With a shared passion for 2D art, Mingze “Jimmy” Shi, 16, of West Windsor, New Jersey, Chi Cheng “Jerry” Hsu, 17, of Cupertino, California, and Anthony Ma, 16, of Sunnyvale, California decided to team up this summer and create an original video game this summer while attending the Carnegie Mellon National Video Game High School Academy pre-college program. Their resulting game, Radiant, won the High School Open Platform Team category of the 2016 National STEM Video Game Challenge. In Radiant, players use a sword, bow and arrow, and radiant powers to fight corruption and save their brother from death.
“I think game design is really a chance combination of two things I enjoy, coding and digital art,” says Chi. “I didn’t learn either skill for the sake of making games, but it’s easy to imagine how the two skills can result in a great game when combined.” With a deep seated interest in math, computer science, and multimedia, Chi is confident that his future plans will include computers in some form. “Best case scenario I’ll hold a job that encompasses both of my interests,” he explains.
When not designing video games, Mingze enjoys playing piano, painting and drawing, jogging, and attending Hackathons. “I also love playing casual and competitive games, says Mingze, “so much so that I often neglect all the productive things that I should be doing!” After high school, he plans to study computer science and explore information technologies, cyber security, and big data. “I also hope to start an indie mobile game development group with a group of friends that I currently work with as a hobby,” Mingze says.
Anthony’s other hobbies include activities like camping, hiking, and riding bikes with friends. After college, he plans to study computer science and art, ultimately combining his interests with a job in the gaming industry. “Try to make a game that is unique,” Anthony suggests to aspiring designers. “Create something that won’t leave the player bored after five minutes of gameplay.”