NEWS

Preview Games During Spring Arts Festival

May 01, 2014


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As part of the Spring Arts Festival, Arts and Technology students will showcase game projects on Friday, May 2 from 6:30-8:30 pm in ATC 3.101.  The games were produced in the fall 2013 and spring 2014 Game Production Lab  (ATEC 4350 and ATEC 6345), a course structured to simulate the game development industry.

Games to be showcased

Comrade Quest 

Comrade1 The vision of Comrade Quest is in two parts: one, to provide gamers with the chance to play a game together in person, and two, to offset all the games with negative portrayals of Russians.

Although many games feature multiplayer experiences online, there are few games that feature local multiplayer. Comrade Quest is a game in which a group of friends or strangers can play cooperatively in the same room. Local multiplayer is special, because it gives players a reason to invite friends over. Rather than just sitting alone in a home, chatting or typing to a screen, local multiplayer requires people to invite friends over to play. In a society where social isolation is becoming increasingly common, creating more games that foster face-to-face human interaction may help reverse that trend. For many, having genuine social interaction helps combat depression and anxiety from isolated living.Comrade2

Secondly, Comrade Quest provides a counter a market saturated with McCarthyism. So many games currently on the market portray communism and Russians, as inherently bad. Video games, and Western culture in general, tend to relegate Russians to villain roles. Popular Western films, such as the James Bond movies and many other action movies, depict Russians as power-hungry villains with a thirst for blood. Instead of shoehorning Russians into villainous roles, Comrade Quest casts them as heroes.

Solar Rim

Solar1In the vacuum of open space, Freelancers make their fortunes by collecting rare minerals from asteroid fields and collecting bounties on the less savory of their kind. This demo of Solar Rim puts the player in the boots of one such Freelancer and pits them against up to three other players across a network. The pace of the game shifts drastically when Freelancers meet each other and fight to the death. Multiplayer, full six-directional movement, and randomly generated asteroid fields keep players coming back time after time, and that’s only the beginning.

Unlike other mining simulators, Solar Rim is more about adventure than it is discovery. While it maintains the casual pace of similar games when players explore, mine, and build (not yet implemented), the pace of the game turns completely on end when players are pitted against their worst enemy: other players. Nothing in Solar Rim tells players that they have to kill each other, but the nature of having a gun and mining blocks that become ammo instantly pits players against anything that moves. The type of block used as ammo alters how this combat plays out, allowing players to choose between a “spray-and-pray” method or a skilled assassin at a moments notice, provided that have the resources to do so or the time to find them.

Solar2The essentials are in place to build an adventure upon. The pace shift and ammo mining system lay the foundation for a larger game that will muddy the line between cooperative and competitive multiplayer. The last piece of the puzzle is a task which unifies players against a common foe, but will they turn on their “friends” once the dust settles? How do you hold digital players accountable for their actions? What sort of story will develop when life and death–peace and war–hang on the building blocks of the world?

 

Shroud Shroud1

Shroud is a game designed to push the limits of player coordination without being overly punishing. The player controls two characters with an organic time limit meant to push the player to a solution within those constraints. The project takes common puzzle game conventions and subverts them by manipulating the way the player interacts with the environment, as well as applying cooperative gameplay to a single player experience. The game presents thematic undertones that propose the social issues such as big business and pollution, but handle them from a casual platform.

Fissure

Fissure is a game where the player is able to navigate a space in unconventional ways. The game gives the player the experience of a tribal orc who has gained sacred powers and who must now escape the rocky terrain he has been trapped in. During the game, the player is given two powers that must be blended together to traverse the level. The player is given a magic bubble to float inside, which is useful for those less experienced and a teleporting power for the speed runners of the game. Our level shows both how the environment can be built around the use of the powers and the potential that these mechanics give for further development of Fissure.

fissure1

The full list of games to be featured includes

Fissure
Spring 2014 Semester
Comrade Quest
Spring 2014 Semester
Shroud
Spring 2014 Semester
Power Stone
Spring 2014 Semester
Solar rim
Spring 2014 Semester
Castor and Pollux
Fall 2013 Semester
The Fast and The Fjorius
Fall 2013 Semester
Body Shop
Fall 2013 Semester
Control Room
Fall 2013 Semester
Zarathustra
Fall 2013 Semester



The Student Arts Festival features the work of over 600 students from more than 40 courses. The festival takes place over five days, offering audiences the opportunity to roam from one building to another, taking in classical, jazz, dance, guitar, piano and vocal performances, as well as an art exhibition and reception. View the full schedule for the Student Arts Festival.