Savannah College's VR Multiplayer Robot Arena Wins E3 College Competition

Game-Based Learning

Savannah College's VR Multiplayer Robot Arena Wins E3 College Competition

By Blake Montgomery     Jun 22, 2016

Savannah College's VR Multiplayer Robot Arena Wins E3 College Competition

Last week, I ventured down to LA for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, more commonly known as E3, the biggest videogames convention in the country. I was in search of educational video games. I found assassins and Lil Wayne, but not a whole lot of educational games. LEGO made an appearance, as did Sid Meier’s Civilization, but for a multibillion dollar industry, there wasn’t much in the way of direct educational material.

Brobot Beatdown, an Xbox controller and an Oculus headset. Photo by Blake Montgomery.

I did, however, find one thing: the College Gaming Competition. It’s a game design contest where university students submit their games to a panel of industry veterans for evaluations. The experts select six finalists and one winner. All the finalists receive the honor of exhibiting their games on the main floor of E3 alongside giants like Microsoft and Sony.

To get a better look inside how the game came together, I interviewed both leaders of the Savannah College’s team. Their game is called Brobot Beatdown. It’s a virtual reality game where the player is seated inside a giant robot and does his best to destroy other players’ robots in arena combat. I played it, and I liked it! What's even more impressive is that the small Savannah College team of students created an online multiplayer game in virtual reality, something no other college even attempted. Major studios, by contrast, have hundreds of staff on one game.

An E3 attendee plays Brobot Beatdown. Photo by Blake Montgomery

I got to talk to the winning team from the Savannah College of Art and Design just before and immediately after they won. I interviewed Justin Coushot and Spencer Humphries, Brobot Beatdown's lead game designers, about how their school supported them, the "crunch" just before the competition and what they've learned from creating such a technically demanding game. Tune in!

The SCAD team with their trophy and the Chief Executive of the Entertainment Software Association. Photo by Blake Montgomery.
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