SMU grad students game the system

Apr 11, 2014

by Andrew Scoggin
Dallas Morning News Neighborsgo

I’m a sucker for old-school Nintendo games.

Sure, games today run laps around those early titles from the 1980s. Objects and characters actually look like they do in the real world, unlike the pixelated versions of the past.

But playing video games is about exploring new worlds, and it’s amazing to look back at what those gamemakers created when technological limits left much to the imagination.

I recently found an ally in Gary Brubaker, director of The Guildhall, Southern Methodist University’s games development program. This week’s cover story focuses on Guildhall and its quick progress the last 10 years, becoming one of the top graduate programs for games in the country.

Click here to read more about The Guildhall and the games made by students.

Brubaker said presentation is important for students, even when they write research papers. One student made a near-lifesized model of a shield from The Legend of Zelda and pasted a research paper on the back of it. Brubaker displays it in his office.

Another Brubaker held onto hid a paper inside a question block from the Super Mario series.

Brubaker has a soft spot for these retro titles, which is understandable coming from a guy who grew up playing Pong.

The games SMU students make go far beyond that early simulation of table tennis. They look like big-budget titles found on store shelves or popular download platforms.

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