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No Couch Necessary: Digital Media Program Showcases Top Games and Animations For Your Playing, Viewing Pleasure

The students who made a video game where you can save kittens in space, and help real cats on Earth as well, have taken an insidious turn with their second mobile game offering: Malevolence, Inc. This time they’ve cast players as employees at a company (that we can safely assume is up to no good) holding a top-villain competition. This is just one of the many games and animated shorts that will be featured at this year’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design Digital Media Senior Showcase.

Eight games and two animations will be on display in the lobby of the Bossone Research Center (31st and Market streets) this Saturday from 12:30 – 5 p.m. Here’s a look at a few of the projects that will be on display and ready to play.

In Malevolence, Inc. the student designers at Sweet Roll Studio, which is supported by Drexel University’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio, have built on the unique, multiplayer pass-the-iPad approach to gameplay. In a competition to see who’s the best at being bad, player one builds a gauntlet of obstacles and traps before passing the pad to a friend. Player two must attempt to safely navigate their character through the plethora of pitfalls before returning the favor. It plays on iOS or Android devices and will be available for download from the App Store this weekend.

In addition to testing their hand at building traps for Malevolence, Inc., visitors can try all of the new games, several of which will be made available for download on on the day of the showcase.

In Conspicua, players must work their way through the puzzles and mysteries of an abandoned mansion in order to escape.

Conspicua, a point-and-click puzzle game designed by the students at Identity Crisis Games, puts two players in an abandoned mansion—with all the tricky, creepy accouterments you’d expect to find therein—that they must explore, and survive, in order to escape.

Gyhan Reign, from the student start-up Whalehouse Studios, is a casual player versus player strategy game where players compete online in massive wars waged with simple orchestration. It’s like StarCraft but with casual-friendly controls like drawing paths instead of micromanaging units. To win, you just destroy the other player’s forces and capture their base—sounds easy, right?

Transcend is a two-dimensional throwback that brings together the best parts of the original couch-gaming experience with the variability of an interactive role-playing game. It’s played in two teams—the one with magical powers and massive swords, and the one with all the cool technology—but players’ allegiances are always shifting depending on which team is winning. Appropriately, they’re duking it out in a town called “Westphall.”

A pair animated shorts will also make their debut at the showcase. “At The Mountains of Madness” is an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s 1931 novella about an ill-fated expedition in Antarctica. “Jura” is a story about the evolving relationship between an adventurous young boy and his stern father.

Graduate students will present their thesis work on topics ranging from recreating primitive 17th and 18th century lighting in digital environments to designing a motion-controlled, audio-only game for visually impaired players.

Several projects are interactive learning games for players who want to learn more about the Jewish culture, or the Latino immigration movement—for example. One game, called Feeling Factory, is designed as a speech therapy tool to help children with autism spectrum disorders.

The event is free and open to the public and visitors are welcome to play any of the games on display. For more information contact Daphney Wright at dbw37@drexel.edu.

For news media inquiries, contact Britt Faulstick at bef29@drexel.edu or 215.895.2617.

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