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ABOUT UAT
University of Advancing Technology is an elite, private college that serves its student body by fostering knowledge creation and academic excellence in an environment that embraces the young technophiles of the world. With three centers of research and a suite of technology-centered undergraduate and graduate degrees, the University is a recognized leader in technology education.

Learn More About UAT

    Updatable Interior Mapping for Game Immersion


    For students at the University of Advancing Technology (UAT), completing their Student Innovation Project (SIP) is the culmination of their hard work and dedication to their degree program. These projects are not only...

    For students at the University of Advancing Technology (UAT), completing their Student Innovation Project (SIP) is the culmination of their hard work and dedication to their degree program. These projects are not only exciting for the students, but also to their professors who witness their progression and development. 

    One such SIP is Mark Montenieri's Updatable Interior Mapping project. According to Professor Hue Henry, "It is a brilliant use of a cutting-edge technology to solve the problem of how to provide one of the most heavily-requested features in the MMORPG genre."

    Professor Henry continued, "The use of cubemaps as a way to display interior spaces is a relatively new innovation in the game industry. Mark's project takes that to the next level by applying it to user-created spaces, such a player housing in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). However, these features are often prohibitively expensive. Mark's innovation makes it possible for many thousands, even millions of players to decorate and display their in-game homes in a way that is feasible with current MMO technologies and bandwidth limitations."

    Read on to learn about how Mark arrived at the idea and his future plans. 

    What is the purpose of your SIP and your claim to innovation?

    My SIP aims to make in-game cities and towns appear more alive by offering updatable images instead of static pictures on storefront windows and doorways. It also benefits densely packed player housing, such as an apartment building, by removing the actual housing to another part of the map and only showing recently updated images overlaid on windows and open doorways. Players would approach the doorways and enter the associated room or apartment via a portal method, which teleports them to the actual room, far away. This helps game performance by only rendering the room for players inside it and not to everyone who walks by. Anyone who’s played a multiplayer game and entered an extremely busy arena or town has experienced lag from the game having to render the space for every player simultaneously and my SIP aims to improve that aspect of multiplayer gaming.

    Watch his final presentation:

    What inspired your project?

    My wife and I used to play a game called Ultima Online (late 90s?), and we loved the player housing feature. As the game fell out of favor and changed to the point it was unrecognizable, we moved on, looking for a new game to play that still offered great player housing. Here we are, 20 years later and still haven’t found what we’re looking for, so I wanted to come up with an idea that would allow game-makers to offer housing while keeping lag to a minimum, since the number of people playing online games has skyrocketed.

    What part of your SIP are you most proud of? 

    The fact that this has never been done at scale in an MMO, at least to my knowledge, is what I’m most proud of and hope it’s something that may be incorporated into a shipping game one day.

    Game Mapping

    What parts have been difficult and how did you solve the problems? 

    I suppose the most difficult part is that my SIP uses the Unreal Engine. Since I started using/learning Unreal in 2017, I’ve been what I call a ‘Hobby-level programmer’, never rising to the point where I felt comfortable calling myself a game programmer. Learning Unreal Engine is difficult because it’s so complex, but being a student at UAT and having used the engine in multiple classes to create complete or near-complete games has helped my confidence and increased my proficiency quite a bit.

    What are your future plans for the project?

    For now, I’ll be sitting on the idea while I work on a larger project but may incorporate it as a feature before I ship. If it turns out that it’s not a good fit, I may create my own game that utilizes my SIP concept.

    What are your plans after graduation?

    Ah, the million-dollar question. Honestly, I’m not sure where my path leads, but having degree in hand should surely open doors previously unavailable to me. I look forward to exploring options and opportunities once my journey at UAT is complete.

     

    Mark is graduating with his Bachelor Degree in Game Programming in Fall 2022. We're excited to see where he lands and his continued innovation after he leaves UAT!


    Considering a career in gaming? Check out the following for more information about UAT gaming degrees.

    > Game Art and Animation

    > Game Design

    > Game Programming

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    Alumni Randall Tatum: Leveled Up as a Gaming Entrepreneur


    When students leave UAT, they typically aren't heading out to search for an entry-level opportunity. Our grads have invested their time here creating and innovating (on their own and through internships) to such a degree that a great job or entrepreneurship venture is a natural next step. ...

    When students leave UAT, they typically aren't heading out to search for an entry-level opportunity. Our grads have invested their time here creating and innovating (on their own and through internships) to such a degree that a great job or entrepreneurship venture is a natural next step. 

    Such is true for Randall Tatum, UAT alumni and Founder & CEO of Titanomachy Studios, LLC. Randall is an excellent example of how our students take what they learn and really go for it in the "real world". With a Bachelor’s of Art Game Design as well as a Master of Science in Production Management, Randall is not only achieving his dream, he is also helping others by advocating for independent developers in the game industry.

    Randall-Tatum-2-3

    Randall Tatum, CEO of Titanomachy Studios

    We caught up with Randall to ask what it's like owning his gaming company, plus to find out why he feels getting an education in an often do-it-yourself field helped him get to where he is now. 

    Tell me about Titanomachy Studios.

