Brody Pierce

Game design majors from across the University of Wisconsin-Stout campus will come together for a chance to show their talent at the annual Stout Game Expo (SGX). Students from game design and development (GDD), 100, 200, 300 and 400 level classes will gather in the Memorial Student Center’s top floor ballrooms to show their effort come together. The games will also be represented in a variety of gaming platforms such as board games and card games, 2D Digital games, 3D Digital games, Apps, and even virtual reality (VR) interactions.

There will be a plethora of games presented at this semester’s expo. Some of the featured games will include “Aluna,” “Coping Device” “Farbenspiel,” “Grove,” “Solace,” U’nproven” and “Wisper” along with many more.

A number of freshmen are presenting their games in the form of board games. Reece Nadle and Daniel Hagedorn, freshman in the computer science game design major, are from one of the many freshman design teams. Their game is called Hacked, and the concept of their game is that a group of players are tasked with stopping the spread of a super computer virus that is ravaging its way through a system and fixing the other damaged ports. Reece and Daniels’ team thought that this was the best option to satisfy their ideas for a computer themed co-op game and thought that it fit with the current events of today.

Another group of freshmen are presenting the game “Cryptids and Kaiju,” a board game where you play as one of many technicians tasked with manning a mecha bent on eliminating enemy Cryptids and Kaiju in order to protect Neo-Menomonie. Group Member Michelle Castillo Canedo commented, “I’m just glad to have it finally finished and having people say, ‘Hey that’s a finished game.’ Regardless of the many hours I have put into this project, I don’t regret any of it.”

As for videogame art majors participating in SGX, Dan Vogt is a part of another freshman group displaying their game called “Hunter/Hunted.” The game is based off of how humans can be very destructive to nature if they aren’t careful. The game focuses on the expansion of the humans (Hunters) and the survival of nature and its inhabitants (Hunted). Vogt mentions that he would like to see how people end up reacting to the game and to see what people will think about a hidden game mechanic. He hopes that players will have learned something by the end of it all.

Many designers are already making a name for themselves as they move forward in their college career. One such game designer is Jacob Sutherland, a videogame art major, participated in SGX in the past and was one of the artists behind the game “Umbrella Mondays” which was nominated for the International Academic Conference on Meaningful Play in 2018. Sutherland stated that by participating in SGX he was able to build his team building skills, and he gained experience to further his expertise from creating his first 2D game to making a second better 2D game, all leading up to his major 3D game.

Overall, the Stout Game Expo will be filled with eager game design students showing the public what they have to offer the gaming community. As Ethan Kapelka, another freshman participating in the expo, put it, “I think the most interesting thing about making games is seeing how other people play it and seeing what they enjoy the most out of it and what could be tweaked. So it’s a kind of learning experience for everyone involved.” The event is in MSC Great Hall and Ballrooms on Thursday, May 2, from 6–9 p.m. and play some games.