Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module COMP41115: Game Architecture

Department: Computer Science

COMP41115: Game Architecture

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None.
Tied to G5K509


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The purpose of this module is to allow students to study game engine architectures, providing them with an understanding of physics and artificial intelligence relevant to games engineering, and the skills to apply this understanding in a games engineering context.


  • Game engine architectures such as distributed systems and massively multi-player environments.
  • Basic physics such as gravity and collision detection.
  • Basic artificial intelligence such as non-player characters.
  • Game theory.
  • Particle systems such as fire, smoke and water.
  • Real-time rendering, for example in distributed systems requirements.
  • Network/online games.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • An advanced level of knowledge of the theory, principles and practice of game architectures.
  • An understanding of the physics of gaming.
  • An understanding of the artificial intelligence of gaming.
  • An advanced understanding of at least one publicly available game architecture.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • To be able to demonstrate the ability to design a computer game based on the given game engine.
  • The technical process and industry-standard software lifecycle-based approach to designing and constructing game architecture.
  • Advanced theoretical and practical appreciations of modern approaches to the software engineering required for physics, AI and game theory in the context of game architectures.
Key Skills:
  • Written communication skills to an appropriate professional standard.
  • Apply research and problem solving.
  • Achieve a practical solution through the integration of a number of technologies, many of which may be very rapidly changing.
  • Confidently conduct oral presentations, perform time management and develop and promote their own ideas.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Teaching will be a combination of lectures, tutorials, individual development work in practicals and laboratory exercises. All these activities will be customised to support the requirements of the summative report.
  • Summative report will be a summary of code implemented in the module which demonstrates awareness of game architecture types with examples of physics and artificial intelligence in a gaming environment.
  • Use of open source software will be explored to understand the utilisation of publicly available game architectures.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 6 In weeks 1 and 2 2 hours 12
Tutorials 4 In weeks 3 and 4 2 hours 8
Preparation and Reading 130
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Laboratory Report Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Report and code 2500 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Staged written feedback and/or formative exercises.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University