PROD323-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023

Game Engines and Artificial Intelligence

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


In this paper, students will learn about game engine design through the use of existing engine source code. Students will extend existing functionality through the use of programming techniques. In addition, students will become comfortable designing and creating game-based artificial intelligence (AI) constructs.

Learning Outcomes

  • Theoretical Learning Outcomes
    Students will:
  • Be able to explain the evolution of AI in the gaming context.
  • Understand and be able to apply various AI methods such as Minimax and Monte Carlo tree
           search in board games, kinematic movement algorithms, Dijkstra, A*, and hierarchical
           pathfinding, behaviour trees, and Markov systems.
  • Gain a basic understanding of Naïve Bayes Classifiers, decision tree learning, reinforcement
           learning, and neural networks.
  • Have a better understanding of the procedural content generation and be able to provide
           examples of its application in games.
  • Learn the functionalities of the game engine components covered in this course and how
           they work together such as human interface devices, gameplay systems, and physics
  • Be able to explain the basics of game networking.

    Practical Learning Outcomes
    Students will:
  • Be able to implement and modify AI methods learned in the Unity engine.
  • Be able to debug and optimise in the Unity development environment.
  • Learn how to create basic plug-in for Unity.
  • Be able to use Havok physics with the Unity engine.


Timetable 2023

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 15:00 - 17:00 Jack Erskine 239
20 Feb - 2 Apr
24 Apr - 4 Jun
Computer Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 10:00 - 13:00 Len Lye 201 Computer Lab
20 Feb - 2 Apr
24 Apr - 4 Jun
Workshop A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 13:00 - 14:00 Len Lye 201 Computer Lab
20 Feb - 2 Apr
24 Apr - 4 Jun

Course Coordinator

Thammathip Piumsomboon

Course Administrator

Alison Lowery


Participation (1% each)  Weekly (excl. 7, 12)               10%                
(each presentation worth 5%)      
Laboratory (2% each)     Weekly (excl. 6, 12)              20%
(each challenge worth 5%)
Assignment 1                 Week 7                                20%
Assignment 2                 Week 12                              20%
Final Test                       Week 12                              30%

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

De Byl, Penny; Holistic game development with Unity : an all-in-one guide to implementing game mechanics, art, design, and programming ; Third edition; CRC Press, 2019.

Gregory, Jason; Game engine architecture ; Third edition; CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2018.

Millington, Ian; Artificial intelligence for games ; Elsevier ; , 2006.

Yannakakis, Georgios N. , Togelius, Julian., SpringerLink (Online service); Artificial Intelligence and Games ; Springer International Publishing : Imprint : Springer, 2018.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $916.00

International fee $4,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Product Design on the departments and faculties page .

All PROD323 Occurrences

  • PROD323-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023