Student-designed games debut on Steam Greenlight, available for public play-testing at 2016 SMU Guildhall Spring Exhibition

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Student-designed games debut on Steam Greenlight, available for public play-testing at 2016 SMU Guildhall Spring Exhibition

The SMU Guildhall hosts its biannual graduate exhibition showcasing video games developed by graduating students on Friday, May 13. The 2016 Spring Exhibition will honor Cohort 23: master’s degree candidates who specialize in art creation, level design, production and programming.

The day’s schedule is as follows, and all events take place at SMU-in-Plano, Building 2, 5232 Tennyson Parkway. The public is welcome to attend each event, and admission is free:

  • 2:30-4 p.m. Exhibition of student games
  • 4-5 p.m. Honors Awards
  • 5-6 p.m. Capstone team games presentations

Both Cohort 23 Capstone games have debuted on Steam Greenlight, a community service of the Steam online gaming platform that allows gamers to vote on new content. Both Guildhall games will be made available for download and play through Steam if they receive enough votes. Follow the links below each game description to learn more and vote:

Gravitas is a first-person physics-based puzzle game in which the player manipulates gravity in order to navigate the realm of a mad artist known as “The Curator.” In a revolutionary art gallery built in space using groundbreaking technology, the player character receives a special glove that can control gravity and must use the new power to explore this world.

The Guildhall game creators, collectively known as Space Shark Studios, chose to build a puzzle game because it allowed them to focus on a single core mechanic and polish it to an extremely high quality. They built Gravitas in Unreal Engine 4 over a span of six months.

The production of Gravitas gave Space Shark Studios the opportunity to work within a simulated game development environment with all of its ups and downs. Throughout the project, they learned to communicate effectively as a team of 13, as well as develop within a very constrained timeline.

> Vote for Gravitas on Steam Greenlight

Scrapped is a single player, third-person 3D platformer developed in Unreal Engine 4.8.1. It stars Robot C-23 (get it?), who must solve his way out of a dangerous junkyard after inadvertently failing a quality inspection.

After being tossed out like garbage and trapped within an expansive scrapyard, the “quantum force”-powered robot encounters a robotic light bug named Fritz. Using Fritz’s glowing guidance, C-23 must repel and attract across hazards, dodging saws and swinging over bottomless pits to make their way across the perilous terrain. With each force-powered leap or slide, C-23 and his friend draw closer to a new home.

The student team, Get Out Alive Games, designed Scrapped with the intention of constructing a short yet extremely professional and polished experience. Over the course of six months, they learned to work with an industry-sized team, gained experience developing a professionally focused project, and formed an understanding of pipeline process and interdisciplinary collaboration.

> Vote for Scrapped on Steam Greenlight

Other Guildhall cohorts will also put new games up for public play-testing. Watch SMU Forum for additional information on these titles:

  • Knightly Burden (Cohort 26)
  • Azimuth (Cohort 25)
  • For the Family (Cohort 25)
  • Iron Games (Cohort 25)
  • Velocirapture (Cohort 25)

Kate Edwards, IGDAExhibition Day will conclude with the Guildhall’s graduation reception and presentation of degrees to students receiving the Master of Interactive Technology degree in digital game development. This year’s keynote speaker is Kate Edwards, executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and one of Fortune magazine’s “10 Most Powerful Women” in the game industry.

Edwards is also the founder and principal consultant of Geogrify, a Seattle-based consultancy for content culturalization, where she uses her expertise as an applied geographer, writer, and corporate strategist. As Microsoft’s first Geopolitical Strategist in the Geopolitical Strategy team she created and managed, she was responsible for protecting the company against political and cultural content risks across all products and locales. Since leaving Microsoft, she has provided guidance to many companies on a wide range of geopolitical and cultural issues and she continues to work on a variety of game franchises. Kate is also a regular columnist for MultiLingual Computing magazine.

