UTD Grads Design Award-Winning Video Game

The pair earned the Indie Game Developer of the Year award at the recent Let’s Play Gaming Expo in Irving.

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This article was updated on June 28, 2019 to correctly attribute who created the game.

A pair of University of Texas at Dallas alumni who share a love of video game design have received an Indie Game Developer of the Year award for the science-fiction based game Solar Purge.

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Josh Carter and Daedra Christopher [Photo courtesy of UT Dallas]

Josh Carter, class of 2012, designed the game along with his friend and lead 3D artist Brandon Michaels, now an Ohio resident. Another friend, Daedra Christopher, helped design one the game’s levels.

The award was presented in August at the Irving Convention Center during the Let’s Play Gaming Expo.

Christopher now is a senior lecturer in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at UTD, and Carter teaches game design at Richland College.

Solar Purge is described as a top-down, cooperative shooter game for PC and it has an exploration theme, according to UTD.

“It’s a little bit Star Wars, a little bit Star Trek, and even some Starship Troopers, with bugs coming out of the ground,” Carter said in the release.

According to the university, four levels of Solar Purge have been completed, the pair wants to finish 10 or more levels before launching the game next summer.

Carter and Christopher met while taking Photoshop, programming, 3-D modeling, and video game design classes at UTD. But, it was a course in virtual environments that inspired the pair to develop a game of their own, the release said.

“You could actually make a working game, be part of the game pipeline,” Christopher said of the class. “You had this broad scope of what you could be involved in. I just loved it.”

The game has proven popular with those who have had a chance to play it, ranking as high as 535 out of more than 44,150 games on Indie DB, an independent game ranking site, according to the university.

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