Computer Game Development

The Institute for Interactive Arts and Engineering
School of Arts and Humanities
University of Texas at Dallas
2003 Fall


Instructor David Wallace Croft
Number ARTS-3376 13721.501
Title Computer Game Development (Java 2D Game Programming)
Time Mondays 19:00 - 21:45
Location HRA 102 PC

An introduction to 2D game programming using the computer programming language Java. Topics will include Web-based deployment, sprite animation, data persistence, game architecture, artificial intelligence, and multiplayer networking. Students will be required to design, develop, and deploy computer games independently and as members of a team.

Prerequisite Experience with an object-oriented computer programming language such as Java or instructor permission. This course may become a prerequisite for a future course on Java 3D game programming.

The recommended books are optional. They may not be published yet by the time the semester starts. The purchase of previously published Java game programming books is not recommended.

Advanced Java Game Programming by David Wallace Croft
Developing Games in Java by David Brackeen


4% Compilation Exercise
8% Deployment Exercise
12% Animation Project
16% Interaction Project
20% Persistence Project
24% Team Project
14% Attendance (1% per lecture)
1% Best Individual Project Award
1% Best Team Project Award

Grades will be based upon the timely completion of assignments, attendance, and relative project quality. Assignments are due at the beginning of class. Late assignments will be penalized one letter grade each week that they are overdue unless excused. To receive attendance points, students must be present during roll call. No excuses will be permitted for the attendance grade. The Best Individual and Best Team Project awards will be granted by the instructor.


Date # Due Lecture Assigned
2003-08-25 01 -- Introduction and Demonstrations --
2003-09-01 -- -- Labor Day Holiday --
2003-09-08 02 -- Development Setup Compilation Exercise
2003-09-15 03 Compilation Exercise Deployment Frameworks Deployment Exercise
2003-09-22 04 Deployment Exercise Swing Animation Animation Project
2003-09-29 05 Animation Project Student Presentations and Review Interaction Project
2003-10-06 06 -- Animation Library --
2003-10-13 07 Interaction Project Student Presentations and Review Persistence Project
2003-10-20 08 -- Persistent Data --
2003-10-27 09 -- Game Architecture --
2003-11-03 10 Persistence Project Student Presentations and Review Team Project
2003-11-10 11 -- Advanced Graphics --
2003-11-17 12 -- Artificial Intelligence --
2003-11-24 13 -- Multiplayer Networking --
2003-12-01 14 Team Project Student Presentations and Review --


4% Compilation Exercise
  • Demonstrate the ability to make a change to the source code of one of the example games, recompile, and run the modified program from the operating system command line.
8% Deployment Exercise
  • Demonstrate deployment of your Compilation Exercise code as an executable JAR, an applet, and as a Java Web Start application.
12% Animation Project
  • Design, develop, and deploy a non-interactive animation.
  • Keep it simple.

The following requirements apply to all of the projects:

  • Use the Swing animation engine provided by the instructor.
  • You must create the design, code, and multimedia by yourself.
  • The design must differ significantly from previous projects.
  • Do not violate intellectual property rights.
  • Deploy as both an applet and a Java Web Start application.
  • Code must run within unsigned applet security restrictions.
  • Demonstrate your project and lead a review of your source code.
16% Interaction Project
  • Design, develop, and deploy an interactive animated game.
  • Demonstrate keyboard and mouse input.
20% Persistence Project
  • Design, develop, and deploy a game with data persistence.
  • Demonstrate applet and Java Web Start persistence.
24% Team Project
  • Divide into teams of three or four.
  • Organize as desired.
  • Present a post mortem.


Name David Wallace Croft
Job Title Lecturer I
Office Hours

I am available immediately after class for student consultation. Frequently I will be available in my office at other times as well. Please do not hesitate to contact me for an appointment or simply drop by.

Office Location Jonsson 3.924
Office Phone (972) 883-2205
Home Phone (214) 731-9284

David Wallace Croft earned his B.Sc. from the United States Air Force Academy in 1990 and his M.Sc. from the California Institute of Technology in 1995. In 1996 he joined an online multiplayer Java game Internet start up and has been programming in Java exclusively ever since. He formerly served as the President of the Silicon Valley Java Users Group and is the Founder of the Game Developers Java Users Group. He is the author of the book Advanced Java Game Programming.

Lecture Breaks

19:00 Roll Call and Lecture
19:55 5 Minute Break
20:00 Lecture Resumes
20:55 5 Minute Break
21:00 Lecture Resumes
21:45 Dismissal

Students are encouraged to prompt the instructor if a break is overdue.

School Closings

If the University closes, that information is immediately posted to the home page at The major radio and TV stations will also receive the information.


Disability Services facilitates the delivery of academic accommodations for students with disabilities. All new and returning students needing this service should contact Kerry Tate at 972-883-2098 before classes begin each semester, and should provide that office with a copy of their class schedule once registration is complete.

Creative Commons License

© 2003 David Wallace Croft
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.