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New DSU student game on STEAM

September 30, 2022

A team of five students developed Knights of the Kitchen Table, which they describe as an action, adventure, hack, and slash game. It is a fully functional game available for purchase on the gaming platform STEAM.

“The idea is that you need to go around and slay giant food monsters that threaten the kingdom,” explained team member Alex Maxey.

The other team members are Spencer Sexton, Zachary Boyle, William Ko, and Kristopher Wagner-Tubbs.

The students originally came up with the idea in 2020 for a mini projects course. The game started out as a 2D side-scroller game like Castle Crashers, but eventually evolved into a 3D-style game similar to Dark Souls.

“We wanted to make it much more accessible to casual gamers,” Maxey said.

A graduate of the Computer Science and Computer Game Design programs, Maxey worked on programming, animation, and 2D art for the game.

“My favorite part of the game is the over-the-top, cartoony, whimsical nature about it,” Maxey said. 

Peter Britton, Assistant Professor in the Game Design program, finds excitement in watching the growth of the team’s vision. “It’s always fun to see it advance from where it starts to where it ends.”

This process teaches students how ideas change through development, as ideas are not fully formed, according to Britton. When testing their ideas, the flaws of that idea become apparent, and the creators must come up with solutions or new ideas to compensate for the shortcomings of the initial idea.

The creation of the game also helps students develop the skills they will need to work with a group. Britton stresses the importance of bringing a vision to life despite the potential for different personalities and potential incompatibility.

“The number one thing is to try not to take it personally,” Britton said of working on a team. “It’s your objective to try and understand other perspectives.”

Having their games on STEAM showcases not only what the students can do, but also what the program teaches them, Britton added.

He is proud of the students’ willingness to take what they have created and put it out there for people to critique. Feedback on the internet can be pretty brutal, and that’s the reality students should expect when sharing creations, he said.

Team members shared advice for future students. Sexton recommends students come up with a good organizational structure for assigning duties in the creation of the game. Ko recommends fleshing out the idea and gameplay ahead of the start of the project.

The game has a tutorial and four levels to play and is available for purchase for $4.99. So far, the team has sold over 60 copies of the game.  

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