Exhibit shows artistic side of games

By Tabitha Redder/nw news editor

Photos by Haylie Jones/The Collegian  Samuel Cook watches the trailer for Justin Pierce’s game Telos

Photos by Haylie Jones/The Collegian Samuel Cook watches the trailer for Justin Pierce’s game Telos

GameDev, the latest exhibition in the Lakeview Gallery on NW Campus, features four DFW area artists and resembles something more of a video arcade than an art exhibit.

The exhibit showcases the actual work of the artists, but one also sees an emphasis on the development process of the pieces as well. Some artists have included sketches, playable demos and concept art with their projects.

“ARMED! has a lot of process imagery, a lot of concept work and prototype imagery —  things like that,” said Sickhead Games owner Russell Fincher of his strategy game.

ARMED! is a turn-based multiplayer strategy game for Windows and Windows phones, and is currently in beta for iOS. Fincher and his partner Joe Espinoza drew inspiration from games like Starcraft. Two playable versions of the game are in the exhibit.

Sound Fountain features the work of University of Texas graduate student Joshua Wilson and his partner, Sam Garner. The project adds a visual element to music listening.

Justin Pierce, founder of Overpowered Games, is exhibiting Telos, which is still in development. Telos is a competitive multiplayer game set in sci-fi environments.

Pierce described the development process as containing “a lot of planning, research and looking at other games, movies and models.”

Nic Daniel, Brian Baum and Eric Koch of Hatched Games present Mutually Assured Destruction, Ghost Guidance, Hack Slash Crawl and a last untitled piece still in production. The four playable Adobe Flash games offer a variety of gaming experiences. 

The exhibit is open to everyone, but students who are considering game development as a potential career option are especially urged to come, said exhibit curator and art associate professor Christian DeLeon.

“These aren’t guys that work for big gaming companies like Electronic Arts or Bungie [Studios],” DeLeon said of the artists featured in GameDev. “They’re guys that work for or have started up their own companies, or it’s their hobby.”

In addition to producing games on a smaller scale, the artists selected are all based in DFW, so students get an idea of what potential game development opportunities are available near home.

GameDev will be on display in the Lakeview Gallery until March 29, when an artist’s reception ends the exhibition 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Gallery hours are 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

Samuel Cook plays Ghost Guidance by Nic Daniel, Brian Baum, Eric Koch

Samuel Cook plays Ghost Guidance by Nic Daniel, Brian Baum, Eric Koch

Images and plans for the video game Telos are part of the GameDev exhibit on NW.

Images and plans for the video game Telos are part of the GameDev exhibit on NW.