Everend video game about an owl wins national Intel contest
March 6, 2017
The game design
program at University of Wisconsin-Stout is turning some heads for the second
time in four years after a video game designed by a team of students took a
first place in a national competition.
Everend, about a
young owl caught in a massive cave after an ancient volcanic eruption, won the
Best Visual Quality award at the Intel University Games Showcase. The award was
announced Thursday night, March 2, in San Francisco at the world Game
Two other winners
were announced. Carnegie Mellon University of Pittsburgh, Pa., won for Best
Gameplay and University of Central Florida of Orlando won for Innovation. Games
from 11 universities and colleges from around the U.S. were chosen by Intel to
compete at the showcase.
receive $10,000 worth of Intel products for its game design program.
In June 2013, the video game Flash Frozen by a UW-Stout team
was named co-champion in the E3 national video game competition in Los Angeles
sponsored by the Entertainment Software Association.
“We can't believe our little owl game has garnered so much support and
recognition, and we are so incredibly thankful for this award,” said UW-Stout
student Megan Daniels, of Oshkosh, one of 12 students who created Everend in
2016 in a class taught by Associate Professor Dave Beck, the game’s executive
Teams had five
minutes to present their games to judges and three minutes to answer questions.
Judging was done by a team of seven industry professionals from companies and
organizations such as Unity, Unreal and the president of the International Game
Developers Association. Judging was based on creativity and innovation;
rendering quality; character design; and art style and education, including
quality of noncharacter models and animation.
Randi Rost, manager of Intel’s game developer experience
team, was impressed with the artistic quality of Everend. “One of the great
things about the Intel University Games Showcase is that we get to see so much
variety and so much talent in one event. Although they were new to the event
this year, UW-Stout brought an amazingly artistic team, and they deservedly
grabbed the top prize in the Best Visual Quality category,” Rost said.
Beck, who also taught the class that produced Flash Frozen, says
the latest award speaks volumes about the quality of UW-Stout’s program.
“To have UW-Stout’s
student team take first place in the Best Visuals category amongst so many
large, internationally known art schools demonstrates that we can and will
continue to compete on a national level in myriad art and design disciplines,”
Beck said. “I truly believe Everend’s aesthetic success is largely due to the
passionate and talented faculty and staff working in the School of Art and
Design, all of whom are tirelessly dedicated to training the great visual
thinkers and creative researchers of the future.”
The other schools selected for the competition were New York
University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Southern
California, Utah, Drexel, DigiPen Institute of Technology, University of
California-Santa Cruz, Southern Methodist University and Savannah College of
Art and Design. Many of the entries were by graduate students. UW-Stout’s team
had one graduate student.
Beck is director of
the Bachelor of Fine Arts game design program — UW-Stout also has a Bachelor of
Science game design program — and is director of the School of Art and Design,
as well as associate dean of the College of Arts, Communications, Humanities
and Social Sciences.
“I couldn’t be more
proud of these 12 students. Their capstone project was a major part of their
life for seven straight months, so this recognition will hopefully begin to
demonstrate that not only was it worth all of those long days and late nights,
but that we have something really special in the both the game design and
development program and the School of Art and Design at UW-Stout,” Beck said.
Along with Daniels, members of the UW-Stout Everend team
- Lead programmer Will Brereton, of Sauk City
- Mitch Clayton, of Frankfort, Ill.
- Daniel Craig, of New Berlin
- Gabe Deyo, of Austin, Minn.
- Lead artist Emily Dillhunt, of Menomonie
- Alex Knutson, of La Crosse
- Logan Larson, of Stillwater, Minn.
- Zachary Pasterski, of Green Bay
- Phoenix Hendricks, of River Falls
- Hue Vang, of Two Rivers, a graduate student in
the Master of Fine Arts program
- Tyler Walvort, of Waupun
Everend is a short,
single-player game that revolves around Kaia, a young owl in a vast cave after
being separated from its family during an ancient volcanic eruption. Kaia
hasn’t yet learned to fly and must avoid various obstacles as it traverses the
many levels of the cave in trying to escape.
Download the game here or watch the trailer.
Learn more about UW-Stout’s two game design and development
With more than 1,000 art and design majors, UW-Stout’s
School of Art and Design is the largest public higher education art and design
program in Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas.
Top: Members of the Everend video game team who attended
the Intel University Games Showcase in San Francisco celebrate their first
place March 2 for Best Visual Quality. From left are Hue Vang, Emily Dillhunt,
Megan Daniels, Associate Professor Dave Beck, Mitch Clayton, Gabe Deyo, Will
Brereton and Zach Pasterski.
Second: A scene from Everend.
Third: Everend team members Emily Dillhunt, left, and Megan Daniels admire the Intel
University Games Showcase award for Best Visual Quality.
Bottom: Everend is a short,
single-player game that revolves around Kaia, a young owl caught in cave.