In the Building Virtual Worlds class this past fall, 4 ETC students, Hongsa Chen, Liyue Shen, Keyin Wu, Aditya Vijayakumar created a flow-like game of swimming and consumption controlled entirely by eye movement in one week.
The game, Aquario was featured as part of the Educated Play in the March 2013 edition of Game Developer Magazine. In the story, Aditya speaks with Alexandra Hall on the making of the game.
For a peak of the game (3:34) and the other worlds featured at the BVW show:
Hongsa "Sasa" Chen - Art
Liyue Shen - Art
Keyin "Key" Wu - Sound
Aditya Vijayakumar - Programming
We heard from ETC alum Seth Sivak ('09) asking the ETC to test out his companies new iPhone and iPad game.
This is a shameless plug, but our first game was released on the app store today, it is called Letter Rush. We tried to put an arcade spin on word-find games. I would love to hear your feedback (and about all the bugs you find)!
Clara Rice from JRA (Jack Rouse Associates), visited ETC last Friday for the TEA Experience Café and contributed the following blog post about her experience.
TEA Experience Cafe - Introducing the Next Generation of (Literal) Game Changers
Last Friday, I had the opportunity to meet 25 talented graduate students at the launch of the Themed Entertainment Association’s TEA Experience Café. The Café, an initiative of TEA’s Next Generation Committee, aims to introduce university students and recent graduates to the themed entertainment industry in a casual, interactive setting, while providing access to those working directly in the field. After eight months of planning, Friday marked the official launch of the initiative and was held at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Established in 1999, the ETC offers a two-year Masters of Entertainment Technology degree, and many of the students use their degree to foray into the gaming industry. Step off the elevator, and you’re immediately transported to a world of storm troopers and spaceships, Gollum figurines and skeeball machines. During my tour, I was introduced to several of the 18 projects currently being developed at the school, including a collaborative slot machine experience, a multi-platform Army training exercise, and a Risk-type game where participants use their collective singing voices to affect the result. It was an inspiring afternoon, and I was excited to hear more from the students individually.
The format of the evening was part presentation, part professional speed dating. Christine Kerr of BaAM Productions, Christian Lachel of BRC Imagination Arts, Josh Jeffery of the Warhol Museum, Dennis Bateman of the Carnegie Science Center and I provided insights on our careers and organizations, and the students found that their backgrounds weren’t that different from those on the panel. Dennis also treated us to an impromptu science experiment featuring a Fuji film canister, Alka-Seltzer, water and a spontaneous explosion.
During the Q&A, my advice to the students came from the playbook of my now retired mentor, Rick Steele:
1. Fast, cheap, good. You can only have two.
2. “I don’t know” is the smartest thing anybody ever says.
3. You can only shave time off the project at the beginning.
4. The most important day of a project is its opening.
I also delved from my own experience and encouraged them to “be nice to little old ladies,” because you never know whether the 84-year-old woman sitting next to you at a focus group will be the person that gets you your next job (as happened to me with JRA).
Once in the one-on-one sessions, I discovered that the students had varied backgrounds. One worked in construction. Another performed in musical theatre. A third came from a computer science background. A common denominator for many of them was that they had no idea that working for a Disney, Universal, BRC, JRA or BaAM was even a possibility, and their eyes had been opened to new career paths.
Shirley Saldamarco, ETC faculty member who organized the event, felt the evening had a profound impact on her students: “The students appreciated the 1:1 opportunity to show their portfolios and get direct feedback from industry professionals. They were amazed at how approachable, down-to-earth and supportive everyone was. The biggest surprise was they said the sessions helped them discover opportunities in the themed entertainment industry for people like themselves with such diverse backgrounds (music, arts management, cruise ships, etc). Even students at our Silicon Valley campus weren’t left out, since they participated in interviews via GoToMeeting. From all the emails and personal comments I received, everyone involved had an enlightening experience and enjoyable time. I’m still not quite sure who had more fun – the guests or the students.”
I certainly had a great experience, and I look forward to keeping up with the students' progress and seeing where they land.
Are you interested in becoming a TEA Next-Gen member? Visit www.teaconnect.org/next-gen-membership for details.
During the spring 2010 semester ETC project Bridges created a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) based game that explores the goal of preventing Asian Carp from invading the waters of Lake Michigan. The game, Invasion, is being highlighted as part of BrainPOP’s GameUp science games collection. You can play the game at BrainPOP's site.
The project was sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation in partnership with the Field Museum of Chicago. Through the game, the goal is to introduce players to the complex global dilemma of managing invasive specie and includes the sociological, scientific, and economic roadblocks that tend to slow down effective prevention.
Congratulations to the Bridges Team: Michael Lewis, Camilo Garcia, Andy Korzik and Kana Otaki!
In an article posted in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, mentions CMU Hacking Team (PPP or Plaid Parliament of Pwning). This semester, ETC student project OSIRIS is working with the PPP and their faculty adviser, Prof. David Brumley to design a nation-wide high school competition (picoCTF) to encourage computer security and computer science education.
The goal of this project is to help design, implement, and run a compelling and authentic computer security game that will teach beginners the basics and challenge the experts as well.
PicoCTF will feature high school students hacking real computer systems across multiple levels interwoven into a realistically motivating storyline.
Teams PPP and Osiris will work together to help implement and run picoCTF, currently scheduled for April 26th 2013 –
May 6th 2013.
To read more on the Osiris project, see the project website.