Interns Develop Video Game and Earn Scholarships

Interns Develop Video Game and Earn Scholarships from the epic software group

The Woodlands, Texas - August 2, 2006 - While most teenagers while away their summer vacation playing video games, five area students spent their summer developing one. The epic software group hosted students from local high schools and colleges and created an incredibly cool fighting game for the local rock band Rhenium.

epic has literally written the book on developing one very special type of video game know as an "Advergame" (The Advergaming Developer's Guide, Rockport Press, 2004). "An advergame blends the company's logo, brand or product directly into the game. Much like a product placement in a movie, when you play the game, you inevitably learn about the product," said Vic Cherubini, President of the epic software group. "Hopefully, the next time you make a buying decision, you will choose the product or brand because of your experience with it in the Advergame," continued Cherubini.

The company was looking for a new project to work on, when Chris Ray, an epic intern and bass guitarist for the Woodlands based rock band Rhenium suggested a fighting game. The game pits each of the band members in martial arts combat against one another. Inspired by the popular "Street Fighter" and "Mortal Kombat" games, each character has an arsenal of special moves and unique skills to go along with their fighting style. The object of the game is to string together a series of attack combinations designed to defeat your opponent. As you play the game, you're entertained by the band's music and you learn more about each of the band members. "We wanted the game to be an entertaining and an innovative way to call attention to our music and attract new fans," said Ray.

With the game concept firmly in mind, epic set out to find a way to develop it. For over 15 years, the company has hosted summer interns interested in 2D and 3D graphics, programming, and game and web site development. "This year we were blessed with a group of very talented young people who were eager to help us with this very ambitious project," said Cherubini. The development team included:

  • Chris Ray - Chris is a second year student at Montgomery College aiming for a degree in Political Science from University of Houston. He is a very gifted programmer with extensive knowledge of the web based languages. He is also the bass guitar player in the music group Rhenium and served as the project manager and lead programmer for the game. Chris completed an internship at epic last fall and was hired by the company as a web developer.
  • Michael Wham - Michael came to the attention of epic from his work on a number of award winning nature documentaries he has filmed, narrated and produced. Michael is home schooled. He worked on both coding and graphics development, and will help in the marketing of the game. He did an internship last fall and was hired as a videographer.
  • Aden Averitt - a soon to be senior at the Academy of Science and Technology at Oak Ridge High School, Aden worked on character design and development. He came to epic to do an 80 hour internship through the EfTA. At the end of his internship he booked well over 200 hours with the company.
  • Scott Ungchusri - also attends the Academy of Science and Technology and will be a Senior this fall. Scott has a gift for cinematography and truly understands how to use his artistic skills to tell a story. Scott is a master of Tae Kwon Do and the subtle movements of his characters demonstrate his knowledge of this sport.
  • Sofia Stanley - Sofia graduated from the Woodlands High School in May, and will be attending Kingwood College for her degree in visual communication. During her interview at epic, she impressed everyone with the truly incredible artwork in her portfolio. Sofia worked on creating the backgrounds for the fighting game. These backgrounds are very important as they will showcase the logos and brand messages from advertisers who sponsor the game.

epic has awarded $1000 in scholarship incentive awards to the interns. As with most Advergames, the Rhenium Band Fighting Game will be distributed free of charge.

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