Four video games created by Laramie High School students placed in the top-10 of a multinational competition. The Stem Fuse Got Game competition allows students throughout the United States and India to compete and show off their game designing skills.
The four games designed by LHS students Eric Van Wig, Kain Randall, Cathryn Lang and Erin Hummel-Abraham are called “The Robot Rumpus,” “Adventure Forest,” “MemoryBee” and “The Lost Fairy.”
LHS technology teacher Billie Vanlandingham said it is impressive to have multiple entries from the same school place in the top-10 of the competition.
“Students grades 5-12 are eligible to put entries into the competition,” Vanlandingham said. “I just leave it open to my students as to whether or not they want to put the entry in, but it is not required. I do let them know it is a lot more work to have a game ready for competition then just sending it in for their final project.”
She said her students have worked hard to learn how to code and create their games from scratch, especially given some of the students never coded a game before taking Vanlandingham’s video game design class.
“I have watched them work so hard for this,” she said. “They are very creative and worked really hard to have original characters. They couldn’t have anything plagiarized and the game had to be original artwork.”
Because making the games required more time than was available in class, the students found time on their own to get the games ready for the competition, Vanlandingham said.
“They start the program from the ground-up and they learn all the concepts and in the last three weeks of the class they are designing their game using all the concepts we learned in class,” she said.
“Those that have placed their games in the competition and placed spend a lot of extra time working, they have been here during their lunch hours, sometimes during my planning period and working at home so they definitely worked hard to earn this.”
Van Wig said he designed his game, “The Robot Rumpus,” after thinking about different aspects of games and decided to have his game learn how the player plays.
“You control a fighter and you are against an opponent robot who learns as you play and progressively gets better,” Van Wig said. “I just thought about what goes into a game, what makes it interesting and I came to the conclusion that we enjoy something that we have to progress as a player and I just wanted to emulate that in my game.”
Randall’s game, “MemoryBee,” was based on another game he made in a different coding program. He wanted to recreate it in the video game coding program the class uses to see how it could add to the game, Randall said.
“It is a memory match game but when you match cards, you shoot bullets that hit enemy bees you are trying to beat,” Randall said. “I made a game similar to this on a simpler coding engine and it was a lot of fun so I figured putting it into construct would give it more options and it turned out to be really good.”
Contest winners are scheduled to be announced Wednesday and until then people can vote for which game they like the best for the People’s Choice Award. Each of the students games are available at www.arcade.stemfuse.com/got-game-entries, Van Wig said.
“Right now I am just trying to get everyone I can to vote, (especially since) I am only a couple of votes from the lead,” he said.