Unique, student-designed video games were on full display at Florida Polytechnic University’s fall 2020 Virtual Game Expo.
“All the games are very interesting and there are a lot of different varieties,” said Dr. Doga Demirel, coordinator of the computer science game development and simulation concentration. “One of the most interesting things is they’re all well thought out and carry a purpose. It really shows how creative our students are.”
The game expo took place online on Friday, Nov. 20. The event, which is held twice a year, shifted to a virtual format in spring 2020. In addition to the filmed gameplay that took center stage during the spring event, this semester’s game expo featured interviews with the student game developers and a webpage where viewers can download and play the 19 entries. All but two of the games were created in Dr. Bradford Towle’s game design and development class.
Demirel said in addition to the University community, industry professionals were invited to watch.
“We are incredibly proud of the game we made,” said Luke Mirman ’21, who created the game “Somnium” with Evan Nave ’21.
The seniors are both majoring in computer science with game development and simulation concentrations.
“In the game, you’re trying to deliver an email, but as it’s sending it gets stuck in cyberspace and you have to go into a retro internet world and recover the email,” said Mirman, from Jensen Beach, Florida.
The game’s vivid colors and distinct Windows 95 feel take players on a journey through several levels as they complete tasks and help the eclectic characters they encounter.
“We’ve been working on this for months and having it finished is almost surreal,” Mirman said.
Another game displayed during the virtual expo was “Echoes in the Dark,” a horror game designed by computer science seniors Nathan MacAdam ’21 and Ethan Sutley ’21, both from Pensacola, Florida.
“We’ve participated in five game expos here at Florida Poly with different games now, and we’ve definitely gotten better over the years,” MacAdam said.
The duo’s newest game, inspired by the style of the “Hellboy” comic book series, tasks a player armed with a gun to navigate a scary world that sees enemies drawn to the slightest noise. The player must use the loud gun to advance through the game, inevitably drawing foes to his location.
For Sutley, presenting at the game expo each year has been one of the best parts of his time at Florida Poly.
“The expos and the game jams the Media Club does are some of the highlights of any given semester for us because the whole environment is really fun and I love presenting games to people,” Sutley said.
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