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Spring 2023 Session: New Members!

Updated: Dec 3, 2023



It’s hard to believe we’re more than halfway through the Spring 2023 semester! With a new session brings new developers, designers, artists, musicians, and other talented individuals to help us continuously improve and expand our capabilities as a studio. We’re proud to show off the newest members that have made a splash in continuing the development of Spy Cats and One Man’s Trash over these past few weeks. To see the team’s progress, join us for the Spring Showcase on April 1st!


If you’re interested in joining us in the current or future session, contact info@monrivergames.com to learn more.


Don’t forget to RSVP for the Regional Indie Games Spring Showcase! You can find more information and register for free here:


 

Zachary Lightcap


“MonRiverGames interests me because it is a bunch of smaller devs coming together to learn and make fun games. I think it has grown a lot since its conception, and I want to help it continue to grow.”


This is Zachary Lightcap’s first session with MonRiverGames. Originally from Inwood, West Virginia, the senior will graduate with a math major and a double minor in computer science and psychology.


Lightcap is looking forward to learning more about developing games as part of a team, as opposed to solo development. “I have made only small games that are more like tutorials on how to make games,” he said. “Personally, I would love to make all sorts of different games and don't really have a full idea of one I would like to make. Maybe a 3D destruction simulator could be fun, even though I know many already exist!”


Favorite Game: Red Dead Redemption II

Zachary Lightcap’s Portfolio: https://ztl0003.wixsite.com/zachary-lightcap


Jordan Brown


“I am interested in further developing my abilities in concept design and programming by being a part of a team like MonRiverGames with a diverse group of individuals with their own skills I can learn.”


Morgantown native Jordan Brown is a sophomore studying Game Design and Interactive Media. He has enjoyed the smaller game projects that he completed as part of his major’s program, but looks forward to working on a larger, full game as part of a team. Having grown up playing titles such as Final Fantasy and the late 90s Resident Evil, Brown credits his favorite childhood games with impacting his taste today.


Favorite Game: Final Fantasy IX



Liza Litten


“I like MRG because it encourages students to work as a team, but also teaches students professional skills.”


Liza Litten joined us this session as a 2D and 3D artist. She is a junior at West Virginia University and is currently studying Game Design and Interactive Media. Her previous experiences working on games outside of the studio piqued her interest in creating narrative and story-driven titles. As the studio is venturing out from Unity into other development platforms such as Unreal and Construct, Litten looks forward to learning more about the different game engines and honing her versatility.


Favorite Game: Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Persona 5


Mike Morris


“The gaming industry is highly competitive. Among other aspects, I see MRG as a tool that better prepares students for that transition into the industry. I want to be able to help with that.”


Mike Morris’ joined MonRiverGames eager to help improve the studio with his wealth of game design and art experience. Currently stationed out of Pittsburgh as one of our community members, his BA in Game Art and Development offers MonRiverGames valuable experience and perspective. “I expect to learn much as I dive into projects & network with the passionate people that make up MRG,” Morris said. His guidance has been invaluable as we polish SpyCats and invest further into One Man’s Trash.


As a passionate solo designer and developer, Morris has already created titles such as ‘For The Moon King’ for the XBOX Indie Marketplace. The top-down fantasy shooter challenges the player to take the role of an archer and fight back against waves of goblins as they invade the forest. He has also created mods for other titles in addition to the projects he has developed as part of his degree program. His development experience has helped MonRiverGames sharpen our current titles, and has offered a solid foundation for our upcoming games.


Favorite Game: World of Warcraft

Mike Morris’ Portfolio: https://oversoul.crevado.com/


Joshua Robinson


“Interestingly, it was finding my voice through writing that brought me back to games. I realized that as much as I’d focused on the technical side, it was creativity and storytelling that actually drove my passion.”


MonRiverGames was fortunate to recruit Professor Joshua Robinson to the Spring 2023 session! Joining us as an avid game developer, designer, and enthusiast, Robinson’s passion for the medium has helped to inspire and educate students in his Unity development courses as well as his fellow MRG members. “These are the kinds of classes I would have loved to take when I was a student, so I definitely want to keep them engaging, fun, and accessible. Coding isn't just for nerds anymore, and I'm hoping to remove some of the intimidation factor so anyone can bring their game ideas to life.” He also enjoys writing narratives for story-driven games, and lends his creative skills from his experience writing for visual novels.


“With my professional experience,” Robinson said, “I'm hoping to offer up some knowledge about software project management that isn't necessarily taught in the classroom.” In addition to his experience developing a variety of games in Unity and Ink, Robinson also provides invaluable knowledge about bringing a game from start to finish. After graduating from WVU with a degree in computer and electrical engineering, he spent nearly 20 years in industry working on biometrics systems, unmanned aircrafts, safety simulations, and more.


“I'm excited to work on games with a group of creative, passionate people!” Robinson said.


Favorite Game: Chrono Trigger


Lucas Stout


“MonRiver Games seems like a great place for me to better my game design skills, that is what got me interested in it.”


Game Design and Interactive Media major Lucas Stout got involved this session to flex both his creative and technical skills. He hails from Giveton, West Virginia and looks forward to learning more about Unity and Unreal, writing narratives, and improving at modeling and animation.


“I am currently working on a game with classmates based around Chinese spirits and special, weapon-based abilities,” Stout said. “I am very interested in working on narrative-driven games, horror games, and team ability-based games, but I am interested in working on any game for the most part.” Like many of his peers, Stout accredits his favorite titles, especially Halo 3, as the inspiration for pursuing game design.


Favorite Game(s): Halo 3, Dead by Daylight, Rainbow Six Siege, Overwatch


Brian Weers

“Working with different people, finding people’s skill sets, and being able to let them throw themselves at a project - that’s what I really enjoy.”


President of X-Reality and Game Design and Interactive Media senior Brian Weers has been working hard this session to bring his design and leadership skills to MonRiverGames. Originally from St. Mary’s County, Maryland, Weers’ valuable experience in Unreal, sound design, and project management have proven to be a great asset as he leads the development of our newest title.


“I’ve enjoyed the team aspects and learning more about how to navigate a team context,” Weers said. Previously a sound design intern at Blizzard, Weers has worked on a variety of projects individually and as part of larger groups, such as X-Reality. He has created two VR horror games and is currently working on a third with his student organization. Weers continues to look forward to working with the team collaboratively and finding their strengths.


Favorite Game: Dishonored 2

Brian Weers’ Portfolio: https://brianweers.com


 

Interested in the summer session? Reach out to info@monrivergames.com for more information!


Don’t forget to RSVP for the Spring Showcase!

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