CSE 42 - Principles of Computer Game Design

Fall 2016

When and where  When: 10:45 am - 12:00 pm TR   Where: 09A STEPS Bldg. 490
Instructor  Héctor Muñoz-Avila, munoz@cse.lehigh.edu 
Instructor's office hours  TBD, Room 252 Packard Lab 


From the early text-based, one-player computer games to the modern 3D games with thousands of gamers sharing the same virtual gaming world simultaneously, computer games have gone through a remarkable evolution. Despite this evolution, principles of computer game design are not well understood. In this course we will study the broad issue of game design, particularly tailored towards video games. We will present an conceptual model for game design and analyze various modern computer games from the perspective of this model. Here are some of the topics that will be covered in the course:

Related Topics

  • Here is video footage for some famous games) famous games over time and here is a wikipedia entry for the history of video games
  • Defining game rules (sample of rules as discovered by players)
  • Emerging behavior (here is an exploit illustrating unexpected emerging behavior)
  • Games as Information Systems (a "poster child" game for this topic)
  • Games and virtual economies (here is a related article from Digital trends)
  • List of open-source video games
  • Five things you never knew about Pac-Man
  • Poker Bots Invade Online Gambling
  • The Pac-Man Projects
  • Watching Pokemon Go; what is the Magic Circle again?


    None. The course is open to all University's students for enrollment. But attendance to classes will be limited to those students enrolled in it.

    The course counts towards the Engineering minor.

    The course does not count as a technical elective for majors in Computer Science, Computer Science and Business, or Computer Engineering; for Computer Science and Engineering majors, it counts as a professional or free elective. For Computer Science and Business majors it counts as a free elective.

    Reading Material

    Book (main textbook):
    Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games, Third Edition 3rd Edition by Tracy Fullerton ISBN-13: 978-1482217162 ISBN-10: 1482217163
    Book (additional material):
           Title: Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals
           Author: Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman
           ISBN 0-262-24045-9
           Publisher: The MIT Press Media
    Book (additional material):
           Title: Game Design: Theory & Practice
           Author: Richard Rouse III
           Available electronically from campus computers Media
    Book (additional material):
           Title: The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses
           Author: Jesse Schell


    All announcements will be made here


    All announcements, handouts, etc. will be posted in this web site:


    Student's Work

    The following activities will be performed by the students taking this course:

  • Optional Work. The students must let the instructor know in advance if they are planning to do this optional work.

    Percentage distribution: test # 1(20%), test # 2 (20%), final exam (35%), homeworks (10%), Design analysis project (15%)

    Last update: April 6 18:45:33 EST 2016