DePaul’s CDM game design students develop athletics-themed computer games

CHICAGO – Nationally recognized game design programs at DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM) recently partnered with the athletics department on a pair of game design projects. Over the years, DePaul Athletics has used the talents of CDM and DePaul Art School students to build engagement with students and fans.

Over the past two academic terms, the athletics department has worked with two talented CDM students as game design interns. An introduction by Brother Mark Elder CM, muralist and art school teacher, brought Quinn Davis, a senior game design major, into athletics as part of his ART 383 internship with the goal of developing a game for children 12 and under.

“A number of gaming and animation students take classes within the art school to hone their artistic skills before using them in a technological way,” Elder said. “Track and field was a natural fit for Quinn to improve her skills and create a project that others could enjoy.”

Davis recruited senior and major computer science colleague Michael Vanderwerf to help with the coding and they quickly formed a great team who created two DePaul Athletics-themed computer games for the DIBS Kids Club. Davis and Vanderwerf gained invaluable experience throughout the process and saw their visions come to fruition.

“It was great to see these projects all the way from the initial concept to the final product,” said Davis. “It gave us the opportunity to work with a client for the first time and changed our mindsets to make sure we were up to their standards and finished everything on time.”

“This internship really challenged us to learn on our own, as we didn’t have a teacher to guide us every step of the way,” said Vanderwerf. “It was such a valuable experience for us and we are very happy to see how this area is developing within the athletics department.”

Roger uy, Deputy Director of Marketing and Community Outreach, supervised the interns and was delighted with the end products.

“I’m so proud of Quinn and Michael and the work they’ve done this year,” Uy said. “They laid out the plan for future collaborations and the timing couldn’t have been better.”

The DIBS Kids Club had just been relaunched in the fall and was the ideal audience for games, especially due to COVID-19 restrictions. Kids Club members had the first chance to play both games as they were featured in their exclusive monthly email newsletter. Additionally, members could play the games to win prizes such as DIBS figures or DePaul mini balloons.

The first game called “Buzzer Beater” allows young players to take on the role of DIBS the Blue Demon and try to score as many baskets as possible in 30 seconds. As a participant’s score increases, the basket goes up or down and the shooting arrow accelerates.

“DIBSmoji Memory Match” is DePaul’s version of a classic matching game and features 20 different DIBSmojis. The game includes three different levels and can be enjoyed by all ages.

Think you can beat a fifth grader? Check out the games below and challenge your young Blue Demon!

To note: The games must be played on a desktop or laptop computer.

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