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Summer 2023

Session goals, updates to the board, current roster, and more!

We're back.

Summer session is in full swing, as it works on getting new members up to date. As a collective, we've decided to make these our goals this session:

(1) Preparing a better, more efficient onboarding process for the studio. This includes a mentoring system, learning pods, and use of a SCRUM like process.

(2) Creating indie development accounts with various publishing types and learning more about the publishing process, outside of our page. We've started accounts with Steam, Nintendo, Xbox, Playstation, and Google Play.

(3) Polish of Spy Cat's Level 1 and ideation to prototype of Level 2. Release of the one level master demo on multiple platforms. We'll use this to test Steam and console-based publishing.

(4) Conversion of Purple House's development to Unity, to be playable on mobile devices. We'll use this to test our Google Play development account.

(5) Lightly prepping WV quest and Lightkeeper for next Fall's capstone courses at West Virginia University (computer science and our game design programs).

Unlike Fall and Spring Sessions, Summer is shorter with 12 weeks of development instead of 15. Because of this, we have to be careful that we don't spread ourselves thin. We recognize this is still a lot to do the in the time we have, as always- we'll try our best and do what we can.

Updates to our board

All non profits need a board of directors. Our previous members were Heather Cole, David Wolfe, Ryan Lee Eicheldinger, and Kayla Stein. We are highly appreciative of what they accomplished this past year. With them, community outreach blossomed, our studio reached new audiences, and development became more efficient. While most have stepped down this session to allow a chance for other members to shine in leadership, they'll still be around for mentoring and assistance as needed. A new board of directors was voted in on Tuesday, June 20. A committee was also formed around this session's special task of exploring publishing outside of itch.

Heather Cole, Operations Director and Founder

Joshua Robinson, Vice Chair/Assistant Director

Michael Morris, Secretary/Community Director

Publishing Committee- Tessla Muir, Zachary Hubbard, and Colwyn Bordeaux

Current Session Roster

Continuing Members

These members are continuing this session. We were curious on what inspired them to stay on the team. We also asked about the games they are currently playing.

Joshua Robinson (2nd session)- "I finally started playing Alan Wake (not the remaster) after recently finishing Ocean's Heart. I'm back to continue the work we started on Spy Cats Remastered and contribute to the growth of the studio."

Zachary Hubbard (4th session)- "I graduated recently from WVU. I don't want to know my hour count on Minecraft...I was a part of this past year's computer science capstone group working on WV quest. I'm excited to prep the WV quest AR app for next session."

Tessla Muir (3rd session)-"I'm in my bi-annual Minecraft binge, but other than that I'm preparing for RIT grad school in the fall!" Tessla graduated from Computer Science at West Virginia University this past spring.

Liza Litten (2nd session)- "I've been playing Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom since it came out. I've put in over a hundred hours so far. That's been my summer! I really enjoyed the spring session, so why not keep doing it while I'm in college. "

Michael Morris (2nd session)-"I'm currently playing Diablo IV. I've been a fan of the series for a while and have been enjoying all of it's aspects with friends and family. I rejoined the MRG this session to help focus and progress its development as well as my own!"

Colwyn Bordeaux (2nd session)-"After wondering Hyrule, completing quests, and finding secretes in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, I've been sinking time into Stardew Valley again. I joined the studio this session to simply create games."

Also continuing are Madison Roy (4th session) David Wolfe (4th session) and Ryan Lee Eicheldinger (4th session).

New Members

We asked our new members what their goals with the studio are for this session as well as the games they are currently playing as well.

Luke Howell - "I'm working a lot in Unity to make my own game. It's kind of like Mario Kart, but more like Speed Racer cause it is more action packed. I joined the studio because I want to learn more about Unity and how game's come together." GDIM student, Senior.

Isaiah Lezama- "I am playing Jedi Survivor and Mortal Kombat 11 currently. I really enjoy using the light saber and all of the player's abilities in Jedi Survivor. As for Mortal Kombat 11, I enjoy playing that with my dad. I joined the studio this session because I wanted more experience in the game design process." GDIM student, Junior, Minor in music and creative writing.

Brayden Ferrari- "The current game I am going to be playing/working on is "Spy Cats" and the reason I joined is to try and get some more experience with working in a team before starting intermediate game design along with learn some new skills in Unity if possible."

Teddy Eicher "I've been playing a lot of Overwatch 2 because there's not a lot to it and most of my friends play it. In terms of projects, I spent all of January through May making a print and play each week (would not recommend). I'm new to Mon River Games and am hoping that this will be a great step forward into the digital game space."

Breanne Myers- "I’m currently planning on contributing to Spy Cats and maybe also WV Quest, and if the above prompt is also looking for info about games we are currently playing outside of the summer session’s games, I am playing Elden Ring, Diablo IV, and Divinity Original Sin II. I joined this session (my first one) after a friend of a friend introduced me to MonRiver Games. I worked as an instructional designer for 8 years designing and developing high quality courses, including educational games. After quitting my job, MonRiver Games gave me access to a community to collaborate with. I am also looking forward to expanding my skills and becoming more well-rounded in all areas of game development to transfer those skills to my instructional design work."

Joud Sabag- "When trying to decide on my major, I knew that I was interested in psychology and art, but I had no idea I could do those two things together. That was until I found about User Experience (UX) Design. As a part of the MonRiver Games Studio, I am excited to use my interests to make games that are satisfactory to the target audience and client. Not a huge gamer, but I like an ancient game called Ballance, and some (also ancient) mobile games." GDIM, Sophomore

Anthony Reitan- "I am currently playing Forza Horizon 5; I end up playing the game on Thursdays when the game's weekly challenges update. Outside of gaming I enjoy creating 3D models in Blender. I am excited to join MonRiverGames."

Also joining us for the first time is Tom Heckman. We're looking forward to getting to know each member and helping them achieve their goals.

If you are in the Ohio area, we will see you soon at Final Boss Con on July 15 at the University of Rio Grande. Admission is only $5.00. Come to this convention to support your regional indie developers and have a great time!

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