Two student teams from UCI took the top two spots in this year’s IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) GameSIG Intercollegiate Computer Game Showcase on June 10 at the Cal State Fullerton Titan Student Union Pavilion.
Computer game science majors Daniel Lara, Nayan Patel, Hao Dinh and Gary Machlis won first place for their game Vector Recoil, a 2-D action platformer where the character cannot jump, but rather must use the recoil from a weapon to glide, hover and propel within a virtual world. The game was originally created for the ICS Computer Game Science Capstone senior class project. A judge commented about Vector Recoil: “appreciated how much you put into the moment to moment experience.”
Second place went to computer game science seniors Andres Gonzalez Jr., Alexander Chapp, Andy Huy Le, Katherine Fitzpatrick and Kinsey Lynaugh for Selfie Surf, a single-device party game for Android where players start with a random word or phrase, then take a selfie based on that word before passing the device on to the next player. The game is inspired by the classic game of telephone. At the end of a round, players can watch an animated sequence of their pictures coupled with the original word prompts to see what was lost (or gained) in translation. A few of the judges’ comments about Selfie Surf included: “blew me away” and “this game is already worth $100,000”.
Now in its sixth year, the IEEE GameSIG Showcase event provides student game developers with the opportunity to present their best student-developed games to an elite panel of video game professionals. The UCI teams competed against students from Chapman University, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach, Laguna College of Art and Design, Santa Ana College, Irvine Valley College, and the University of Southern California. Dozens of games were submitted, but only 10 made it to the finals.
“This is a pretty big accomplishment for our students and ICS,” said Josh Tanenbaum, assistant professor of informatics. “We can’t wait to see what else these talented students will achieve in the future.”