Florida Polytechnic University students who have worked all semester developing innovative video games are getting the chance to show them off online at the annual Spring Game Expo.
Florida Poly traditionally hosts fall and spring game expos on campus, but ongoing social distancing restrictions and state-mandated closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic forced the spring expo’s cancellation. Dr. Doga Demirel, who oversees the computer science game development and simulation concentration, said students have instead will demonstrate their games live online.
“Their games are always so creative and we didn’t want to just skip this year’s Game Expo because of what’s happening around us,” Demirel said. “We decided to do our best to adapt to what’s going on and find innovative ways for students to showcase their talent.”
The online Game Expo launched on Thursday, April 30, and includes 15 minutes of live gameplay for each of the 18 student-created games. Students signed up for time slots to demonstrate their games to Demirel and Dr. Bradford Towle, the Game Development 2 instructor. People can log in to see the event as it happens beginning at 9 a.m.
Among the student games is “Indecision,” a hide-and-go-seek style game in which players act as emotion or logic and must meet to make a decision. Another student game is “Double Dungeon,” which asks players to choose from four different heroes and use different attacks to slay monsters.
“The purpose of the game development and simulation concentration is to teach students how to create games and be proactive in the gaming industry and in the animations of characters,” Demirel said. “We have a really good pool of students and the games they’ve developed show their potential for future success.”
All of the games in this semester’s game design course are multiplayer games and they represent many different genres of videogames, such as rhythm games, adventure games, and action games.
“This will showcase the talent and creativity we have in our concentration and in our department,” Demirel said. Industry representatives were invited to view the online game expo and spot potential additions to their teams, he said.
Kyle Conway, a senior majoring in computer science with a concentration in game development and simulation, is excited to still have an opportunity to demonstrate his game, “Electronic Rush,” to the community.
“This semester is unique, and trying to preserve some of the Game Expo – even if just the bare essentials – is very important to me,” said Conway, a graduate of Lake Gibson High School in Lakeland, Florida. “The Game Expo is a fantastic opportunity to advertise both the school and students to the outside world and having the opportunity to preserve a bit of that is something I’m very thankful for.”
Demirel said gaming and animation-focused companies are often very interested in the talent developed at Florida Poly.
He said he also hopes high school and transfer students who are considering attending Florida Poly will check out the Game Expo to get a good idea of the kind of work they can do as a computer science student at the University.
“Our students are accomplishing incredible things and we want them to know they can be part of that, too,” he said.
View the Game Expo live online.
Director of Communications