Computer Science (COMP) 318

Introduction to Game Design and Development (Revision 4)

COMP 318

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: COMP 200

Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology

Centre: School of Computing and Information Systems

COMP 318 is not available for challenge.

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**Note: Students who are concerned about not meeting the prerequisites for this course are encouraged to contact the course coordinator before registering


This is an introductory course in game design and development. This course covers many of the concepts involved in game design, beginning with the history of gaming and an examination of the software engineering aspects of game design. Other topics include the programming environment, game hardware, mathematical concepts, physical concepts, and graphics. This course will prepare students for advanced courses in game design.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to

  1. discuss and define the terms and principles of game design and development.
  2. select and evaluate programming and scripting languages to develop particular games.
  3. define the structure and duties of the game development team.
  4. practice animation production and creation tools.
  5. apply the mathematics used in game design.
  6. apply the physics needed to design computer games.
  7. apply artificial intelligence to developing computer games.
  8. explain the networking issues involved in games development.


COMP 318 consists of the following fourteen units:

  • Unit 1: A Brief History of Video Games
  • Unit 2: Games and Society
  • Unit 3: Game Design
  • Unit 4: Teams and Processes
  • Unit 5: Programming Fundamentals
  • Unit 6: Debugging Games
  • Unit 7: Game Architecture
  • Unit 8: Memory and I/O Systems
  • Unit 9: Mathematical Concepts
  • Unit 10: Collision Detection and Resolution
  • Unit 11: Graphics
  • Unit 12: Artificial Intelligence
  • Unit 13: Networks and Multiplayer Mode

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to

  • Explain all game development stages.
  • Explain story creation.
  • Select a suitable programming language.
  • Carry out needed mathematical and physical analysis.
  • Develop further skills in graphics, multimedia, artificial intelligence, and more.


To receive credit for COMP 318, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent) and D (50 percent) on the final examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
13 quizzes (4% each) 52%
Final exam 48%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.


To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Rabin, S. (2010). Introduction to Game Development, 2nd ed. Boston, MA: Charles River Media.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Resources

The remaining learning materials for Computer Science 318 are distributed in electronic format. At this time, those materials include

  • Computer Science 318 Study Guide
  • Course Evaluation Form
  • Links to Other Web-based Course Resources

Special Instructional Features

COMP 318 is offered through Moodle, a Learning Management System that can be accessed through the Web. COMP 318 can be completed at the student's workplace or home. COMP 318 is an elective in all undergraduate programs offered by the School of Computing and Information Systems.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 4, February 4, 2016.

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