East Coast Games Conference Features WPU Students
William Peace University students are making their mark in the game development industry. Matthew Merino and Travis Brown will be the first students from WPU to host a presentation in the 13-year history of the East Coast Games Conference.
The East Coast Games Conference (ECGC) is a game developer conference held annually in Raleigh, North Carolina. The three-day event, lasting from April 19-21, is a place where attendees can learn about game development, network with professionals, and discover what it takes to be successful in the field of game development.
Merino and Brown, both seniors majoring in simulation and game design, will be presenting Remembering Hue, a game created as part of a team of seven in the fall semester of 2021 and further developed by themselves during the spring of 2022.
“Matt and I are presenting this game to spread awareness to other students that making something to this scale is possible,” said Brown. “We’re really gearing our speech towards the student journey through game development. It’s really to help educate other young people that everything’s possible.”
Merino and Brown worked to improve the project in various aspects during the spring 2022 semester as part of an honors capstone course. They added a new level to the game, along with new interactive gameplay mechanics and art to enhance the experience of the player. Merino, a primary sound designer, and Brown, a primary user interface artist, fulfilled other roles such as 3D modeling and programming to make this project come together.
Merino shared his thoughts on what presenting at this large event means to him as a senior graduating soon.
“It’s a big leap forward for my game development career as the only undergrads presenting at the conference,” said Merino. “I think we’re going to be able to network with a lot of industry professionals who have been in the industry and are in places we want to be in. Getting perspectives from them, talking to them, and getting feedback would be amazing for us.”
These students are not the only ones who are participating at the East Coast Games Conference. Brandon Crews, a professor within the simulation and game design department at WPU, will be at ECGC offering critiques at the career lounge.
Crews spoke on what he believes his students can get out of presenting at this nationally renowned conference.
“I hope confidence and the desire to continually build new projects that this industry hasn’t seen before,” said Crews. “Whenever you are showcasing your work, we don’t know what other people are going to think about it. The more you showcase it, the more you present it to wider audiences. The more hard work you put into projects, hopefully the more confidence will grow from that as well.”
Merino and Brown will host their session at ECGC on April 20 at 5:45 p.m. in room 302B.