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Brian Scarbeau Insights from a seasoned Computer Science Trainer

I finally put the finishing touches on the course that I'll be teaching next school year on game programming.  This will be an 18 week course for students who are experienced at programming and have taken our Honors level Programming course.

I plan on using the online book  The Art of Computer Game Design by Chris Crawford. The book is a short read but covers some key points such as:

  • What is a Game?
  • Why do People Play Games
  • A Taxonomy of Computer Games
  • The Computer as a Game Technology
  • The Game Design Sequence
  • Design Techniques and Ideals
  • The Future of Computer Games

Even though the content of the book might be considered old because of when it was first written in 1987, much of it is important for students to learn.

The course will also use the C# curriculum that Microsoft and Digipen Institute of Technology created. The topics include:

  • Computer Graphics: Basic Concepts
  • Computer Programming Overview
  • C# Types
  • Variables
  • Input and Output
  • Expressions, Operators
  • Functions
  • Flow Control
  • Classes
  • Arrays
  • Structures

Students will learn how to create a text and windows game in this section. You can contact for the curriculum

The last part of the class will cover XNA programming. I already know that I need more time teaching this and will create another course that will give students time to create their own game in teams and work with that from start to finish. There final project will go on the XNA creators club so we can all play on the xbox 360. This course will be offered school year 2008-2009.

I decided to use the new Wrox book that  Benjamin Nitschke wrote called Professional XNA Game Programming. I'll only cover a couple of chapters with this class and use the book for the next class as well. In addition, I'll use some of the tutorials that fellow Floridian  Bill Reiss put together which are very good.

Finally, I have several links on my site that students will review as well. There' s a good one on collision, the game industry and much more.

Needless to say, I've been learning a lot about XNA. I look forward to learning more at the Computer Science & Information Technology Symposium next month and at Tech Ed. Hope to see you there.



Posted on Monday, May 7, 2007 11:54 AM | Back to top

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