Take a look at some of the games and collaborations developed by our talented students and faculty!
A Knight in Furry Armor
Do you remember having nightmares when you were a kid? Would you like to know what really happened after the sun went down, the thunder and lightning playing games with your head like the shadows on the wall? Thankfully there is something that will fight your nightmares and protect you till dawn. Armed with a sword and a brave heart, he fights endless waves of nightmares to save you from the horrors of the dark. He is a Knight in Furry Armor.
A Night on the Express
You are Frank Delaney, Private Detective. You are feeling particularly hardboiled tonight. Can you use your wits and your skills of deduction to solve the mystery of a murder on the rails? I hope so, cause YOU ONLY GET ONE chance to figure out whodunit!
Celly is the story of a cell that eats other cells to grow and become more powerful.
Along the way Celly encounters evil cells that try to eat him. Celly can run away and use his new powers to beat them back.
The ultimate goal for Celly is to become the most powerful cell in which no evil cells can bother him.
Duffin and his sheepy friend Lord William Randolph McTaggart, Master Wizard of the Highlands are on a quest to gather what is needed to make a potion which will return Haggis, a former wizard, human again.
Their first stop to find the necessary ingredients is Castle Morgelick where, conveniently, there is a tavern built on the ruins. Duffin and Haggis blindly search for the first ingredient and find it out of dumb luck.
When they return to the tavern to plot their next mission they meet an old hag who knows where to find exactly what they are looking for. She has even readied a large stew pot for their ingredients and encourages them to begin preparations before setting out.
You control a horde of zombies that rampages through the town, assimilating civilians to increase the size of your horde. Your objective is to take over the town by taking control of ALL of the civilians inside.
Speed Metal is a 4 player Hack & Slash where a super successful band of rock stars party all the time and their manager hates them. They are trying to write a new album but need inspiration so manager gets them a time machine and sends them back into time.
The twist is the real reason the manager wants them to go back into time is because he is hoping they will get lost in the space time continuum, never come back and he can keep all their money.
As the band travels through time they realize there are 4 power pieces in the time machine which get lost in different areas. The areas are prehistoric, mid evil, pirate and ultimately the final zone. Once all pieces are collected they can set the time machine to get them back to the present where they have one last concert / showdown with the manager and their replacement band!
The Estate is a first person survival horror game where you must survive the nightmarish Estate and discover the horrifiying secrets buried in it's past if you want to have any hope at escaping with your sanity.
Lilly is a non-violent vegan zombie who returns to consciousness after being infected with the zombie virus after bitten by a Mongolian Monkeyrat. She is in a fitting room of a large department store. Disoriented, frightened, and unsure of her situation. She decides to make her way to the rear exit of the store in an attempt to escape from the mall and return home.
You are a fox that has just stolen a baby tree sapling from the wood creatures because you live in the ice mountains and need an everlasting fire and heard a baby tree sapling can do that. So now you are are running through the forest and wasteland and ice mountains to get home.
1st Grade Addition: Hungry Fox
Bruce Van Horn has been working on a game that just released on Google Play Store and the Apple Platform.
Thanks for taking the time for answering these questions in your busy schedule.
Can you tell me more about the games you made?
I’ve recently started focusing on creating educational games for young children. The impetus for me is straightforward; I have a daughter in first grade and another in Pre-K4. My older daughter was struggling with her math speed tests, and it was really difficult to get her to practice. I know from my own teaching experience that students can get frustrated, and with simple addition, it just takes practice under time pressure so that you learn to figure the answer in your head instead of counting on your fingers.
So I made the Hungry Fox game. Suddenly math practice is a video game, and the arguments on getting my kids to practice for their tests went out the window. Not to be outdone, my younger daughter gave me an idea for another game which I just finished last week, but have yet to publish.
I have an advantage in that I can code, and produce decent looking art and animation without outside help, and my specialty has recently become games that I can produce in few weeks, by myself, with a production budget under $300.
What do you think about mobile development?
Mobile development is potentially the most important platform right now for gaming. According to a study by Newzoo in 2016, mobile game revenue surpassed both console and PC game sales generating $36.9B versus $31.9B for PC’s and $29B for consoles. The market for games is expected to rise to $99.6B in 2017 with projections for game revenue being about 37% of that number. (View revenue source)
You wouldn’t think it, because the console games get all the big press; they’ve become akin to movie releases and studios spend as much making a game as Hollywood does to produce a movie. But if you think about it, mobile devices are much cheaper and virtually ubiquitous. Given their prevalence, and they continued boost in capability, it’s a sure bet that nearly everybody can play a well written mobile game. If you want to play on a PC, you have to buy a PC capable of playing the games, which is far more expensive than one you’d use for business or school. Consoles aren’t terribly cheap either, and when you also factor in the cost of a TV, it’s easy to see that a device you probably already have in your pocket that can take pictures, surf the web, connect you to friends and family AND play games is they easy winner.
