CMPM 164: Game Engines explores the design and use of contemporary engines, primarily focused on topics in graphics and rendering, and also game engine architecture. We will work with Unreal Engine (currently at version 4.23) to implement a range of real-time techniques, including recently introduced approaches to real-time ray tracing. No textbook is required, instead we will read from recent articles and blogs, and also survey the use of visual effects in films, interactive media, VR experiences, and video games. The course is programming intensive, and requires the use of C++. In addition to the completion of shorter assignments throughout the semester, students will be responsible for a project that involves the creation, demonstration, and documentation of a technique of their choice implemented in Unreal Engine.

Grading will be based on participation and successfully mastery of course content, evaluated through homework assignments (30%) and a collaborative final project (50%). Lab attendance is mandatory (10%) and participation in class discussion is expected (10%).

CMPM 164 is taught by Prof. Angus Forbes, an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Computational Media. Angus’ office hours are on Wednesdays at 12noon in E2-259, or by appointment. The TA for the course is Montana Fowler (, a PhD student in Computational Media.
— Lectures are held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1:20pm to 2:25pm in Physical Sciences (PSB), room 114.

— Lab Section, led by TA Montana Fowler, TBA

Please join the CMPM 164 Slack channel at The best way to contact the instructor and the TAs is by sending a direct message via Slack. You can also set up your own channels for group projects, etc.

UC Santa Cruz is committed to creating an academic environment that supports its diverse student body. If you are a student with a disability who requires accommodations to achieve equal access in this course, please submit your Accommodation Authorization Letter from the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to me privately during my office hours or by appointment, preferably within the first two weeks of the quarter. I encourage all students who may benefit from learning more about DRC services to contact DRC by phone at 831-459-2089, or by email at