3 and 4.

In week 15 the final game deliverable, built using the game engine developed in the module, is delivered. This is the culmination of the different elements assessment up to this point. The game will be assessed based on quality requirements and technical complexity. This assessment covers learning outcomes 1 to 4.

Also in week 15 the students will need to demonstrate their work. This provides the module team the opportunity to give instant feedback as well as discuss any areas which might not be so clear in the final product. Furthermore, the class will undertake a peer-review of the games delivered, including overall quality of the software products. This assessment covers learning outcomes 1 to 4.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 24
Face To Face Tutorial 24
Independent Learning Groupwork (Independent Study) 152
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Oral Presentation 5 3,4 3 HOURS= 1, WORDS= 0
Report 10 3,4 7 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 1500
Portfolio 75 1-4 15 HOURS= 40, WORDS= 0
Oral Presentation 10 1-4 15 HOURS= 2, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
SET09121 Games Engineering