Two recent graduates of the digital arts program were among five award winners in the 3D Games division of GameJam!, a new international video-game competition.
Henry the Frog
James Maloney, who received a bachelor of fine arts degree in May, won the Funniest Award for his “Henry the Frog” character, which uniquely bounced twice before jumping. Greg Wark, who earned his BFA degree in May 2008, took the Crowd Favorite Award for his “Creepy Crawler,” which was able to compress its body to crawl under low passages as well as walk upright. Both Maloney, of Euclid, and Wark, from Havertown, Pa., were awarded a copy of Softimage animation software and two character-modeling books.
The winners were announced during SIGGRAPH 2009, the 36th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques. The conference was held Aug. 3-7 in New Orleans.
Maloney, Wark and Brian Nixon, another May 2008 graduate of the digital arts program, were among 27 participants from around the world selected to compete in the first GameJam! In the competition, teams created a 3D game using the Panda3D game engine and a 2D game using Flash during a 24-hour period. Participants included industry professionals and students who were chosen on the basis of animations, models and computer programs they submitted last spring.
“James, Greg and Brian had a goal—they wanted to be involved in an international SIGGRAPH animation competition,” noted Bonnie Mitchell, digital arts.
“They actively collaborated for the past few years outside of class, teaching each other animation techniques, critiquing each other's work and sharing in their common goal of becoming skilled computer animators,” she added, calling the trio “great examples of the positive results that can result from persistence, passion and collaboration.”
"Games and game development have been a driving force in pushing the state of the art in real-time computer graphics technology, and our participants were able to create quality games in the short time allotted,” said Tina Ziemek, GameJam! 2009 chair from the University of Utah. “All of them did extremely well, and we expect this will be the first of many more gaming competitions to come."
For the complete list of GameJam! winners, see: http://www.siggraph.org/s2009/contests_competitions/game_jam/index.php