Bradley students’ game showcased at world gaming convention

Chronicle Media

Back Row (L-R) Matt Heerdegen, sound design, Matt Kolakowski, UI/UX artist, Aidan Kennell, programmer, Caleb Sams, programmer, Jacob Gruener, programmer, Ryan Hughes, 3D Artist/Animator. Front Row (L-R) Gage Melton, lead designer, Brien Jackson, UI/UX artist, Luke Grebe, programmer, Joe Sorgea, lead programmer, Brian Rodgers, programmer, Quentin Young, producer, Devin Monnens, faculty advisor. Not Pictured are Rhianna Guptill, lead artist, Samantha Concklin, composer

A team of Bradley University game design students will get the chance to put their game on one of the world’s largest gaming stages.

During the 2016-17 school year a senior game design capstone team created a game called “Starcats”. It placed in the top 5 of the E3 Collegiate Competition, sponsored by the Entertainment Software Association.  By doing so, the team has been invited to LA for the convention June 13-15 to exhibit and share the game with thousands of attendees from around the world.

Bradley’s Department of Interactive Media Chairman, Ethan Ham, says E3 is the premier conference for the video game industry and is commonly said to be the world’s largest gaming convention. “It is really a big deal. This is a fantastic opportunity for the students to show the world the amazing work they have done. It reconfirms that Bradley University is home to a world-class education in video game development.”

Starcats is a 4 player, co-operative/competitive game, where players have crash landed onto a planet and they are trying to fuel their ship so that they can survive and escape the planet. The twist is that players are free to behave how they choose, whether that means playing selfishly or cooperatively, and any number of players can “win”, rather than having a clear cut winner.

Game producer, Quentin Young, says he’s still in shock because being invited to E3 to showcase is a game developer’s dream. “I grew up watching E3, glued to the TV as I watched Microsoft and Sony change the industry by unveiling hardware like the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.  It usually takes years for this to happen. Anyone can buy a ticket to the show, but to be a Top 5 finalist from a field of more than 400 colleges? I’m still in disbelief.”

The team is comprised of:

Quentin Young, Producer – Groveland Ill.

Jacob Gruener, Programmer – Bristol, Wisc.

Ryan Hughes, 3D Modeler/Animator and Technical Artist – *5th year, Elgin

Rhianna Guptill, Lead Artist – Darien

Aidan Kennell, Programmer – Roanoke

Joe Sorgea, Lead Programmer – St. Louis

Luke Grebe, Programmer – East Peoria

Brien Jackson, UI/UX Artist – Chicago

Matt Kolakowski, UI/UX Artist – Chicago

Brian Rodgers, Programmer – Warrenville

Matt Heerdegen, Sound Design – Lake Zurich

Caleb Sams, Programmer – Forsyth

Gage Melton, Lead Designer and Technical Artist –Stevensville, Mich.

Samantha Concklin, Composer – *Junior, Western Springs





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