Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Game Engines in Review

The semester is nearly over and the last class of Game Engines just passed on Monday. It was a class that was difficult but also very interesting and quite fair. The topics that were discussed were quite broad but were all very interesting. All the lessons from in class to the tutorial sessions were all useful and both professor and TA were extremely helpful, easy to listen to and really great overall.

As for the work to be submitted in the class, this course used Hogue's infamous/famous XP system where doing homework questions would grant points. Get enough points and you write the midterm and eventually enough will get you to the final exam and even grant bonus points if you go high enough. The questions themselves were all quite tough and took a significant amount of time to complete them. Nevertheless some of them were still quite fun. I particularly enjoyed the AI question involving flocking, seeking, fleeing, etc. Though I cannot program very advanced AI yet, just simply seeing the AI in action is very fun to watch.

I recall many of the lessons that were taught in class and they were all useful though some were review since they had been partially taught the semester before. My only vice with the course is that, according to the text book that we'd be assigned to read, this course should be split up into 3 which means the material we got for the lectures is very condensed and therefore not as focused as it could be. Though I admit it sounds very difficult to come up with a proper selection of lessons for a course as broad sounding as Game Engines. That's pretty much computer animation, computer graphics, programming and a whole bunch of other courses put in a nutshell for one more course. That's definitely not easy to plan out.

One particularly interesting thing is that, in a previous post I talked about how my group was planning on using component systems. Well it came to our professor's attention that people were discussing component systems and did one last talk on it the day before this post. Our Professor had actually done a paper on component systems so it was clear he knew what he was talking about. He reinforced to us to learn Object Oriented Programming more (the type of programming we were taught since first year) but opened our eyes to more about the component system. There is still a lot we haven't fully implemented and made some mistakes in our component system that he helped clarify.

If I were offered to take a course under this combination of TA and Professor again, I most certainly would. The course was a pleasure to learn and the teaching particularly clicked with my style of learning so it just helped reinforce learning it even more. Anyways this was just a short post this time since I can't really think of much else to say. Overall Game engines was great fun but hard work.

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