It’s been an important month already for the FIEA. For those unfamiliar with the acronym, it’s the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy. This educational program is conducted on the University of Central Florida campus in Orlando, Florida. The FIEA takes artists, programmers, and other talented individuals through a graduate program and teaches them the process of developing video games in a professional capacity. Students that graduate have been hired by a number of big-name companies, and the faculty includes instructors from Sony, Microsoft, and EA among others.
As part of this program, students form into teams to develop what are called “capstone games”. It’s a group project in which each team produces a video game which they must present after approximately six months worth of work. On August 2nd, the latest class of students, Cohort 9, showed off four games created by teams of about 15 members. Some of the projects have already made it to market, and all look like they’re worth keeping an eye on. So without further ado, here are the four games with descriptions provided by Adam Grayson, one of the students that worked on Grapple.
Pitch Jumper is a mobile, music-based, sidescrolling platformer starring an adorable creature named Coda. The game lets you select songs from your device, and it dynamically generates the levels based off of the song’s length, beats, density, and tempo. You then control Coda and help him make it to the end of the level while collecting as many Noteys (small flying music note-shaped critters) as possible.
Pitch Jumper was developed for iOS devices and is currently in development for Android and Steam Greenlight as well. The game is already out on the iTunes App Store, and IT’S FREE, so check it out!
Grapple is a fast-paced adventure game where your main form of locomotion is using a grappling gun to quickly zip and swing around the environment. You play as Amina, a young, carefree mechanic who just so happens to use a grappling gun in her daily work. This allows her to quickly and easily access hard to reach parts of the city where much of the city’s equipment is located. One day, an enemy nation attacks, and the whole city is thrown into turmoil. Though she is by no means a soldier, Amina’s grappling hook makes her the only one who can navigate the city quickly enough to stave off the enemies both on the ground and on the rooftops. Unsure about the position she’s forced into, Amina becomes the only thing standing between the giant, mobile carrier of the enemy, known as the Destrozar, and the total annihilation of Amina’s peaceful town.
Warp Derby is a multiplayer demolition derby… with portals! You can choose and customize your vehicle’s parts, powerups, and skills and then compete against up to seven other players in a death match, team death match, or capture the flag-style tournament. Just when you think you have the upper hand, the opponents will knock you into their portals which will send you flying to your destruction, be it by bombs, a pit of molten metal, a giant crusher, a heat-seeking missile, a train, or a merciless combination or the sort. The more creative and unique the kill, the more points are rewarded. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Escherreal is a 3D/2D puzzle platformer. You play as Raffi, the not-so-bright nephew of M. C. Escher, as he is sucked into the crazy and disorienting world of Escher’s mirror marble. Utilizing the mirror marbles and mirror marble shards in this world, Raffi must flip gravity every which way in order to progress through the environment. Even then, Raffi must also obtain and use Escher’s experimental Infinispecs to switch the world from 3D to 2D and back to gain a new perspective on life and escape his uncle’s mischievous world.
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