Module details for Game Programming and System Architectures


This module builds on Graphics Programming, Data Structures and Algorithms 1 and Computer Architecture and introduces the necessary components needed to develop a 3D physics-based game application considering the hardware.


To enable students to integrate various components (3D graphics, physics, audio) and to develop a 3D game application that makes effective use of modern computer/console systems

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Describe 3D graphics, audio and physics functionality within a 3D games-application.

2.  Implement key game components - 3D graphics, audio, gameplay and physics on games console hardware.

3.  Design, implement and evaluate applications that demonstrate enhanced performance in relation to device hardware e.g. multithreading

Indicative Content

1 Games Hardware (Introduction to Consoles)

Device Memory and CPU/GPU architecture characteristics - Cache architectures, locality, alignment, virtual memory, memory allocation techniques, CPU/GPU architecture: Pipelines, superscalar architectures, branch prediction, out-of-order execution, hyperthreading, multicore, NUMA

2 User Interfaces

Methods to exploit touchscreen and controller pads user inputs.

3 Audio Engines

3D positional audio – considering the position, orientation and velocity of the listener and the position, orientation and velocity of the emitter.

4 Physics Engines

Collision detection, Rigid Body Dynamics using Box2D

5 Character Animation

Types of character animation and techniques of character animation

6 Polish and Optimisation

Putting it all together – How – where to parallelise recognising console architecture

7 Multithreading

Cross referencing Memory architecture and CPU architecture

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 0
Practical Activity 42
Assessment 73
Independent 73
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.