Sunday, August 30, 2009

2 Tips for SGD Members Looking to Get a Games Job

Getting into the games industry is more difficult than ever during this economic crisis. But there are a few things that aspiring developers can do to greatly increase their chances of getting a job offer one day.

The following two tips are taken from the article, "The Top 10 Things You Can Do to Increase Your Chances of Becoming a Game Developer"

1) Work on independent game projects.
One of the most important aspects of an application that game company recruiters look for in applicants is their experience. If they can’t make a small game on their own, how are they going to work with a team to make a multi-million dollar title? Team up with some friends and work on a game. It doesn’t have to be a full featured console title, just make sure you finish it. Unfinished projects don’t count. This is something that puts all SGD members way ahead of the curve.

2) Narrow your field of expertise.
While it’s good to be able to do many things at a small company or small project, larger more established companies will be looking for the best people in a given specialty. If you’re an artist, pick characters or environments and focus on that. If you’re an engineer, focus on artificial intelligence, graphics, or whatever your passion is. Decide what you’re going to do and become an expert.

If you focus on the core aspects of an applicant that recruiters are going to be looking for, then you'll have a great shot at nailing that job offer.

For more tips, resources, articles, and other information pertaining to getting into the video game industry, be sure to visit

Best of luck everyone, and have a great semester!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

SGD XNA Library Information

To all directors whose projects will be developed in XNA Game Studio 3.0 or later, I have compiled (and I am continuously adding to) a code library for SGD specifically targeted for the XNA development environment. If you wish to use this, please email me for instructions as to how to obtain it.

Here's what the code library currently contains:
  • Keyboard management class; useful for reading input off the keyboard. Can test for presses of a single key, whether a key is being held down, and also for a series of keystrokes (useful for programming cheat codes, for example).
  • Controller management class; useful for reading input off of up to four XBOX360 gamepads.
  • Mouse management class; useful for reading input off of the mouse.
  • Resource pool class; useful for initializing a set amount of objects that will be used repeatedly, such a projectiles from weapons; correct implementation saves time and memory.
  • XML reading and writing capability with any user-defined class
  • Sound effect management class; useful for managing and playing sound effects.
  • Game state management classes; useful for (obviously) game state management.
Planned for future implementations:
  • A simple menu system implementation.
  • A class to create a textured 3D mesh from a 2D image (i.e. a height map)
Any feature suggestions and code submissions are welcome as well; just drop me an email. If you submit code, you will obviously be credited for your work.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

8/27 Meeting Wrap-Up

For those of you who missed today's Introductory Meeting, the Powerpoint presentation shown at the meeting, which includes background information about the club and a rundown of club protocol and expectations, can be downloaded by clicking here.

Highlights of discussion at the meeting:
  • Pitch Meetings are Thursday, September 3 and September 10; the projects which SGD will pursue this semester will be detailed at these two meetings by each project's respective director. If you wish to work on a project with SGD during the Fall 2009 semester, you should attend both of these meetings, which will be in OLS005 at 6:00 PM on both dates.
  • Yearly dues for SGD are $10; if you do not pay, you are not eligible to participate in SGD events after Pitch Meetings have concluded until you do so. Dues should be paid directly to SGD Treasurer Dan Epstein.
  • For returning SGD members: t-shirts promised at the end of last year should arrive sometime next week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pitch Process: Pitch Meetings Scheduled

In addition to the previously-announced club meeting this Thursday, the Student Game Developers will meet the following two Thursdays (September 3 2009 and September 10 2009) in OLS 005 at 6:00 PM for the formal pitch proposal meetings for the semester. If you plan on pitching a project for this semester, you are expected to present your proposal to the SGD body proper at one of these two meetings.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pitch Process: Fall 09 Deadline

To add to the general project pitch process guidelines seen here, all pitch proposals are due to SGD officers no later than Tuesday, September 1 2009. You can submit a proposal by following the guidelines at the link above and sending the required design document at that link to the contact email address provided at the top of our home page (all email to this address gets forwarded to all SGD officers).

Finally, if you plan on pitching a project, you should attend the first director's meeting of the semester, which will occur on Thursday, August 27 2009, in MEC 216. This meeting will commence immediately following the more general SGD club meeting announced previously on the same day at 5 PM.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fall 2009 First Meeting

Hey gamedevs! I hope all of you had a great summer.

The Student Game Developers at The University of Virginia are holding our opening meeting for the 2009-10 academic year on Thursday, August 27 from 5-6 PM in MEC 216. Please stop by if you're interested! Also, feel free to check out our booths at the Student Activities Fair this upcoming week.

Archive Index

This blog entry serves as an index page for all projects that the Student Game Developers have completed. This page will be updated at the conclusion of each semester as projects are completed.

