UC Santa Barbara students showcase video games for game development class

UC Santa Barbara students from Professor Pradeep Sen’s Introductory Video Game Development course showcased their games outside the University Center on Wednesday, on eight computers set up around the building’s entrance, all accessible at public.

Sen’s students, comprised of computer engineering and computer science majors, produced a total of 18 games for this course, as part of UCSB’s new Gaucho Game Lab program. This is the first game showcase since the course began in 2020. “A lot of people don’t know about our program,” Sen said. “But we want people to gradually learn about game development at UCSB.”

The showcase encourages students to work harder to polish their games, Sen said, and highlights the importance of learning software engineering skills to build real-world products, even if students don’t get into development. games.

Sen also said the Gaucho Game Lab program could be useful for high school students who may not know what they want to major in in college, but are familiar with video games. “[The program] could be a way to get them interested in computing,” he said.

The showcase is also an opportunity for students to present their projects, which are generally only seen by their professors. Robert Gee, a third-year computer science student at UCSB, said he was happy to be able to share his one-term project with other students and watch them have fun playing his game. gee video game, Revenge of the Vegans, puts the player in the position of a farmer trying to defend his farm from an evil vegan scientist. The scientist has created plants to destroy the farming industry, and the player controls farm animals to fight against the plants.



The inspiration behind the story was a high school vegan friend, but Gee said he also finds the ethics behind the game interesting. He explained how rather than playing as a vegan character trying to do good in the world, one would play as a farmer trying to stop the vegan. “There really isn’t a right or wrong person,” Gee said. “It’s all about perspective.”

Jason Dunne, a third-year computer science student, is another student who participated in the Gaucho Game Lab program this past term. Dunne’s video game, soldier oneis a multiplayer first-person shooter where players have been cloned by a mad scientist and must battle their clones to win.

Dunne’s video game – which was an idea that came to him in the shower one day, he said – was inspired by the game earthquake. Although he doesn’t necessarily plan to work in game development, Dunne is happy to have learned so much about game design through this program.

Gee said his experience in this course with Professor Sen was very positive, and he hopes people interested in game design will consider taking it in the future. “It was really fun to be able to come up with my own idea and bring it to life,” Gee said. “It’s not something you can do in many computer science classes here…so I thought it was really fun.”

Student games are accessible here.


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