McMaster University
Software Design IV - Capstone Computer Game Design Project

Sfwr Eng 4GP6, Term 3 2017/18


Term 3: Tuesday 10:30-11:20, Thursday, 9:30-11:20 in BSB 108.


Dr. J. Carette, ITB-168 , ext 26869, email: carette at mcmaster dot ca.

Teaching Assistant

Dan Szymczak (szymczdm)

Course Objectives

The calendar description says: Student teams prepare the requirements, design, documentation and implementation of a computer game taking economic, health, safety, cultural, legal and marketing factors into account. Students must demonstrate a working system and convincing test results. Software project management.

The project will be broken into pieces (requirements, design, prototype and final implementation), each of which will be graded separately, and may also themselves be sub-divided.


  1. Students should know and understand:
    1. basic game concepts
    2. character design, narrative, challenges, level design
    3. user interfaces, core mechanics, balancing
    4. architecture of game engines
    5. basic software architecture
    6. fundamental vocabulary for describing aspects of games
  2. Students should be able to
    1. Use a framework to design a playable game
    2. Present a focused aspect of ``game design''
    3. write software requirements
    4. write tests and test plans
    5. pick up a new programming language (of a known family)
    6. use revision control, issue tracker, wiki
    7. create and use 2d and 3d models for in-game objects
    8. use textures
    9. create and use animations
    10. create and use sound effects
    11. debug soft real-time software

Learning Objectives

  1. Students should know and understand
  2. Students should be able to
    1. Carry out a development project from initial product conception through to testing, live demonstration and presentation.
    2. Write a high-level concept document describing their game.
    3. Write a requirements document which describes the user experience, the game world, the important game mechanics, art requirements for their game.
    4. Write a design document which describes all the decisions made for each aspect of the requirements.
    5. Design and implement (possibly through heavy re-use) a complete set of art assets (textures, 3D models, sounds, music, etc).
    6. Use a game engine and/or framework to build a complete game.
    7. Plan, perform and document validation and verification of their implementation with respect to their requirements.
    8. Produce a set of precise, complete, consistent, traceable and usable documents for this game.

Note that not all objectives will be measured for marks.

Graduate Attributes

Some of the graduate attributes below will be measured (probably most), in some fashion. These are measurements for the purposes of understanding your overall state in terms of the attributes which the CEAB deems important for engineers. Some will be measured through assignments, presentations and deliverables (and worth marks), while others will be done via other measurement means not directly tied to course marks.


Section to be completed.

Electronic Materials

The latest version of this outline and the most "up-to date" information as well as hand-outs can be found on the course web page. (Or go to my home page and then to the course page).

Every group will be assigned a gitlab repository (shared with the TAs and the professor) for all of their work. Optionally, you may use a public github repo for the same purpose.

The issue tracker will be used for some communication. Other means (like Slack) will be used as well.


As is to be expected, the main project for this course consists in making a full-fledged game. This year, we will be using the Unity Engine for game development.

There is no required textbook for this, but the 3GB3 textbook will often be quite handy.


The deliverable schedule:
Deliverable % of grade Date Due
Form teams0 %September 12
High-concept document5 %September 26
Sales pitch demo0 %October 3
Game requirements7.5%October 5
First demo2 %October 19
(TBD)--Oct. and Nov.
Implementation Rev 05 %December 7
V & V on Rev 05 %Jan 4
Final version (Rev 1)
 - Concept and all Requirements10 %February 27
 - Implementation10 %March 29
 - V & V10 %April 6
 - DEMO20 %April ??



The Faculty of Engineering is concerned with ensuring an environment that is free of all adverse discrimination. If there is a problem that cannot be resolved by discussion among the persons concerned individuals are reminded that they should contact their Chair, the Sexual Harassment Office or the Human Rights Consultant, as soon as possible.

Course modifications

The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy [].

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Individual assignments have to be solved by one person only, any outside source, this includes asking other people, or using any books or information found on the web has to be documented. In complience with the senate regulations on academic integrity I remind you that: People who let other people copy are as guilty as the ones who copy. You are allowed to consult outside sources, meaning textbooks or the web, but any use of an outside source must be documented. Similarly, group assignments must be solved by members of that group only, and the above policies apply as well.

In the case the instructor or a TA has the impression that an assignment is copied, the instructor can ask the corresponding students to explain exactly how the assignment was prepared and take appropriate actions.

Online Component

In this course we will be using some online components. Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.

September 2017