Bandit in the Baltimore Daily Record

An article in the Daily Record mentions  “Bandit.”   Unfortunately, it’s behind a paywall, but here is the text:

At UMBC, a taste of professional life for game designers

By: Daniel Leaderman Daily Record Business Writer May 19, 2015

In the game, players must wander a 3D rendering of the streets of Civil War-era Baltimore, collecting documents related to the Pratt Street Riot of 1861 and avoiding capture by roving sentries.

Oh, and the character that players control is a fox.

The game, called “Bandit,” is one of two created this spring by teams of artists and programmers in Professor Marc Olano’s game development class at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

The class has been offered for years, but this semester Olano threw his 17 students a curveball: Instead of designing video games purely based on their own ideas, the teams had to work with clients, pitch them ideas and develop the games with the client’s goals in mind.

In other words, the class operated more like the professional world.

One of the clients was the university’s history department, which wanted an educational game to teach players about Baltimore during the Civil War, said Anne Sarah Rubin, an associate professor of history.

For both designers and clients, navigating the expectations and limitations of the other was tricky.

The game-design students initially pitched several game ideas to the history class, and Rubin said she and her history students were fond of a proposed mystery-style game because they thought it would lend itself more readily to the teaching of history.

But the animal-focused game was the most feasible to produce, so that became the choice. “We’re really happy with how this turned out,” Rubin said.

The historians also suggested having short animated sequence to begin the game, unaware of how much time that would take for the game-design team to produce.

“We had to teach them how much effort things took [for] us and meet in the middle somewhere where we could both be happy,” said Celeste Haskett, one of the art students who worked on “Bandit.” “I think it worked out well. We managed to get what they wanted.”

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