Tag Archives: FIEA

Beta Builds and Brews at The Geek Easy

What started as a one-off for students of Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy to test their games is quickly becoming the must-attend event for Orlando’s thriving indie gaming community. Kenny Baker, a student in UCF’s FIEA program, partnered with A Comic Shop’s Geek Easy in May to give fellow students a chance to get the games they’re working on into the hands of the public.  May’s event packed The Geek Easy with 150 attendees!

I got the opportunity to attend their June event, which featured two more FIEA games and two games from local developers, Astro Crow and Depth First Games.  The Geek Easy is the perfect place for an event like this as it’s already a hot spot for Orlando’s geek and gamer communities and their bar keeps the event light and relaxed.

Once the developers are set up and the night is in full swing, each development team gets the opportunity to come onto the stage and talk about their game.  So far, each event has only had four or five games, which means you can get a chance to test them all with ease and have enough time with each game to give the developers the feedback they need.

July’s event is set for the 8th and it’s going to bring back the five FIEA games that they’ve featured previous.  It’s their chance to get these games back into your hands “so they can show you the changes you’ve helped them make!”

BBB July

I got to talk with Kenny Baker about the future of Beta Builds & Brews and he told me his inbox is full of local developers looking to take part.  Nothing has been announced as of yet but August is shaping up to be all games from local developers.  “There’s plenty of talent here.” he told me as we discussed the Orlando gaming community and trying to get it more recognition.

I love Beta Builds & Brews and can’t wait to see how it continues to grow.  Not only is it a great opportunity to get games in the hands of the public, but it’s also a great place to network for developers and for people trying to get into game development.

You can check out their facebook page here and if you want to contact Kenny about getting your game featured, you can email him at Kenny@betabuildsandbrews.com.

Playtest 5 Games for UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy!

UCF’s graduate video game program FIEA (Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy) is opening itself up to the public to playtest games from its students. It will take place over three days: June 10th,24th, and July 1st.  During these playtests you’ll get to chat with the developers and give them feedback based on your time with the games.

All three days are being held on the main UCF campus.  The times and locations are as follows:

June 10, 2015
10 am-3 pm
University of Central Florida
UCF Student Union
Cape Florida Ballroom 316 CD

June 24, 2015
10 am-3 pm
University of Central Florida
Technology Commons
Main Lounge & Glass Cubicles

July 1, 2015
10 am-3 pm
University of Central Florida
UCF Student Union
Key West Ballroom 218 CD

Mall Cop

These are the five games you’ll get a chance to play today as they’re described in the press release:

“The slots being tested are “Totem,” “Lanterns,” “Mall Cop,” “Junkers” and “Life Unfolds.” “Totem” lets you fight as a powerful shaman and use your magical powers to destroy the enemy totem. “Lanterns” is an adventure game where five knights must rescue a world covered in darkness using the last remaining remnants of light. “Mall Cop” is a party game where four sneaky shoplifters attempt to steal everything before the bumbling mall cop catches them. “Junkers” is a digital card game where you build up your rusty robots with equipment and power-ups to beat the bolts out of your rivals. “Life Unfolds” is a simulation game about growing up and learning skills from loved ones.”

This is an exciting opportunity for the FIEA grad students to get their games into the hands of of the public and with your help, be able to make the best games possible.

For more information, please contact playtesting@fiea.ucf.edu.

UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy Ranked No. 2

Do we hear a GO KNIGHTS!?

The Princeton Review and PC Gamer magazine have ranked The University of Central Florida’s video game graduate school at No. 2 in North America for the second consecutive year. This is the fifth time The Princeton Review has ranked graduate-level video game development schools, placing UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy – or FIEA – behind only the University of Utah for 2015. The school has been ranked in the top five every year since the rankings began.

FIEAUCF

“With our 10-year anniversary approaching, it’s great to see the Princeton Review continue to recognize the outstanding work of our faculty, staff and students,” said executive director Ben Noel. “We’re proud to be part of Central Florida’s growing digital economy.”

