EECS 494 Computer Games Showcase Highlights Final Projects

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On Friday evening, December 13, Tishman Hall in the Beyster Building was packed as an enthusiastic crowd of attendees tried out new video games at the 2013 Computer Games Showcase. This highly anticipated event showcases the final projects of computer science seniors who have taken EECS 494, Computer Game Design and Development, which is is taught by Jeremy Gibson.

The games were developed by the students over the course of a six-week time period in a variety of game engines including Unityzenilib, and Project Anarchy.

Unity, which was used to create ten of the student projects, is a cross-platform game development environment based around C#. Unity includes robust physics, navigation, graphics, and animation libraries, enabling developers to focus on the things that make their games new and different rather than requiring them to rebuild the wheel. Unity can compile projects for the web, PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and Google Native Client (NaCl).

zenilib, which was used to create Turbo Torque and Pursuit of Wealth, is a free, cross-platform game engine that has been under development by CSE graduate student Mitchell Keith Bloch since 2006. It has been used by Wolverine Soft (the student group dedicated to video game development), Camp CAEN (a U-M summer camp for high school students), and EECS 494 – Game Design and Development. Licensed under the Lesser GPL, version 3, it can be downloaded from and It provides C++ abstraction layers, utility classes, and functions for rendering graphics on the screen, playing sounds, getting keyboard, mouse, and game controller input from players, and much more. A number of games built using zenilib can be downloaded from the Wolverine Soft website.

Project Anarchy, which was the development platform for RumbleBots, is a new, open source game development environment developed by Havok, the team behind the physics, navigation, animation, and fabric simulation engines used in many modern games. Versions of all of these are included in Project Anarchy, and Havok is hoping that it will emerge as a strong competitor for Unity. Project Anarchy is built on C++ code that is open to developers and includes a Lua scripting engine as well. Project Anarchy is currently focused on mobile development and compiles for the iOS, Android, and Tizen platforms.

The evening included presentations by the student developers and an opportunity for attendees to play the games at stations throughout Tishman Hall. Thirteen projects were shown at the showcase:

Augment, by Louis Johnson, Matthew Mason, Sal Savage, and Matthew Schultz.

Design your units, create your faction, and destroy your opponents in this multiplayer RTS. Augment combines unity customization with classic real-time strategy gameplay to allow players exceptional flexibility in their armies.

BlitzTD, by Thomas Dorsey, Christopher Harris, Steven Lebioda, David Sabourin, and Joseph Stevens.

BlitzTD is a fast-paced 1-on-1 tower defense game where you not only build towers but also create the monsters your opponent must fend off!

Collapse, by David Adrian, Christopher Atkins, Andrew Gleeman, Mike Grzych, and Jeffrey Sallans.

Collapse is a pickup-and-play, team objective, fighting game.Teams of three players, each on their own networked computer, compete for control of a collapsing cave by brawling over control points.

The Dance Club Baby Factory, by Ari Brown, Yucheng Cai, Szu Chen Lo, and Tarrence Van As.

It’s not all fun and games when you’re trying to run a for-profit orphanage combined with a dubstep dance club. Stop the music from escaping the club, or you’ll get busted for noise violation and have to stop your production of babies.

Epidemic 49, by Zach Ahn, Jacob Anderson, Christopher Whinfrey, and John Yu.

Spread the zombie mutation and infect the world. In Epidemic 49, you start as a single zombie and become a hoard. Attack civilians, police, and soldiers to build your army and then destroy turrets, tanks, and more to escape the city.

Hijack!, by Nathaniel Daly, Alexander Ng, Yuma Uesaka, and Mark Wu.

Hijack! is a 2D topdown space shooter with a goofy western theme, where 4 cowboys can hijack each other’s ships, hopping from ship to ship in a galactic gun match.

Lair, by Bennett Black, Christopher Ruehs, Nicholas Ruff, Kyle Schiller.

In Lair, guide your dragon from hatching to adulthood as you burrow out your lair and defend it against waves of pesky human adventurers seeking to slay you and steal your treasure horde. Unlock new abilities as you amass your gold and become the notorious Lair Lizard!

Pong Breaker, by Dustin Bui, Brian Gleason, Shu Lin, and Henry Shih.

Hit the balls, break some bricks, and destroy your opponent! Pong Breaker is a two-player combination of the classic Atari games Pong and Breakout with items and power ups inspired by Arkanoid. Destroy all of your opponent’s bricks to win.

Pursuit of Wealth, by Donald Clark, Saurav Lohani, Luis Molina Iten, and Jason Xie.

In this four-player top-down combat game, two teams of Mages, Archers and Warriors fight to collect crystals and gain dominance of the land.

RumbleBots, by Stephanie Curran, Lars Hamre, Cody Krasny, and Melissa Resnick.

Originally inspired by the television show BattleBots, RumbleBots is a single player action game for Android where you control a robot and engage other robots in battle in a dynamic and exciting arena.

Somnia, by Garrett Dewald, Xinyuan Huang, Joshua Kahn, and Matthew Nickolai.

A horror puzzle game where the rules of reality do not always apply. Somnia is the only game in the class to be designed specifically for play with the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality head-mounted display.

Time Out!, by Sheikh Mahmud, Bradley Menchl, Samantha Roach, and David Zilli.

Time out! You are not allowed to come out of your room for five minutes! Pass the time with daydreams of rescuing your favorite stuffed animal from the monster that lives inside a cave in your closet. Navigate your way through the cave by solving puzzles until you find your teddy.

Turbo Torque, by Micah Bennett, Bryan Jones, Devin Rocco, and Max Wolff.

In this four-player top-down game, up to 4 players race around different tracks, battling for first with powerful items that level up as you collect more of them.

Winter 2014 will be the first winter semester in which the Computer Game Design and Development course is taught, so there will be another showcase on or around Friday, April 25th. For more information about the class or the showcase, feel free to email Jeremy Gibson.