GAME WIZARDS GET SCARY WITH MONSTER SMASH
Institute of California-Los Angeles Student Work
by Industry Professionals
Monica, CA: The Game Wizards Video Game Production Team at The Art Institute of Los Angeles-California embarked on there 5th project in January of 2006, Monster Smash. The project originated from a thesis project by Heiu Tran, a veteran of the team. This would mark the teamís last MOD using the Unreal Tournament 2003, game editor.
"We chose to get back to our roots and what Unreal does best with this one which is Death Match." ,said Eric T. Elder, Game Wizards Exec. Producer and Game Art Academic Director, "But we still wanted to put a spin on it." Monster Smash is based on the classic universal monsters: Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Werewolf and a Witch. "We chose this theme because everyone is familiar with it, and it would give us great opportunities in designing the characters, the environments and the mood."
Instead of the monsters shooting each other with guns, the team scripted in each monster having unique powers. For instance Frank shoots powerful lightning bolts at his opponents, while the Werewolf has a howling and slash attack. But perhaps the most interesting and most fun is the Witch who can conjure a horde of magical cats, and then direct them to attack an opponent.
During the first quarter of production, Elder sat down with Tamar Zeithlan, another Wizards vet, and Heiu Tran to design and playtest a boardgame version of Monster Smash. "We had a lot of fun," said Tamar, "we worked out the balance of the characters, their powers and movement rates and even came up with a natural enemy for each."
The team used several classic and modern horror movie references including "The Haunting" as reference. The environment of the game is a mansion/castle where each monster has their own unique setting.
The results are spectacular and the students completed the project with fantastic pieces for their portfolios and some great production experience. As is the tradition with Game Wizards, a major game recruiter was invited at the completion of the project.
This time it was a recruiter from Blizzard who was very impressed with what he saw.
Institute of California-Los Angeles is one
Art Institutes with 30 education institutions
located throughout North America, providing an
important source of design, media arts, fashion
and culinary professionals. The parent company
of The Art Institutes, Education
Management Corporation is among the largest
providers of private post-secondary education
in North America, based on student enrollment
and revenue. Student enrollment exceeded 58,000
as of fall 2003. EDMC has 66 primary campus locations
in 24 states and two Canadian provinces. EDMC's
education institutions offer a broad range of
academic programs concentrated in the media arts,
design, fashion, culinary arts, behavioral sciences,
health sciences, education, information technology
and business fields, culminating in the award
of associate's through doctoral degrees. EDMC
has provided career-oriented education for over
40 years, and its education institutions have
more than 150,000 alumni.