Since opening its doors in 2005, FIEA has graduated 412 alumni working at more than 125 companies around the world, including Google, Electronic Arts, Blizzard, Bungie, Zynga, Ubisoft, Disney, Microsoft, Bethesda, n-Space and Industrial Light & Magic.

“FIEA’s exceptional faculty members, first-class facilities and close connections with the gaming industry’s top companies have propelled the school to one of the very best of its kind in the country in less than 10 years,” said UCF Provost and Vice President A. Dale Whittaker. “This is a testament to UCF’s success with location-based education and valuable partnerships – our students thrive in the classroom and in the job market when they learn in an environment so closely immersed in their industry.”

The average starting salary for recent FIEA graduates is $60,359 and they are working on some of today’s most popular projects. Those games include NBA Live 15, Diablo III, Sunset Overdrive, Skyrim, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, Star Wars 1313, Borderlands 2, Battlefield 4, The Walking Dead, Gears of War 3, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Bioshock Infinite, Transformers 3 and Dead Space 3.

The school is located at UCF’s Center For Emerging Media building, located in downtown Orlando near UCF’s future downtown campus. FIEA is designed to graduate talented and well-qualified professionals to work in video games, new media, film and simulation industries.

The Princeton Review (www.PrincetonReview.com) chose the schools based on a survey it conducted in 2014-15 of 150 institutions offering game design coursework and/or degrees in the United States, Canada, and some countries abroad.

In addition to being published today on The Princeton Review website, the listing will also be featured in the May issue of PC Gamer magazine, on newsstands March 31.

See the full rankings.

UCF FIEA Students’ HIV Awareness Game Finishes Top 5 In CDC Contest

Pocket Protection” Uses Humor To Teach HIV/STD Prevention Strategies   

A game created by five students at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy finished in the Top 5 of the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s “GameOn! Challenge.” The challenge was open to any game developer and encouraged participants to create a fun and engaging mobile game that delivered accurate health messages.

A panel of external partners and CDC staff did the judging and the students were notified on July 18 that their game, “Pocket Protection,” had won Honorable Mention.

“Pocket Protection” is a dating simulation game that uses dialogue, mini-games, customizable characters and humor to teach its target demographic of 18-24 year olds sexual safe practices like getting an STD test, using condoms and getting treated for sexual diseases. The CDC reports that people age 15-24 make up nearly half of the 19 million new STD diagnoses each year.FIEAUCF

The game was started in Jan. of 2014 and took approximately 3 weeks to make. The development team included FIEA students Karl Abad, Cecilia Lajon, Phillip Lee Fatt, Jarrod Pope and Monica Alvarez.

“The goal of the game was to create a fun experience that didn’t talk down to the target audience,” said Karl Abad, project lead on the game. “We wanted the player to be able to laugh but still get the information they need.”

Deliver accurate health messages that emphasize the importance of one or more of the following five messages supporting HIV and STD prevention:

 

  • Get the Facts – Provide the facts on HIV and STDs, including how it is (and is not) spread. Share information on how to reduce the risk of HIV and STD transmission including the choice not to have sex.
  • Speak Up – Encourage youth to talk about HIV and STDs in their relationships, with health care providers, friends, and family. Talking openly and honestly about HIV and STDs will help reduce stigma.
  • Use Condoms – When used consistently and correctly, latex condoms are highly effective in preventing HIV and STDs. But some people are allergic to condoms. But there are other ways to protect yourself.
  • Get Tested – Early diagnosis saves lives. Know where to get tested. Make HIV and STD testing a part of routine health care.
  • Get Treated – Many STDs are curable and all are treatable. There are effective medications available to help people with HIV live long and healthy lives.

Go to http://challengepost.com/software/pocket-protection to find out more about the game. Go to http://gameon.challengepost.com/ to find out more about the GameOn! Challenge.

About FIEA

Part of the University of Central Florida, the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA) offers an industry-based graduate gaming education in a world-class facility in downtown Orlando. Work on the latest game engines and software and be mentored by faculty with decades of game-making experience. In 16 months, learn to be a producer, programmer or artist as you earn a Master’s degree in Interactive Entertainment. Financial assistance is available. Learn more at www.fiea.ucf.edu.