Sometimes it’s hard to find motivation for finals, especially since they feel so pointless. Most of the time, the essays you write are only ever seen by your professor. How much more motivation would you have for these end-of-year evaluations if you could clearly see their impact on your future career?
In the U’s Entertainment Arts & Engineering program, students do finals differently. Instead of writing papers or taking tests that a student may feel is irrelevant to their future goals, undergraduates with an emphasis on EAE and graduates in the EAE program are creating games with the intent to land them jobs. Luckily for the rest of the U campus, this means showcasing the games they have been working on all year at an event open to students, faculty, staff and the general public. EAE Day will take place on Wednesday, April 27 from 2 to 5 p.m. in the old Quinney law building, adjacent to the new one.
A.J. Dimick, the EAE program’s industry relations director and a graduate of the program, said, “The EAE day is sort of the launch event where we show to industry professionals in the community and the public at large the games that we are publishing this year and introduce them to our new graduates who are ready to enter the field and begin their careers as game developers.”
These games are no joke, taking hours upon hours to put together. Andrew Riehm, a current grad student in the EAE program on the producing track, has spent many a late night getting the game he’s been working on, which will be showcased at Wednesday’s event, up and going.
“We bleed doing this. I remember many nights when I was here at 4 in the morning trying to get things done. It’s a hard industry, got to be hard on teaching,” Riehm said.
Most of these games are entirely unique, with features you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. For example, Riehm’s game, titled “Reload 360,” is a 360-degree camera first-person shooter with wall-walking.
“So essentially you can go anywhere — you can walk anywhere and shoot anyone — see everywhere, go anywhere,” Riehm said.
Due to the limits of commercial industries, this sort of technology is not commonly used, but it is already making waves in the gaming world.
“We’ve actually talked to people at ‘Activision’ and ‘Call of Duty’ who are like, ‘You guys have thrown out all the rules for making levels,’” said Riehm. “So we’ve had to really kind of rewrite how to make levels on our game.”
According to Dimick, this is the whole point of the EAE program.
“We like to think that we develop traditional skillsets for our students so they can hit the ground running in the industry, but we also contribute to the industry itself by pushing the boundaries of the types of games that we are producing,” he said.
Twelve games from the EAE program will be showcased on Wednesday, in addition to games from the GApp Lab, which focuses on making medical and therapeutic apps and games.
“We are on the entire top floor and it will be wall-to-wall games,” Dimick said. “Wall-to-wall games and students eager to introduce them and show them to you.”
U students are encouraged to take a break from studying and play with someone else’s final for a change.