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- Last updated January 2022
This course is a gentle and comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of 2D game engine architecture. We'll discuss several of the most popular programming patterns used in game development and try to put all the theory we learn into context by coding a small 2D game engine using modern C++, SDL, and Lua.
We will write, together, a small ECS framework from scratch to manage our entities, components, and systems. We will discuss how engine programmers design their code and how we should think of organizing game objects in memory with performance in mind.
We'll try to write most of our engine code from scratch. All these libraries and tools are cross-platform, so you'll be able to code along with either Windows, macOS, or Linux!
The target audience for this course are beginner programmers that wish to learn more about how C++ works in the context of game development. Therefore, students must already know how to code and be familiar with basic concepts of programming and logic. You should be able to write if-else statements, loops, functions, and classes using simple OOP.
This course is not just a simple tutorial on how to create a game with C++. This is the opportunity for you to think about the abstraction of what a "game" really is and all the pieces that need to interact to make them happen. More than that, this course allows you to write from scratch the code of a small C++ engine that can be used to create many types of games.
We will also touch other important topics like ECS, data-oriented design, STL containers, C++ templates, game loop, SDL rendering, event systems, asset management, memory management, and performance. And finally, we'll also learn how to embed the Lua language into our native C++ code to add scripting power to our engine.
While there are other resources about game engine development out there, they are either too theoretical or overwhelmingly long. If you are looking for a gentle introduction to the world of game engine programming and want to learn how games really work under the hood, then you should definitely take this course!
Gustavo Pezzi is a university lecturer in London, UK. He has won multiple education awards as a teacher and is also the founder of pikuma.com.
Gustavo teaches fundamentals of computer science and mathematics; his academic path includes institutions such as Pittsburg State University, City University of London, and University of Oxford.
73% of our students come back for another course
We don't offer discounts on our courses. Ever.
"Fantastic! Pikuma courses are of the best quality and this one is no exception. I thoroughly enjoyed putting together a game engine and learning tons of new concepts in the process. Can't wait to work my way through more of the existing courses, and am eager to see what new courses are released in the future 😺."
"Great instructor, great content! 11/10. You rarely see an instructor that is so down-to-earth, friendly, and humble. The content is great as it teaches you two fundamental things at the same time: 1) how a game engine works; and 2) how to use said game engine to build your actual game. There is a bit of a learning curve with understanding ECS and data-oriented-design, however if you apply yourself and do the exercises carefully - you start to unpack it little by little. Thank you, Gustavo, for this excellent course."
"It is GREAT!!!!"
"Lovely Course! One of the only programming courses I have ever finished! Professor Gustavo Pezzi has crafted a course that covers the fundamental concepts of 2D Game Engines while leaving plenty of room for the student to dig deeper and learn more on their own. This means the pace of the course is always moving forward, but still provides enough depth to make sure that nothing is just a black box that won't be explained. I loved this course and am excited for more Pikuma in the future :)"
"Excellent course! The material is well-structured and the teacher explains it in a way that's easiest to understand."