Spring 2013»CITA 210

CITA 210

Game Programming

When / Where

MWF 2-2:50PM / LONG 221


A course introducing principles of game programming, including computer modeling, data visualization and animations, media transformations, and video game ethics. Students will be exposed to several game engines, a scripting language, and develop at least one game.

Prerequisites: CITA 120, CITA 180, CSCI 220, or permission of instructor.

Test Dates

  • Test 1: Monday, Feb 25, 2013
  • Test 2: TBA
  • Final: 12-3pm, Monday, Apr 29, 2013


Sep. 4, 2009:
Homework #1 is now posted.

Readings & References

  1. Wikipedia, Computer and video game genres.
  2. Wikipedia, Overview of Game Engines.
  3. An introduction to pair programming. This 9-minute video describes what pair programming is, the do's and don'ts of effective pairing, and the pros and cons of pair programming.
  4. Paper prototyping - what is it?
  5. Games and violence readings.
  6. NPR, "Internet Addiction Center Opens In U.S.", Sep. 9, 2009.
  7. World of Warcraft A Fantasy Universe Raises Its Broadsword Against World of Warcraft from NY Times. Designing a successful massively multiplayer online game may be one of the supreme challenges in all entertainment.
  8. Schiesel, S. "Online Game, Made in U.S., Seizes the Globe", New York Times, September 5, 2006.
  9. Laitinen, S. "Better Games Through Usability Evaluation and Testing", Gamasutra, June 23, 2005.
  10. Intro to Python

Artifacts and Rules


  • Scratch a cross-platform graphical environment for developing 2D games and animations (Windows, Mac OS X and Linux)
  • processing.py - write Processing sketches in Python.
  • NetLogo - a cross-platform programmable modeling environment for simulating natural and social phenomena (Windows, Mac OS X and Linux).
  • StarLogo TNG - a cross-platform graphical environment for developing 3D games and simulations (Windows, Mac OS X and Linux).
  • Twine - an interactive story creator. Twine lets you organize your story graphically and package it as a website with hyperlinks.
  • Inform - a design system for interactive fiction based on natural language. It is a radical reinvention of the way interactive fiction is designed, guided by contemporary work in semantics and by the practical experience of some of the world's best-known writers of IF.
  • Unity - a multiplatform game development tool for 3D (and 2D) games.
  • Python official site.
  • PyGame - fully featured 2D games and multimedia programs:
  • pyglet - a cross-platform windowing and multimedia Python library for developing games and other visually-rich applications (Windows, Mac OS X and Linux).
  • Panda3D - a 3D engine for rendering and game development:
  • Irrlicht is an open source high performance realtime 3D engine written and usable in C++ and also available for .NET languages. It is completely cross-platform, using D3D, OpenGL and its own software renderer, and has all of the state-of-the-art features which can be found in commercial 3d engines.
  • OGRE is a scene-oriented, flexible 3D engine written in C++ designed to make it easier and more intuitive for developers to produce applications utilising hardware-accelerated 3D graphics. The class library abstracts all the details of using the underlying system libraries like Direct3D and OpenGL and provides an interface based on world objects and other intuitive classes.