KV6020 - Games Programming 3

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn algorithms and techniques for advanced game programming topics, as are currently relevant to the games industry. This will be achieved through a mixture of taught content, directed learning and independent learning. There will be a choice of discrete topics, from which you will choose two to study and implement. At least one topic will be directly taught, other topics will be available through directed material, and some topics will be available through purely independent inquiry. For both of your chosen topics you will be required to implement a “proof of concept” application which implements a topic-relevant algorithm in such a way that demonstrates clear understanding of that topic. These applications will be of relevant scale and demonstrability that they can form part of your personal portfolio as can be used for seeking employment.

The topics for any particular year will be chosen to be advanced, current, and/or cutting-edge programming domains for games development.

Indicative topics (this list is given to help indicate the sorts of topics available, and is not intended to be either fully inclusive or exclusive – this module is designed to be agile to follow current aspects of games computing)
• Games AI: pathfinding, A*, minimax
• Network programming for client-server multiplayer gaming
• Concurrent programming for modern games hardware architecture
• Advanced shading techniques
• Procedural generation techniques

Also on this module, you will investigate the current research literature pertaining to a societal issue in games of your choice, which can include equality, diversity and inclusion issues and sustainability issues. You will produce a short critical review of the literature for this issue.

This module has a significant impact on employability in the games industry in three important ways:
• Advanced and current topics in game programming
• Independent learning of new programming algorithms and techniques
• Critical thinking and evaluation

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, workshops, and directed and independent learning. The lectures will cover theories and concepts that will enable you to tackle guided exercises and to use exploratory programming to embed those theories and concepts. You will work on these during workshops and hands-on sessions in Northumbria’s CIS building computer labs, which are fully equipped with the latest industry-standard software.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by lecturers during the timetabled sessions when you will receive feedback on your work. The University’s eLearning Portal offers remote access to all lecture and seminar materials to reinforce your learning. In addition, the university library offers support for all students through providing electronic resources

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
MLO1. Demonstrate critical understanding and detailed knowledge of, concepts, principles, theories, techniques and technologies related to advanced and current games programming topics.
MLO2. Demonstrate a deep and extended knowledge and understanding of techniques and tools for the design and implementation of advanced and current games programming topics
MLO3. Demonstrate a wide and critical understanding of user, professional, ethical and social issues surrounding the design, development, and operation of computer games.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
ML04 – Demonstrate critical computational thinking in the design, and creation of novel and innovative games computing applications, using a software engineering approach, and
selecting and applying effective computational methods, theories, models, tools and algorithms for their solution.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

MLO5. Demonstrate independent research and enquiry skills to direct your learning, making use of scholarly search methods and tools.

How will I be assessed?

The single element of summative assessment (100%) will be a final assignment of three parts.
• Two “proof of concept” demonstration applications, one for each of the chosen programming topics
• A critical review of research literature on a societal issue in the games industry (word limit 1000 words)

This assessment addresses all of the Module Learning Outcomes

On an on-going basis you will also receive formative feedback on exercises you are required to complete, and practical programming work in the workshop sessions





Module abstract

This module explores current advanced topics in games programming and development, based on current research in these topics, through teaching, directed, and independent learning. Example topics*: AI pathfinding, advanced shaders, procedural generation, network programming. You will create two “proof of concept” applications using algorithms and techniques learned, which will be usable in your personal portfolio (thereby enhancing employability), to demonstrate competence to prospective employers. You will also engage with current research into societal issues facing the games industry, and write a critical review of that research.

Individual feedback will be given on the summative assessment, and during the programming practical sessions.

*topics will be chosen on a year-on-year basis to reflect the current needs of the games industry.

Course info

UCAS Code G416

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Computer and Information Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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