Michigan Tech Video Game on Xbox Live
The Husky Game Development Enterprise (HGD) is finally enjoying the fruits of its labor. Its video game Arcane Brawlers is now available on Microsoft's Xbox Live Indie Marketplace.
This is a first for the group and the culmination of nearly two years of intensive effort for the game's creators, including Ryan Wilson, who earned his BS in Computer Science from Michigan Technological University in spring 2011. Wilson, now a software engineer with GE Aviation in Houghton, codeveloped the game as the Enterprise’s vice president of operations. Other team members involved in the project were Justin Emery, Kirk Roerig, Matthew Harrison, Eric Warsop, Matt Krieg and Jimmy Greydanus.
“It’s a big accomplishment for the team and for HGD,” said Wilson. “This demonstrates that we are serious and that we are growing.”
The Xbox Live Indie Marketplace is a service primarily for games created by independent developers. To be included, Arcane Brawlers had to make it through a "brutal" peer-review process, Wilson said. But after three tries, the game was accepted.
So what, exactly, are arcane brawlers? Wilson explains: in geek speak, “arcane” means “magic,” and “brawlers” are, well, brawlers. Thus, it’s a fit title for a game in which the players assume the identity of magicians and inflict deadly mayhem upon each other. Unlike most games of its ilk, however, it has a friendly component. Up to four people can play it together in the same room and, after the carnage, shake hands and play again.
The group rolled out Arcane Brawlers at Michigan Tech’s 2010 Undergraduate Expo, where it was an instant hit. Even then, people wanted to buy it, and now they can, for the price of 240 Xbox points, or about $3.
Wilson still keeps in touch with the Husky Game Development Enterprise and is excited about its potential for bringing more products to the marketplace. But for him the best benefit was not the game but the lessons learned creating it.
“I was hired at GE Aviation because of my work in HGD,” he said. “Companies love Michigan Tech grads, but they especially love the skills we receive through Enterprises like HGD.”
Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, the University offers more than 125 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.