The Game Studio gives Game Lab students invaluable experience working on real-world game projects. Over the past 4 years, the Studio has received more $1,000,000 in contracts or grants through collaborations with government agencies and non-profit organizations. Students partner with working professions who mentor and support student designers, artists and developers.
Studio projects provide essential complements to the MA academic program by challenging students to apply what they’ve learned on professional projects with real clients and collaborators. Bob Hone assembles hybrid agile teams that pair Game Lab student designers with talented freelance artists and developers. Debriefing sessions following design reviews or client presentations help students identify the power relationships and/or the sub-text of these dynamic creative interactions.
Since 2015, seven MA students have played key roles in professional educational and health game projects. Classmates Yin Chongying and Alex Cha (’17) designed hidden number puzzles as part of neurogaming therapy developed with the National Institute of Mental Health. MA Game Lab grads Joyce Rice, Kelli Dunlap, and Cherisse Datu (’16) played key roles in the creation of the popular Factitious news game (over 850K plays and counting). Other Game Lab students have played key roles in a proposed AR game at the Smithsonian (Ethan Goss) and an educational research program with the Educational Testing Service (Rehaf Aljammaz).
The Game Studio offers a range of field-tested workshops delivered by Game Lab faculty that stimulate game design thinking for in-house production teams and designers. Available workshops include: Social Simulations by Dr. Treanor, Place-based games by Dr. Stokes, Advanced AR/VR by Dr. Pietroszek, and Designing Effective Health Games by Professor Hone. Working from core templates, we can customize the workshop to meet each client's particular needs and goals.
Rapid prototype development can inject energy into new product or program efforts. Using a variety of prototyping tools and coding frameworks (Construct, Unity, Angular JS, etc.), Game Studio designers and developers can produce preliminary interactive prototypes in days and weeks instead of months. Applying agile development methods, project teams can then quickly iterate new versions to accelerate project completion.
Game Lab faculty pursue externally funded research projects in their particular areas of expertise. Game Studio Manager Bob Hone collaborates with other AU faculty and/or government agencies such as the NSF, NIH, and IMSL and non-profit organizations such as the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Professor Hone and the Game Lab recently received an $99K grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services to host the National Forum on Libraries and Game-based Education in spring 2019.
Game Lab faculty have an expansive set of research interests from indie game development to community empowerment through gaming; from AI-supported narrative games, to advanced AR/VR, to health games with innovative body sensors. We seek out challenging collaborations of all shapes and sizes. Contact us to start the dialogue and let's see if we can build a constructive collaboration that benefits your organization, the Game Studio, and Game Lab students.