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Group gives video game design a place on campus

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Colin Prenger and Colin Prenger | The Daily Wildcat Lydia Stern/Daily Wildcat

One club on campus strives to make video games pixel perfect.

The UA Video Game Developers Club started the 2011 spring semester after founder Livio De La Cruz noticed a lack of courses and campus clubs on the subject.

“I was really surprised to find out there was no clubs about games on campus,” De La Cruz said. “I actually tried joining other programming clubs before thinking, ‘I like video game development, so why not start my own club?’”

The one and only goal of the club is to help get its members jobs in the video game industry after graduation. They are attempting to do this by offering lectures on game designing and development every Monday in Room 813 of the Gould-Simpson building from 5 to 6 p.m. The club also hosts game nights where they test out videogames they are developing. “It’s been really cool and the club has grown this semester because we started to host more meetings and lectures,” De La Cruz said. “We also encourage our members to start their own gaming projects.”

The club is open to all majors interested in video game development and most of their members are interested in computer science. Dylan Clavell, a computer science sophomore, has been involved with the club since it started and said he has learned a lot about game designing in general by attending and presenting at meetings.

“Creating a game is a lot more of an experience than anything,” Clavell said. “All the things I wanted to do in computer science are funneled into video games. I like music, art, designing and writing, and usually all of these things can be found here.”

While some students join the club to pursue a video game job in the future, others join to add interest to their resume when they eventually look for a career in computer science.

“I’m not really practically interested in games,” said Elisabeth Goodman, a pre-computer science sophomore. “But it is an interesting thing to put down on a computer science application, and I think that’s valuable.”

This semester, the club is expanding its video game efforts by developing a game to enter into the 2013 Independent Game Festival. The festival is a weeklong event that recognizes independent game developers. De La Cruz got the idea to enter after attending this year’s festival.

“Making a game is probably the biggest thing you can do in the industry to get a job,” De La Cruz said. “We are very serious about this project. We have a good team so far and we think we have a good shot at it.”

De La Cruz anticipates this being a big project and says the club is looking for more people, like musicians and animators, interested in contributing time to the project.

“There tends to be a lot of things people over look when it comes to video games in general and there is a considerable amount of complexities to them,” Clavell said.


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