UAT Game Studios
If you’re ever driving down the I-10 passing through Arizona, you might miss one of the most promising institutions for game developers. The University of Advancing Technology is located in the Southside of Tempe, AZ where it incubates aspiring Game Designers, Game Artists, Game Programmers and Developers.
I heard of the institution through friends and industry relations and in the Spring of 2012, I was hired as a Game Art & Animation Associate Professor. Upon my arrival, all Game Programs were in the midst of a catalog revision, meaning a huge overhaul with new and old courses. One of my colleagues invited me to the idea of having new courses designed that would align to our production studio. This was the humble beginning of UAT Game Studios.
In the past few years we have evolved into a production house where we foster cross-disciplinary teams and develop games. We’ve had several titles and genres come into this space, anything from Side-scrollers to Shooters. All with the intention of being a shipped marketable product.
We believe in this model and we believe in training young professionals not students. The more hands on industry experience we can provide to our developers the higher the chances are for them to gain employment.
We also have started to integrate all online courses and graduate courses into this model. The online undergraduate students help with development remotely and graduate students are tasked to play in a Game Producers role. This is where I come in.
Even though I’m a Game Art Associate Professor, I’m currently pursing my Masters Degree in Game Management and Production. Because of this opportunity, I’ve had the luxury to work on UAT Game Studio projects. I’m the producer for an action adventure psychological thriller game titled, “Mirrored: The Reflective Resolution”. The game focuses on narrative driven storytelling that takes you into Lilly’s (main character) journey. In the beginning of the game, she faces tragedy and through exploration and puzzle solving Lilly attempts to find resolution to keep her at peace.
I’ve been in this role for nearly two weeks now and the team continues to progress and grow into professional developers. The project lead and public relations manager meet with me twice weekly and I meet with the entire team once a week. They give reports on their weekly deliverables and move forward with new tasks at hand. The studio and curriculum employ agile development focusing on the scrum methodology. This approach has helped our team overcome obstacles and impediments along the way. It allows for to team to self-manage themselves honing in on trust and confidence.
I empower this and have my team learn and grow from this experience. The goals (long term) for our next cycle of iterations include.
- End of Summer- 1 polished working level, tutorial and narrative driven. Marketing platforms established. (Website, Social Media)
- End of Fall -2 polished levels, cut scenes integrated, playable demo, monetization and crowd funding.
- End of Spring- Completed, funded and shipped.
I will closely mentor my team and pave a road for them that leads to success. I’m enjoying my producer role, learning a lot from it and most importantly I’m having fun.
Links to UAT GAME STUDIOS
Links to Mirrored: Reflection of Resolution