Florida Poly students showcase video games at expo

It’s not just UCF and Full Sail University training the next generation of video game developers in Central Florida.

While those two consistently rank at or near the top in national studies that rank schools’ game dev programs, the relatively new Florida Polytechnic University has launched its own program.

This week, the school had an expo to show off what the 30 students in Florida Poly’s game design classes have built during the past several months.

The Florida Poly Game Expo featured a role-playing game that uses DDR-like mechanics, a speed run-friendly action game and a shooter that puts the player in the role of a genetically modified wolf.

The students are part of the Lakeland school’s game design and simulation concentration.

“I’m super proud of everybody that’s made a game,” said Michael Pienias, a senior computer science major from Chicago. “It’s super exciting to see all these people putting together these really cool games.”

Pienias has already interviewed with a video game studio for a potential job.

The games included a wide variety of approaches, such as virtual reality, shooters, networked games and rhythm games.

The expo required the students to explain their games to the public.

For Elizabeth James, creating the RPG that incorporates DDR-like movements was a matter of melding her two favorite genres.

“I feel like Florida Poly prepared me a lot, especially because it’s a lot of project-based classes and those projects really helped me get hands on to learn everything,” she said.

“We do this to have them see and understand the entire experience,” computer science professor Dr. Bradford Towle Jr. said. “They get to make a game and then present it as they would for industry or on an expo floor.”

Do you have a Central Florida video game story to tell? Email admin@orlvideogames.com


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