(Photo by Nicholas Deroin)
A group of UMBC students are generating online buzz for their new video game.
HueBots, a robot-building game made by a four-person group from the university’s Game Developer’s Club, was recently added on Steam, the giant PC game platform.
On mobile, the group is aiming for approval from iOS and Android in the coming week.
It’s the first game to go for sale to the larger public from the Game Developer’s Club, said Marc Olano, who advises the club and teaches a game development class at UMBC.
“The Steam greenlight process requires the game to get strong community feedback before it is approved, which it could only have gotten with wider interest than just UMBC,” Olando said in an email to Technical.ly.
WE'VE BEEN GREENLIT! Thanks everyone for your votes and support. See you on Steam on August 26 🙂 https://t.co/PEwlzNaap6
— HueBots (@HueBots) August 21, 2015
The seed for the game’s expansion was planted with the team’s entry into to the Microsoft Imagine Cup in the spring, where they competed against other teams then did a live presentation. They fell short of winning the national prize. But they were required to develop a business plan for the competition and decided to push forward, said Michael Leung, a computer science major originally from Owings Mills who is handling the business side.
The game was designed and coded by Tad Cordle using Unity Game Engine. It’s a puzzle game where players control a team of robots. Players work to build the team, but are only able to interact with other robots that match their color.
“It’s these simple rules that add up and make a game that has a lot of interesting choices to it, but it’s not so complicated that you can’t keep it all in your head,” Leung said.
Leung credited Erika Shumacher with the art, which he said looks “cute and is very appealing to everybody.” Jasmin Martin also brought “a lot of personality to the game” with animation.
So far, the team has sold about 100 copies. Leung said they are considering some marketing strategies to reach an even wider audience.
The game developer’s club typically attracts around 20 students. This year, they’ll be back to work designing new games, even as HueBots is taking off.
With the Imagine Cup still out there to be won, there’s plenty of motivation.
“We want to get as many different games out there as we can,” Leung said.
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