CS 4644 Creative Game Studio: Drummer Game, Spring 2010
Tuesday and Thursday 3:45-5:00pm at Knowledge Works II 1127

Instructor: Francis Quek
Phone: (540) 231-1192
Email: quek@vt.edu
Office Hour: By appoinment in KWII 1130

Instructor: Yong Cao
Phone: (540) 231-0415
Email: yongcao@vt.edu
Office Hour: TR 10:30am-12:00pm McBryde 122, and by appointment in KWII 1124

Course Description:

This is a project-based course. During the semester, students will work on a research oriented game project, which is funded by National Science Fundation. The goal of the project is to produce a massive-interaction strategy game in which 'players' control large forces of ancient 'Terracotta Armies' in battle on large high-resolution theater-scale screens. The warriors in the game will be arranged in several large battalions, and they will be controlled in real-time by two groups of players who are "fighting" against each other. Each player of a group controls one (or more) battalion(s). As in ancient times, warriors use 'battle drum' to communicate with each other, and execute mass battle actions like advancing, retreating, flanking right or left, or forming up in a variety of pre-defined formations.

This spectacle will be the result of intense collaboration across multiple fields of computational science, art and music. The project will employ a team-oriented approach to all research and implementation components with faculty advisors guiding student teams. The project engages both graduate and undergraduate students throughout the multi-disciplinary process.

The course consists of lectures early in the semester, graduate students presentations, programming tasks for the project, and final project presentations and demonstrations.


Upon completing this course, students should be able to

  1. Understand how to design a massive-interaction strategy game.
  2. Gain experience of working as a large game production group.
  3. Learn state-of-art technologies in three major components on the project:
    • Signal processing
    • Crowd simulation
    • Character animation

Course Work

Below is an estimate of the contributions of different parts of your final grade. We reserve the right to adjust these weights, as necessary.


  • Participation 20%
  • Presentation 10%
  • Project 50%
  • Final Reports 20%


  • Participation 20%
  • Lecture Presentation 10%
  • Project Proposal 20%
  • Project 50%

Undergraduate students will be assigned to different technology teams led by a graduate student, and working on different components of the project. The undergraduate students should take charge of documentation and final project presentation of the component they are working on. Each graudate student will be assigned to give a lecture of class to introduce the plan and technical issues of the the project. The graduate student should also take charge of organizing and advising the team.

Materials and References

There is no required Text Book for this course.


Without a Curve (A Fractional percentages will be rounded to the nearest decimal place.)
90- 91 A-
88- 89 B+
82- 87 B
80- 81 B-
78- 79 C+
72- 77 C
70- 71 C-
68- 69 D+
62- 67 D
60- 61 D-
< 60 F

In the event that a curve is applied to grades, it will be curved approximately as follows:

A 95% of the average score of the Top 10% of the class
B 85% of the average score of the Top 10% of the class
C 75% of the average score of the Top 10% of the class
… and so on.


The Honor Code will be strictly enforced. It is a violation to represent joint work as your own or to let others use your work; always acknowledge any assistance you received in preparing work that bears your name. You are expected to work independently unless explicitly permitted to collaborate on a particular project. It is not a violation to discuss approaches to programs with others; however, it IS a violation to use code fragments in your program that have been written by others without acknowledging the source.