Florida Poly students showcase their work at regional technology conference

Christopher Poole, left, a senior from Wesley Chapel, Florida, majoring in computer science with a concentration in cyber gaming, shows off Chrono Machina to an OrlandoiX attendee. Poole, along with fellow Florida Poly students Star Lagrasse and Jacob Stanish, designed the game.

For the first time, students from Florida Polytechnic University showcased their creations at the fourth annual OrlandoiX conference, on Aug. 17-18 in Winter Park, Florida.

The event is billed as the Southeast’s largest gathering of creators in virtual and augmented reality, video games, and digital entertainment. It has also drawn industry giants such as Microsoft, Google, IBM, EA Sports, and Dell.

“It wasn’t only for students to network but to put Florida Poly on the map,” said Esme Vazquez, a junior majoring in computer science with a concentration in cyber gaming. “It was an opportunity to put Florida Poly in a place where we have a presence.”

Presentations by Florida Poly students included a WebGL-based JavaScript game called Chroma Scape, designed by Zachary and Jacob Thornton, where the player pilots a ship through an unending barrage of portals and pillars by changing colors. Chrono Machina (designed by Star LaGrasse, Christopher Poole and Jacob Stanish) allows players to freeze time to achieve their goals, while The Breakpoint (Carlos Machado and Alejandro Ruiz) is a racing game set in the year 3333. All but one of the students are seniors majoring in computer science with a concentration in cyber gaming. Stanish graduated over the summer with the same degree.

Vazquez, who is president of the Florida Poly Media Club, orchestrated the effort to get the Florida Poly contingent to OrlandoiX after attending the conference for the first time last year on her own. She was even able to obtain an internship interview with one of the dozens of companies on hand for last year’s event.

“It’s important for people to understand who we are, to see our work and for the students to able to connect with these companies,” she said.

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