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Students Show Off Their Amateur Video Games

June 4, 2014

Duct tape and tears.

UC Irvine junior William Stone said that’s what holds together the student-made video game, “Warpspeed!”

Stone’s team of four UCI computer engineering students, aptly named Duct Tape and Tears, walked onstage to hoots, hollers and applause at the third annual GameSIG Intercollegiate Computer Game Showcase put on by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers on Saturday at Cal State Fullerton.

Duct Tape and Tears was one of 10 student teams chosen to compete for top honors in the GameSIG finals. Forty Southern California teams had entered the competition.

Finalists had five minutes to present their game and demonstrate its mechanics to a panel of local industry pros. Developers from Blizzard Entertainment, WayForward Technologies and Obsidian Entertainment offered criticism and praise after each presentation.

Blizzard Entertainment lead narrative designer Dave Kosak said the competition is a perfect way for students to learn game development, problem solving and how to work with others.

“It’s the closest they are going to get to their job short of an internship,” Kosak, the lead writer of “World of Warcraft,” said. “And a lot of people here end up getting an internship.”

While most teams hauled laptops, tablets and game controllers onstage, the UCI programmers carried their own, hand-made contraption.

The device was a mash-up of cardboard, wires, paper, dials, knobs and buttons. No need for a paint job – the silver duct tape had the exterior covered.

“Warpspeed!” is a spaceship survival game in which players must navigate black holes, shoot aliens on a computer screen and charge the game-ending warp drive using the makeshift controller. Once the warp drive meter is full, players must slam an open palm on the cardboard button – labeled “Warp Drive” in felt pen – to escape the treacherous star system and win the game.

“You are like Sulu on the Starship Enterprise and you need to react to different situations that come up,” Stone said. Think of the game “Bop It” with more than a dozen variables affecting play.

While the UCI team didn’t take top honors, it received ample laughs and applause from the audience of 200 students, game enthusiasts and professors. The judges awarded “Warpspeed!” the Chairman’s Award for Novelty.

Cal State Fullerton team Hand Made Games took the grand prize with its top-down, “Galaga”-inspired, smartphone shooter “Paper Craft.” Continue reading the original article.


Tags:  Media