Gaming is an activity that plenty of students at Ferris partake in.
In fact, Ferris offers a digital animation and game design major at its Grand Rapids campus as a part of the School of Digital Arts in which students get to develop a game hands-on as a part of their junior project.
A current team of students is working on Timberwood, an upcoming adventure game for mobile devices. Plain Concepts, a Spain-based company, is developing the game.
The company got to know Ferris students when Jordin Littmann, Ferris senior in digital animation and game design, did her internship with them last summer in Spain. Littmann is now co-leading the project along with Kyle Dhyne, also a digital media software engineering major and the lead programmer for the project.
“I became aware of this project because Jordin Littmann had done her internship with this company in Spain during the summer of 2012,” Martin Lier, DAGD professor and internship coordinator, said. “I developed a relationship with this company through her. This relationship was started when myself and about 30 other students attended the Game Developers Conference in March 2012. Jordin and Kyle had met several individuals from this company there and Jordin was able to obtain an internship with them because of it.”
“We met the company at the Game Devolopers Conference,” Littmann said. “They didn’t particularly stand out except for the fact that they were all in zombie make-up. They ended up being a floor above us at the same hotel and we got to talking over breakfast. I ended up emailing them and they’re extremely nice people. I was extended the opportunity to go to Spain. Unfortunately, Kyle wasn’t able to make it, though they wanted him to come as well.”
The game itself is an adventure arcade game in which a little girl helps out the local villagers in a currently unnamed lumberjack village and is rewarded with treasure. The game requires you to retrieve items in order to advance. For example, there is a bear blocking the path to level two and in order to advance, you have to find a fish for the bear.
“I love playing games and I love being a part of the process,” Littmann said. “It’s great to see your creations come to life in their own little world and it’s just rewarding. The Game Developers Conference is something everyone in my program should do. I’m on really good terms with this company and I’m very excited.”