"This guy keeps trying to kill me, and I don't have a weapon," said
Clifford was one of several dozen people, mostly
Their goal: to help the creators learn what was working and what could be improved.
The games are the cyber equivalent of a thesis, said
During the next few weeks, teams of more than a dozen students will tweak each based on comments and surveys by the testers.
The students also will analyze players' facial expressions, which were recorded to see when they became frustrated, delighted or puzzled.
"We look for points of confusion," said
Six or eight testers sat at each of three tables -- one for each game. The room was filled with whoops and laughter as the players of "Hit" and "Neon Night Riders" called out to one another and almost everyone talked about the games and analyzed the play.
"Neon Night Riders" features brightly colored characters who race to control the neon-lit streets of cyberpunk
The tests are an important part of the curriculum of the academy. Established in
"We're trying to replicate what's going on in the industry as much as possible," Deery said.
"I want to make everyone happy when they play my games,"
Students can pursue careers in the video-game industry or start their own companies, but skills learned in the program also can be used to create interactive displays at a museum or for military- or medical-training simulation, Deery said.
Students choose one of three tracks: art, programming or production, which typically involves managing, marketing and distribution.
Like many students,
"They're an obsession," said Del Campo of
"After a hard day of making video games, we look forward to playing them at night," he said.
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