Date of last archives update: January 2, 2012
Fall 2011

We had four SGD projects in Fall 2011. Currently one of them is available for download--Kinect Pong. This will only work if you have XNA installed and a Kinect plugged in via USB.

Spring 2010

Spring 2010 was a good semester for the student game developers, featuring four total projects, including Impact!, RecursiO(n^2), Dual and Laser Lockdown. Three of these projects are currently available for download right here!

Laser Lockdown

FALL 2009

The Fall 2009 semester saw the development of six projects, three of which will be continued into next semester. Projects were once again developed for the PC and Nintendo DS platform and implemented using various tools and different programming languages. Below is a list of projects available to download from this semester (click the banners to navigate to view information about a project).


Six projects were completed by The Student Game Developers at The University of Virginia during the spring 2009 semester. Projects were developed mainly for the PC platform, but were implemented using various different tools and programming languages. Below is the complete list of these projects (click the banners to navigate to view information about a project).


FALL 2007

Archive: The Imperium Project

The Imperium Project is a 2D isometric strategy RPG developed in Python for the PC. The game was designed by Dai Yang (director) (additional credits unavailable). Players take control of a party of unique characters, which can be developed over time to the player's liking, and take on a variety of enemies in an attempt to save the world.

You can download The Imperium Project by clicking here.

Archive: Skies of Fury

Skies of Fury is a 2D top-down arcade-throwback plane shooter developed using the Microsoft XNA Framework 3.0 and is intended for the PC only. The game was completed by John Will (director, programming), Matt Beattie (testing), Charles Gibson (art, programming), Chris Hooe (art, programming, music/sfx, level design), Steven Mond (programming), Nick Wasilewski (programming, level design), and Matt Yu (programming, programming [intentionally redundant]). Players take control of an advanced fighter pilot looking to take back control of the skies from a plethora of enemy aircraft who are occupying them. The player has two weapons available, and one is continuously upgraded as the player increases his score. This game employs the Mercury Particle Engine for 2D particle effects.

You can download Skies of Fury by clicking here.

Archive: Shark Attack

Shark Attack: World Tour is a 2D side-scrolling time trial game developed using the Microsoft XNA Framework 3.0 and is intended for the PC only. The game was completed by Dan Magnusson (director), Brian Stascavage, and Andrew Gaubatz. Shark Attack places the player in the role of a shark with the goal of eating as much as possible within a two-minute time limit. The player is limited in what he can eat by his size (he can only eat things smaller than his shark character) and his shark grows as he eats more. Players can also search for edible items inside of destructible objects at the ocean floor. Two playable venues are available.

You can download Shark Attack: World Tour by clicking here.

Archive: Robot Thesis

Robot Thesis is a 2D side-scrolling beat-em-up game developed using the Microsoft XNA Framework 3.0 and is intended for the PC only. The game was completed by Chris Dodge (director), Jordan Allen (programming), Perry Gillon (programming), and John Carr (programming). Players travel through various worlds, attacking waves of various enemies using two different attacks. This project features the artwork of a 7th grade class taught by Ms. Kathy Gust at an Arlington area high school.

You can download Robot Thesis by clicking here.

Archive: Robot Invasion

Robot Invasion is a 2D tower defense game developed using the Game Maker PC game design suite offered by YoYo Games. The game was designed by Dan Epstein (director, programming), Andrew Wilkes (programming), Dan Stalcup (programming), and Keaton Monger (art). Players must completely vanquish increasingly more challenging waves of enemies using towers which the player places on the game map. Power-ups are available to the player as he scores more points, including rapid fire, higher damage, faster projectiles, and homing projectiles.

You can download Robot Invasion by clicking here.

Archive: RGB-DS

RGB-DS is an inventive 2D puzzle platformer intended for the Nintendo DS console. The game was developed by Jeffrey Gaither (director, game concept, programming), Nick Parisi (programming), Dan Andrino (programming), Akshay Joshi (programming), Matt Yu (level design), and Steven Mond (programming, level design). RGB-DS takes advantage of the DS' unique dual-screen feature by placing two connected worlds on either screen, with gravity reversed in either world. Players must take advantage of this reverse gravity concept, conservation of momentum, and various other power-ups to navigate the puzzles each connected set of worlds offers.

You can download RGB-DS by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Shark Attack: World Tour Promo Video

The promo video for Shark Attack: World Tour is now available. Link after the jump.

The video is embedded below. You can also use the direct link.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Skies of Fury Promo Video

The promo video for Skies of Fury is now available. Link after the jump.

The video is embedded below. You can also use the direct link.

Although this organization has members who are University of Virginia students and may have University employees associated or engaged in its activities and affairs, the organization is not a part of or an agency of the University. It is a separate and independent organization which is responsible for and manages its own activities and affairs. The University does not direct, supervise or control the organization and is not responsible for the organization’s contracts, acts or omissions.