In October 2013, Fortune magazine named her as one of the 10 most powerful women in the game industry. In December 2014 she was named by GamesIndustry.biz as one of their six People of the Year in the game industry.

> Visit the SMU Guildhall’s new website: smu.edu/guildhall

May 10, 2016|Calendar Highlights, News|

Tune In: SMU students impress with the best in 2015 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards

Two SMU teams were among the five student firms selected to present their concepts in McCord Auditorium Monday, Nov. 16. The students competed for the 2015 regional Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, sponsored by the international Entrepreneurs’ Organization. The GSEA is a global competition for student entrepreneurs who actively run a business.

Both SMU teams are past winners of the University’s Big iDeas Pitch Contest. Eddie Allegra, Miguel QuimbarJack Reynolds and BioLum Sciences won in 2014 with their smartphone-based asthma detection system. The Fiddler rooftop wind turbine designed by Jonah KirbyCameron Buller, Alec Siems, Brendan Celii and Luke Oglesbee came up victorious in the 2015 competition.

The BioLum team, winners of Monday night’s GSEA contest, have already aced a string of competitions that include the RECESS Festival 2015 Pitch Competition in Los Angeles and SMU’s 2015 Big iDeas Business Plan Competition. They now proceed to the U.S. national competition in Miami; a victory there will mean a trip to Bangkok, Thailand for the GSEA Global Finals.

But Allegra, who has a personal history of living with asthma, hasn’t let the accolades obscure a higher purpose: “I want someone to come up to me and tell me how much better their life is because of what I’ve done,” he tells Myles Taylor of SMU News in this video.

Click the YouTube screen, or visit this link to watch the Global Student Entrepreneur Award video in a new windowvideo

> Read more about SMU’s Global Student Entrepreneur Award regional winners

November 20, 2015|For the Record, News, Tune In|

Tune In: Peruna Paint Project promotes the value of college

SMU students and alumni took time for their community as part of the Peruna Paint Project at Dallas’ Lee A. McShan Elementary School on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

The ongoing project – in which University community members paint colorful murals using SMU themes – was created to encourage local elementary- and secondary-school students to think about college and to inspire them toward future opportunities.

Click the YouTube screen to watch the Mustang Minute video by Myles Taylor of SMU News, or visit this link to watch the Peruna Paint Project in a new windowvideo

> Check out more videos at the Mustang Minute blog

May 1, 2015|Tune In, Year of the Student|

ESPN College GameDay makes first visit to SMU Feb. 14, 2015

12-cgd-logo_300ESPN’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm will make its first visit to SMU’s Moody Coliseum on Saturday, Feb. 14, prior to SMU’s home game against defending national champion Connecticut at 8 p.m.

ESPN’s College Game Day is a Saturday morning and evening roadshow that discusses the top storylines of the college basketball season. GameDay’s first hour begins at 9 a.m. on ESPNU, continuing live at 10 a.m. on ESPN. Following the morning segment, an evening broadcast will lead into the primetime game at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

“This is a great honor for everyone involved with SMU basketball,” said SMU Head Coach Larry Brown. “Getting to host College GameDay says a lot about the passion Mustang fans bring to Moody Coliseum, and how they are helping our program rise in national prominence.”

SMU is currently 19-5 and in second place in the American Athletic Conference. Before their Valentine’s Day matchup against UConn, the Mustangs will take on the University of Houston on Thursday, Feb. 12.

Schedule of Events 

  • 8:15 a.m. – Moody Coliseum doors open
  • 9-11 a.m. – ESPN College GameDay at Moody Coliseum
  • 1 p.m. – SMU women’s basketball vs. Tulsa
  • 5 p.m. – Program Council’s Moody Madness featuring food, music and activities for students and families from Moody Coliseum
  • 7 p.m. – ESPN College GameDay pregame from Moody Coliseum
  • 8 p.m. – No. 23 SMU vs. Connecticut

For additional information, visit the SMU Mustangs Men’s Basketball webpage.

February 9, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date, Sports|
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