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COSC360 Computer Game Design

An introduction to the interdisciplinary field of computer game design, with an emphasis on technical skills. Topics include game critique, game design, programming, visual design, and interactive storytelling.

This paper is designed to introduce students to the multi-disciplinary nature of computer game design, with the emphasis on technical skills.

Paper title Computer Game Design
Paper code COSC360
Subject Computer Science
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Summer School (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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COSC 202 or COSC 242
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science

Students wishing to take this paper will need to have a strong background in computer programming. The prerequisite for this paper is COSC202 or equivalent, at the discretion of the department. If you are interested in taking this paper, and don't have the prerequisites, it is important to contact the course advisers for Computer Science as early as possible.


Computer Science Adviser

Teaching staff

Convenor and Lecturer: Dr Lech Szymanski

Paper Structure

This is a Summer School paper, run over six weeks, using Unity game engine. Lectures cover planning, ideas, production pipeline, prototyping, games engines and mechanics, UI, AI, testing, 3D graphics, networking. Labs cover Unity game development with topics in programming, game design and elements of graphics and animation.

Internal assessment is based on assignments working towards a fully developed computer game.

Teaching Arrangements

There are four 1-hour lectures, four 2-hour lab sessions and two 1-hour tutorials per week.


Recommended but not required: Jesse Schell, The Art of Game Design.

Course outline

View course outline for COSC 360

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

This paper will enable students to:

  • Get familiar with a Unity game engine
  • Learn about technical aspects of computer game development: graphics, collisions, game AI, etc.
  • Have the opportunity to design and develop your own 2D computer game in a team of 3-4 people
  • Learn about various aspects of the game experience
  • Have a chance to participate in a full software development cycle

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Summer School

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system

Computer Lab

Stream Days Times Weeks
X1 Monday 15:00-16:50 2-5, 7
Tuesday 15:00-16:50 2-7
Wednesday 15:00-16:50 2-7
Thursday 15:00-16:50 2-7


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 13:00-13:50 2-5, 7