GENE8001 Computer Game Design Session 2

This course is not currently offered.

Students interested in game design are recommended to consider taking COMP4431 instead.

Create your own computer games using Game Maker without writing a single line of code!
To see what is involved, look through the Game Maker tutorials. For more information on the course, email

Bulletin Board: This is a great place to brainstorm game ideas and form groups!

Please note that GENE8001 is not available for credit to students who are enrolled in a CSE program or major. Please email if you have any questions or concerns.


Students will work in groups to create a computer game of their choosing using "Game Maker". With Game Maker, students can use simple drag-and-drop actions to create professional looking games without having to write any code in a traditional programming language. Each week, there will be a one hour lecture and one hour of supervised group work on the game. Lectures will cover both the art (e.g. liberal arts, the social sciences, and psychology) and science (e.g. computer graphics, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, security, distributed programming and simulation) of computer game design.


LIC: Amir Michail (contact:
Tutor: Angela Finlayson (contact:


TH 4-5 EE G24

Lecture Notes

Be sure to study all of the following lecture notes for the exam, including the Game Maker tutorials.

Supervised Group Work

There will be one hour of supervised group work each week, starting in week 2. Usually, this will occur in the oboe lab, but it may at times immediately follow the lecture and take place also in EE G24.


Exam Info

The gene8001 exam will be held Nov 24 from 2:30-4:30 (there is no reading time) in Webster A (F Hall A).

Please come at least 15 minutes early.

Be sure to bring a 2B pencil & eraser for the multiple choice answer sheet.

The exam will consist of 40 multiple choice questions. Each question has four answers to pick from.

A correct answer is worth 3 marks. An incorrect answer is worth -1 marks. An answer left blank is worth 0 marks.

Each question has exactly one correct answer. The best answer will be taken to be the correct answer.

Here's a sample question:

In the Game Maker scrolling shooter tutorial, which of the following is true of the controller_enemy object?

a. it has no associated sprite
b. it controls the creation of enemy planes
c. both a and b
d. neither a nor b

Selecting a or b would not be correct since c is a better answer: both a and b are true.

If you send me questions by email to, I can set up an FAQ to help you study for the exam.


You will have the opportunity to build two games of your choosing using Game Maker. There will be three assignments as follows:
  1. Game 1
  2. Design Document for Game 2
  3. Game 2
All assignments are to be done in groups of five.

Assignment 3

You can find the assignment 3 spec here.

Assignment 2

You can find the assignment 2 spec here.

Assignment 1

The first assignment requires you to build an action game, which may or may not be a shooter. Action games are all about reaction time and hand-eye coordination under pressure.

Marking will be as follows:

Assignment 1 is due Thu of week 6 (Sept 1) @ 23:59:59.

Make sure you read the group work section below. Please do not spend much time creating fancy graphics/sound. (Just use freely available graphics/sound files on the web, perhaps from one of the gamemaker resource packs.) What matters more is a serious contribution to the actual game play coding.

Please create a game from scratch. If you do look at some game maker files for help, please be sure to say this in your game description. However, it's not acceptable to take an existing game maker game and add a few features to it. Also, please take a look at the plagiarism policy.

Group Work

Please note that all members of a group are expected to make significant contributions to each assignment.

For each assignment submission, you will need to explain what each member of the group did.

It is possible that not all members of a group will receive the same mark.

Moreover, groups can change after an assignment submission, so students who contribute little may find themselves without a group and they will then have to find another group.


There is no required textbook for this course, but you may want to look at the following book: Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design
Here are some games listed on the Game Maker site. Click on a screenshot to download. (Windows required.) See the Game Maker site for game descriptions.
Game Maker Website