With Samsung and Google introducing VR capabilities into their phones, I think you’ll see better and more sophisticated titles on the smaller screens first, and more often. We’re already seeing this with the game Mobile Strike which I suspect is the first mobile title to have a commercial aired during the Super Bowl.
I’d like to mention at the end of the discussion on mobile games that I do teach students how to build, optimize and publish mobile games in the advanced unity class.
What advice do you have for other mobile developers or any developers?
Aside from “Take my class”? There are a few pointers, no pun intended, that I’d share. In my course, I teach that the primary goal of a software developer is to ship product. Programming doesn’t make anybody any money, garner any fame, or produce any measure of success. It’s only when your program gets out in the world that those things happen. Keep that as your first goal. Learn as many different languages and styles as you can, and don’t fall into the fan-boy / fan-girl trap where you think language or platform-X is better than Y. They’re all just tools. Nobody cares what brand name is on their hammer so long as it drives nails. Be curious, and be prepared for a lifetime of learning, because our industry changes rapidly and often.
You can find more of Bruce’s creations in the Unity Asset Store.
Bruce also has a new project for mobile devices in beta called Bubbles: Letter Ordering Workshop. Elly the Elephant challenges Pre-K through first graders to master their understanding of letter order. Random sequences of letters are generated inside of bubbles. Pop the bubbles in order as fast as you can. Find out more on Bruce’s website.
Bruce also has a video course on Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning. This course will cover Unity 5 Network Game Development which is covered in Game/Simulation Programming II.
Axon Punk Overdrive
Axon Punk: Overdrive (Twitter @axonpunk) combines hip hop and classic cyberpunk to synthesize a table-top RPG where players improvise, collaborate, and develop a community together to oppose corporate oppression in the gritty megacities of 2085.
Axon Punk is made in conjunction with the Sugar Gamers.We have been featured at gaming conventions around the USA and Canada and has been tested in 8 other countries. We will be featured for the third year in a row at GenCon.
Cameron Kyle – Art Director and Designer
“Currently living in Dallas, Texas, Cameron earned a BFA in photography and multimedia from the University of Texas at Arlington. He currently works for Richland college in their video game development dept. as well as an animator for Solar Purge ( http://solarpurge.com ). He has been an RPG gamer since he was 10 when purchased a D&D “red box” and taught brother, Colin, so they could play togeather. When not working on art or games, Cameron likes to play guitar, plays a wide range of video and tabletop games, and plays with his dog, who is a corgi mix named after the Deep Space Nine character Jadzia Dax.”
Colin Kyle – Lead Writer and Designer
“Currently living in Hyde Park, Chicago, Colin earned a PhD in ecological modeling with a focus on epidemiology and climate change from the University of Chicago. He has been a RPG gamer since his brother, Cameron, taught him how to play Basic D&D at age 8. When not writing and reading sci-fi, Colin listens to music, plays a wide range of tabletop games, and spoils his pet rabbit, who is named after the astronomer Annie Jump Cannon.”
Matt leslie – Technical Director and Artist/Photo Editor
“A Dallas native, Matt earned his BA in Arts and Technology from the University of Texas at Dallas and a general Associates of Science from Richland College (DCCCD). He is a video game and app developer by trade focusing on high-level concepts such as technical writing, C# .Net, and tool building for production pipelines while also being an Unreal Engine Specialist. He started playing table-top games when he was a young adult, experiencing titles such as Pathfinder, D&D 3.5e, and Vampire the Mascarade. Matt brings his expertise in procedural generation techniques to the AxonPunk team as well as his artistic vision in the glitch aesthetic. When Matt isn’t making games, he spends his free time catching up on the latest HBO titles and showcasing his procedural visual systems at the Dallas Ambient Music Nights. He has two dogs and two cats named Lucy (dog), Parker (dog), Sterling (cat), and Franklin (cat).”
Arvin, thanks again for taking time for this interview. I know your busy.
Sure no problem.
Can you tell us a little bit what you do and what got you there?
Well I do a lot of different little things now. I teach modeling and texturing for video games here at Richland. Been doing that for about 4 years now and have been able to meet some incredibly talented students. I work at gametextures.com which is an incredibly fun and rewarding place to work. I do several different things there from creating tileable textures, to building pipeline tools, to some customer support, to creating demo scenes and tutorials. We have a really cool company structure which allows us to do a few different things depending on what we’re needing and pushing for at the time. Aside from that I have some freelance 3D and video work that I do from time to time.
What made you want to develop Beneath and can you tell us a little about the game?
I’d been wanting to develop a game since my early 20’s. I worked on different projects off and on for several years. About 2 years ago I got together with some former students to try to put something together. It started of very complex. It was a 3D game with some open world qualities. Slowly we whittled it down to a simple side scrolling game with a simple portal mechanic. I think simplicity is really important in game design, and in many ways it’s very similar to teaching. You give the user some skill or knowledge, and help him or her extrapolate as much use of this skill as possible.
Can you tell us where the game is at in development and when you plan to release?
Currently we’re finishing up our demo and looking for funding then. Release will depend on when we can get funding.
