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BU Game Design revamps its club to achieve long-term goals

video games
A person with headphones playing Fortnite. BU Game Design club is developing a video game that features a pizza cutter as a dangerous weapon in a post-apocalypse. COURTESY OF PIXABAY

Pizza cutters, a tool used to cut the perfect slice? Or the choice of weapon in an up-and-coming post-apocalyptic video game created by Boston University students?

Playing as a pizza delivery guy, players are taken into a flipped reality after the character gets hit by a truck. Upon waking up, the pizza deliverer is faced with an army of robots, forcing him to fight back or accept death.

Set as a first-person shooter game, the game features a story narrative that requires players to not only play the game but be absorbed in the character’s experience as well.

There is a space for everyone in the unofficial “Game Design Club” — there is an art team, music team and level design team, among others. Fadi Kidess, vice president of the club, said game development goes far beyond just coding.

“Anyone can join the club, even if you’re a writer, musician, or artist because any person can have a very significant contribution to the club and also to the game,” said Kidess, a sophomore in the College of Engineering. “In the end, we are all here to learn.”

Kidess said he laid out the game’s original storyline and is currently working on delving deeper into character development and interactive path choosing.

“We are really focusing on the game design, so not just how the game plays, but also how the game feels … and what the player will be experiencing during the game,” Kidess said.

Secretary Rylie Love, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, said the summer before she came into BU, she decided she wanted to make video games.

“I looked for a club for it, and there wasn’t [one] and I was upset about it,” Love said. “It was good that I ended up finding other people who wanted to start it too.”

President CJ Freda said the club is recovering from a summer of inactivity. Freda, a senior in the College of Fine Arts, said keeping the club alive will involve diverging from ambitious goals and instead creating a plan of “little tiny hills that people can go over.”

“The (prior) people that were in charge of the club … set these huge goals, but they didn’t really give smaller steps of how to accomplish those goals,” Freda said. “What I want to do now is set much smaller, manageable goals.”

Freda said by the time the club wrangled their chair positions together, the deadline to become an official club had already passed.

“I wasn’t even aware that there was a deadline in the first place,” Freda said. “I was actually getting the club going after the deadline.”

The club plans to sustain itself by keeping the environment interactive and collaborative, Kidess said. This goal will be reached by pitching new ideas and bouncing thoughts off of each other.

The club meets every other Saturday at 2 p.m. in the reading room at 10 Buick Street. Freda said he’s hoping that by the time he leaves this club at the end of the year, it will be a sanctuary for the development of any game design skills.

“I want to set a solid foundation for after I graduate because it’s my last year,” Freda explained. “If people interested in game design in the future come to BU, they can see this club and say, ‘I can develop my skills here.’”

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