ECE 4525 Video Game Design and Engineering | ECE | Virginia Tech

Undergraduate PROGRAMS

Course Information


Fundamental concepts in the development and engineering of modern 2-D and 3-D real-time interactive computer video games. Game design and engineering principles, game architecture, game mechanics and interaction, computer graphics, strategy, artificial intelligence (AI), optimization, play testing, and fuzzy logic are included.

Why take this course?

The pervasive nature of video games in our culture has made the industry grow at nearly 10% annually, reaching a multi-billion dollar industry. The concepts of video game design go beyond games into related areas of computer animation, simulation, and interactive learning environments. Video game design and engineering requires the understanding of game architecture, game mechanics and interaction, software development, computer graphics, strategy, machine learning and artificial intelligence. The presentation of this broad knowledge base on video game design requires the time available in a two-course sequence. The first course in the sequence concentrates on game architecture, game engine, user interaction, and simple artificial intelligence in 2D and 3D environments.



ECE 3574 (Applied Software Design) is needed as it prepares students to be proficient in software development and object-oriented programming.

Major Measurable Learning Objectives

  • Develop game engine components, game content pipeline, basic game programming techniques and module design patterns
  • Construct 2D modeling and animation
  • Design collision detection and player interaction
  • Analyze the computational theory used in video games design, as well as to a lesser extent, related fields (artificial intelligence, computer graphics, etc.)
  • Construct simple 3D modeling and animation

Course Topics


Percentage of Course

1. Video game history 5%
2. Game architecture, game loop, game content pipeline 10%
3. Game engines, action, interaction, and rules 10%
4. Collision detection, physics, geometry, overlap testing 10%
5. Game mechanics, difficulty matching 10%
6. Play testing 10%
7. AI and strategy 15%
8. Path-finding and optimization 10%
9. 2D and 3D graphics 20%