GAM531 Course Outline

Course Code: GAM531
Course Name: Game Engine Foundations
Offered Date: Winter - 2022 | Other versions
Print Outline
Course Description:
Graphics accelerators provide developers with powerful tools for displaying visual information. This course teaches students the mathematical and structural concepts required to develop 3D gaming and simulation engines and how to implement these concepts using the DirectX and OpenGL low-level APIs.
Credit Status: 1 credit (3 units) 
Professional Option for CPA - Computer Programming and Analysis (Ontario College Advanced Diploma) 
Professional Option for CPD - Computer Programmer (Ontario College Diploma)
Prerequisite: OOP345
Mode of Instruction: Modes: In-class lecture, in-class exercises, and hands-on activity
Hours per week: 4
Room configurations: Classroom, and computer lab
Typical scheduling pattern: Fall term
Learning Outcomes:
  • Design and write C++ programs that implement the following APIs:
    • DirectX 11 (Graphics)
    • OpenGL 4.3
    • Microsoft Windows (Windowing system)
  • Design and maintain low level 3D video game and simulation engines
  • Apply vector and matrix mathematics to achieve desired transformations in three-dimensional space
Employability Skills:
    •  Execute mathematical operations accurately.|    •  Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.|    •  Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.|
Topic Outline:
  • Game Engine Philosophy – 5%
  • Introduction to APIs – 5%
  • Mathematics – 25%
    • Scalar Math and Trigonometry
    • Vectors and Coordinates
    • Matrices and Transformations
    • 3D Math techniques
    •  3D World Representation
  • C++ Techniques – 5%
  • Scene Management – 10%
    • Separation of Scene and Resources
    • Scene Object Purpose
  • Light Management – 5%
  • Windows Programming – 5%
  • DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.3 – 30%
    • Device Management
    • Back Buffers and Stencil Buffers
    • Buffers
    • Render and Blend States
    • Textures and Samplers
  • Materials Structures – 10%
Prescribed Text(s):
Reference Material:
The following online reference material must be used:
  • DirectX 11 API documentation
  • OpenGL 4.3 documentation
  • Course notes, available on the course web site
Promotion Policy:
To obtain a passing grade, the student must:
  • Pass the final exam
  • Satisfactorily complete all assignments
  • Achieve a passing grade for the weighted average of the test and final exam
  • Achieve a passing grade on the overall course

Grading Policy

A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices. (


Workshops (10) 20%
Assignment (1) 30%
Mid-Term Test 20%
Final Exam 30%
Approved By:
Mary-Lynn Manton
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