Computer Games

Many students become interested in computer science through computer games. How do they work? How can you understand more about them or even make your own?

There are several ways to get involved in games programming. You can either enroll in the new Major in Computer Science - Computer Games Option, a special version of the Computer Science Major with an emphasis on Games, or you can include relevant courses in any of the Computer Science and Software Engineering major programs.

There are a variety of courses offered at the School of Computer Science at McGill and many directions you can specialize in and pursue if you want to concentrate your studies on computer games, whether you want to do game research, find a job in the game industry, or just want to understand them better.

Courses

It is easy to incorporate game related courses into the Computer Science major and Software Engineering programs. A number of core and complementary computer science courses either focus on games or develop techniques that are considered important to computer game development. The main game-related courses are:

  • COMP 308  Computer Systems Lab.  Games programming sometimes involves working with graphics cards and peripherals.
  • COMP 322  Introduction to C++
  • COMP-303 Software Design. As large software projects, knowing software engineering principles is important to computer game development.COMP-361 Software Engineering Project. A non-trivial computer game is developed as a final project.
  • COMP-409 Concurrent Programming. New game hardware as well as multiplayer situations require understanding how to build correct concurrent programs.
  • COMP-424 Artificial Intelligence.   A background in formal AI is important for developing good computer opponents.
  • COMP-521 Modern Computer Games. An overview of problems and solutions in modern computer game development.
  • COMP-535 Computer Networks. Many games are multiplayer, network-based.
  • COMP-557 Fundamentals of Computer Graphics. Games development requires a good understanding of basic graphics techniques.

Any of the research project courses, COMP-396, COMP-400 can in general include computer games as a topic.

Computer Games Research

Several professors use computer games in their research, or do research on computer games. You can find out more about current projects by consulting individual lab research pages.

Industry and Community

Montreal has several local game companies and branches of large game companies. Graduates have found work in EA, Ubisoft, among many others.