A Gaming Future

Michael Isaza
KSU student Michael Isaza with his Hololens game "SlowPookey"

Kennesaw State students demonstrate newest video game creations

MARIETTA, Ga. (Nov 7, 2016) — Several Computer Game Design and Development students were invited to showcase their games at FutureXLive, one of the largest augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality conferences in the Southeast. The students – Michael Isaza, AJ Giertych and Preston Waters – received an outpouring of interest in their newly developed games.

The students, who built their video games during the College of Computing and Software Engineering’s annual Game Jam in late August, were introduced before the audience of 600 technology professionals.

Discovery Communications VP checks out game

“As soon as we stepped off the stage from our introductions, people were handing us their business cards, saying ‘join my company,’” Isaza said.  “Companies like Discovery Channel, Atlanta Game Cooperative and Futurus were contending for us.” 

Prior to the conference, Isaza, who will graduate in December, had already landed a job at Hi-Rez Studios in Atlanta, where he will be responsible for planning and managing major gaming tournaments and coding applications for the video game development company. 

Isaza’s augmented reality game, called “SlowPookey,” features orbs that follow music, and the player must tap or pinch each orb to earn points.  Isaza said that his simple game grabbed attention at FutureXLive because it uses Microsoft’s HoloLens to play. 

“The experience was very beneficial for the students to get more exposure for their work. They got some great feedback about their games from a slightly different age group and demographic,” said Allan Fowler, assistant professor of software engineering and game development at Kennesaw State. “This was a good networking opportunity and experience.”

Isaza admits the conference provided a lot of practical feedback.

“I did a lot of play testing with those who had never played video games before, including my mom,” said 21-year old Isaza. “For me, it’s very different making games than playing them.” 

Michael Isaza talks with conference attendee

Conference users suggested Isaza improve the art, create arrows to indicate where the orb will enter the screen, and add more colorful clues to show when to hit the notes. 

“If you can’t take criticism, you’ll stop working on your project and make no money out of it in the future,” he added.  “We poured our time and our hearts into our games that we love, and we got rewarded for it.”

He hopes to continue improving on his HoloLens game during his spare time and pitch it to Microsoft next year.

- Tiffany Capuano; photos by Allan Fowler


 

A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu

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