This morning, the UNM Electrical and Computer Engineering Department fired up its yearly Video Game Competition and review. Unlike other video game competitions, this features games that are designed and programmed by students in ECE Professor Pradeep Sen's Introduction to Computer Graphics class.  Students in this class learn the basics of developing video games (usually for the Xbox platform) and for their final project they have to design and create a video game.

Students, staff and faculty then get to playtest the games at the end of the semester in a daylong game-o-rama.  The games are later judged, and awards and feedback are given out at the end of the evening.

This is the third year of the program by professor Sen, who came to UNM from Stanford, and is working to create a Computer Graphics program at UNM that mirrors the one he saw at Stanford.

This year, many of the student groups worked with electronic artists to add better visuals and music to their games.  This is also the first year for the department to offer an advance computer graphics class at the same time.  Many of the students in this class took the intro class last year, and spent this class better refining the games they had created for this class.

After the semester ends, students are also encouraged to license their games and provide them to the greater public on Xbox Live.

I've attended each of the three competitions (I was one of the judges last year) and it's been great to see how the program has grown and the variety of games being offered each year.  If you have time today (Thursday, Dec. 10) you should swing by the ECE building and check out some of the cool work these students have done.

- Benson