What makes Beneath unique and fun?
Well it isn’t fun at the moment. LOL. That’s what we’re currently working on. Much of the fun factor of Beneath will rely on cleverly constructed puzzles and the satisfaction players get from discovering a new and clever way to use the portal mechanic
Which platforms are you developing for?
We’re going for PC and seeing where we go from there.
What are the goals for this release and are there plans for after?
On this one we are taking it one goal at a time. We want to create a demo and see where that leads.
How have you and the project benefited from working at Richland College?
The project team – Matt Leslie, Derran Viss, Zoey Christianson, Kevin Boykin, and Micah Strube are all former Richland students. They’ve gone through a great program and have a good idea on what it takes to produce and develop a game.
What advice would you give to indie game developers?
Hahaha! I don’t think I’m qualified to give any of this yet. Ask me again when our game gets published.
Thanks again we really appreciate your time!
No problem, glad to help. Now Anwar owes me lunch.
Eliott Lilly is a concept artist that has worked on AAA games in the industry. Learn some of his industry insider secrets in his book, Big Bad World of Concept Art for Video Games: An Insider’s Guide for Students. Eliott has an outstanding portfolio on Artstation you should check out as well.
One such person is Josh Carter. Along with his business partner Brandon Michaels have developing a fantastic game and we recently caught up with Josh and asked him to give us a preview of just what we can look forward to playing in the near future.
Hi Josh thanks for taking time for this interview. I know your busy.
Sure no problem. Thanks for having me.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do and what got you there?
I always loved creating things when I was a kid, whether it was playing with Lego’s or making levels in TimeSplitters 2 on my GameCube. There’s just something taking an idea and bringing it to life that gets me excited. So I went to school to learn about everything about creating media, from animation to video production and web design. But after taking several game design classes I finally knew what I really wanted to do.
Since then, I’ve been focusing on level design and game scripting. Working with Unreal Engine 4 has been an epic journey. Everything we’ve created so far has been written without a single line of code. That will probably change here pretty soon as the game becomes more complex, but as far as building game prototypes and scripting levels Unreal Engine 4 is the way to go!
What made you want to develop Solar Purge and can you tell us a little about the game?
My game development partner in crime, Brandon and I love co-op and multiplayer games. There was a game on Steam called Chivalry and the developers decided to host a map contest. I saw a thread on the community board where a couple guys were looking for help on their map, and that’s where I met Brandon. I was glad to have made a new friend that was as passionate about games as I was. After the contest was over, Brandon and I decided that we should start creating our own co-op and multiplayer games. Why not, right? That’s when we came up with the idea for Solar Purge. It’s a cooperative sci-fi shooter that lets you and your friends kick back and have a blast destroying bugs, aliens, robots and whatever else we can come up with.
Can you tell us where the game is in development and when you plan to release?
Right now Solar Purge is still in Pre-Alpha… we still have a lot to do, but it’s definitely starting to take shape where we can really make it fun and engaging. Our goal is to have it finished by fall 2016 – spring 2017, and we’re pushing really hard to meet that goal.
What makes Solar Purge unique and fun?
Solar Purge, at its core, is a twin stick shooter… so the way you move and shoot is really important to us. You’ll be firing at a horde of melee attackers while some ranged enemies are firing at you from behind. If you stand still for very long, you’ll get taken down pretty quick. You also have 4 character classes to choose from, each having their own customizable skills which you can upgrade. When you play alone or with a group of friends, you will be able to select your loadout and skill modifications before you start a mission.
We’re working on creating levels that give players a variety of both mission and environment types. We want to create worlds that you’ll want to come back and explore again and again. Brandon has done a fantastic job so far on building these immersive environments.
What platforms are you developing for?
We’re focused on getting the game onto PC first and have it available through Steam. After that we would love port it to the Xbox One and PS4. Who knows… if it goes anywhere we might also look at getting it to run on the Nvidia Shield, Mac and Linux. We want to be open to whatever opportunity comes our way.
How have you and the project benefited from working at Richland College?
I’ve a learned a lot while working at Richland, from both the students and faculty. We’re all focused on one thing in the game program… learning how to create awesome games. The students are finding their niche and figuring out how to get into the industry. As a part of the faculty, our goal is to engage the students and help them find and pursue their passion in the gaming world. I’m passionate about seeing others succeed in whatever they do. It’s encouraging to see when the students are excited about a class project or something created in their free time.
What advice would you give to indie game developers?
Never stop learning. There’s always some new tech or techniques coming out, so you have to be willing to learn the new stuff to move forward. Indie developers are the greatest people on the planet. They’re passionate about what they do and love sharing it. Social media has really opened up a whole new world to game development. Right now is the perfect time to get into the indie scene and connect with thousands of other people who are as passionate about games as you are. Also… don’t be afraid of failure. Find your passion and go for it! You have to swing the bat if you want to hit a grand slam. There are so many cool things happening in the indie game scene right now, and you could be a part of that.
Thanks for you time. We really appreciate it.
No problem. Glad to help.