Video Game Development Club levels up

ASU club develops yearly video game

An ASU club is taking to the high seas this year as they continue work on their pirate ship themed combat video game.

The Video Game Development Club dedicates its time to the art of game creation. They are a group of developers, programmers and artists working together to make video games of their own, meeting weekly on Fridays at 1 p.m. in COOR 195.

According to computer science junior and club vice president Excel Ortega, the club focuses heavily on teamwork.

“It’s to bring a lot of ASU students that are interested in making games,” Ortega said. “Not necessarily about making their own games but making games together as a team.”

This team’s current goal is to imagine and create a single game over the course of an academic year. This year's project is called “Twisted Sails.”

“It’s basically naval combat,” Ortega said. “So you have two teams, they’re in water. There’s two places to spawn from and they basically fight against each other trying to get the better score.”

Proving that the club is still open to members and ideas while mid-project, Ortega admitted that the club is still trying to decide on how to end the game.

“I believe we haven’t specified how to end the game yet,” Ortega said.

Informatics junior and VGDC senior design director Sean McGonegle said that Twisted Sails has been his favorite project that the club has worked on so far. To McGonegle, the game is an exemplification of the progress that the club has made thus far in their craft.

“I really feel like we as a club are making a lot of progress in the quality of this game,” McGonegle said. “I feel like it’s a lot better than what we’ve previously done just because you can see that growth.”

Not only has the club’s skill grown, but the club itself has too. McGonegle said that the team’s growth in size over the past two years, has created a larger pool of talent for game creation for the club.

“It’s fun to get all of these people working together,” McGonegle said. “You can see the passion in everybody.”

McGonegle added that he saw another benefit in the clubs growing ranks in the amount of ideas that could be brought to the table, crediting the VGDC's art team with coming up with ideas that he had never even considered in regards to the game’s look.

“I know when I heard pirate ship video game I came in with one specific idea of how it should be,” McGonegle said. “It blew my mind that they came up with all of these unique ideas of how our things should work.”

Nizar Kury, computer science senior and VGDC treasurer, said that Twisted Sails was his favorite game to work on so far because of the club’s growth in organization, comparing it to small game studios.

“We know what we want and we have people dedicated to what we want,” Kury said. “We’re really enforcing a game development standard,”

A large group project has not always been the club’s ethos. Kury stated that initially, the club was centered around individual projects.

“It was just a space for other developers to develop their games,” Kury said. “But as we’ve progressed throughout the years we’ve slowly moved towards one big project that the club works on together.”

While the task of creating a game may seem daunting, especially if one does not have any background in programming, McGonegle and Ortega both promised that the club will be able to impart its knowledge on new members and that all it takes is the will to learn. Kury added that everyone who wants to be in the club has a place.

“If you have no programming experience but you have these grand ideas of what a perfect game would be in your eyes, then come to our club,” Kury said. “There’s definitely a place for you to flesh out those ideas.”


Reach the reporter at jdarge@asu.edu or follow  @jeffdarge on Twitter.

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