    Titanomachy Studios is a fully remote indie studio based out of Avondale, AZ and Stroudsburg, PA but with a team from around the globe. We are made up of people from all walks of life and backgrounds from Canadian pixel artists to English writers to UAT alumni programmers. We focus on creating game development. Our focuses are creating our own titles, like the upcoming SRPG, Condors Vs Ocelots, and Indie Publishing. We strive to make games that are fun and memorable experiences for everyone.

    Who are the different people/positions who make up the Titanomachy Studios team?

    Titanomachy Studios has a very diverse team from all walks of life and experiences. From the top: Ben S. – Web Developer; Tyler S. – Programming Lead; Tyler T. – Programming; Garrett H. – Programming; Merlin C. – Programming;  Hunter D. – Programming; Michael M. – Art Lead; Alethea H. – Artist; Peter G. – Artist; Yoorina S. – Artist; Ibrahim A. – Writer; Max S. – Assoc. Producer/Game Design; Jeremiah B. – Level Design; Colt B. – Level Design; Box Monkey Studios – Audio and SFX; Wayne D. – Finance/Legal; Randall T. – Project Lead/Producer

    Hunter-Derrick-3-3

    Hunter Derrick, Programmer at Titanomachy Studios

    How did your education get you started on the path to your own company?

    My education has simply enabled me to not only think in new ways, but also to give me a baseline on how things should or should not go based on my resources and effort. I used my degree to work in the field, but it wasn’t until I pursued my Master’s at UAT that I began to think about disrupting markets and being an entrepreneur and really just making my own path instead of following others. If it was not for the things I learned in my education, I would have been sorely prepared and educated on how to start and operate a business. 

    From your personal experience, why is having an education in tech important?

    I think that, an education is important for many reasons. Obviously the technical instruction in your desired field is possible, but more than that, learning new ways to think about and solve problems and situations has helped me immensely. Videogames, like any other technical field, is just that--technical. Having an education not only facilitates learning new ways of thinking, but it also instructs on at the very least the basics, so that doing your own skill polishing and “leveling up” is possible. 

    Specifically, why is having a degree important in the game industry?

    A degree in the game industry is important for the same reasons a degree in the medical field is necessary. Not to say that making video games is on par with saving lives; however, I certainly wouldn’t hire a career plumber to be my lead game designer when his education is in plumbing. It applies here. When I interview people to work with us at Titanomachy, a degree doesn’t get you the job. Merit does, however, when two applicants are equal, the game degree wins out in most cases. I know that that person is instructed and SHOULD know what I’m saying when I say it.

    What advice do you have for prospective students?

    If you have a dream, follow it. No one is waiting for you to pursue them so follow your heart and use your head to navigate. Otherwise, stay organized. School is hard work and preparedness cannot be underrated.

    What advice do you have for graduating students looking to start their careers?

    Your portfolio is the single most useful thing you can offer any place you apply to. Make it big, make it varied and make it good.

    What is one of the most exciting moments of your career thus far?

    Five years ago, we released our first ever title, Stacker. It was an abysmal mess of spaghetti code and disorganization. It was also the proudest moment of my career, because I had a dream, I took the steps, and I achieved it. That feeling is irreplaceable.

     

     
    I had a dream, I took the steps, and I achieved it. That feeling is irreplaceable.
     

    How has your experience been operating your business fully remote?

    We started out remote, if for no other reason than to keep our overhead costs down. There are a lot of learning curves and communication barriers that are easy to forget, but critical issues arise from them often. There was a learning curve that I think would give most people a shiver or two, but after 5 years, when Covid came around, we were ready to stay safe, healthy and developing.

    Michael-Monchamp_ORUleadspriteartist-1-3

    Michael Monchamp, ORU lead sprite artist at Titanomachy Studios

    What is currently your favorite game?

    ​I am biased here because I think Condors Vs Ocelots is my favorite, but I have been enjoying Terraria, Legends of Runeterra, and Valorant.

    What do you look for in games? 

    I think what I look for the most in games is a compelling story and interesting mechanics. I come for the narrative, but stay for the awesome gameplay.

    Randall-Tatum-1-3

     

    To find out more about Randall and Titanomachy Studios, visit their Facebook and Twitter.

    Thank you Randall for your inspirational words! If you are a student or alumi and would like to share more about your experience, comment and let us know! 


    Want to know more about our Game Studies Degrees? Email admissions@uat.edu to get started!

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    Why I chose UAT


                              What is your major(s)? The Major...

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    What is your major(s)?

    The Major that I chose is Game Programming. The reason I chose this

     degree is because I want to make video games. I have played video games ever since I was little, and it was always fun and created good memoires with friends and family. I want to do the same where the games I make people remember have fun and make good memories either by themselves or with others. To this day my reasoning is still the same for making games. Now there is tons of things that make a game art, coding, design but the reason I chose game programming instead of the others is because you get to create make it all work. Have characters move, health systems, enemies, inventory weapons and more you get to make things work and that’s why I chose that certain degree because I like to see things happen come to life.

    What made you choose UAT?

    The reason I chose UAT is because of the advanced technology they have the teachers are all expert facility and have worked in the industry before, so they know what it takes to get in and the build the classes around that to help you get in the industry at an easier rate. I figured with the knowledge the teachers have along with the technology they would help me achieve my goal and give me the knowledge to make games. Along with connections as well if they have all worked in industry then they know people that I could network with making it even easier to get a job since having connections is another huge thing in getting a job.

    What factors do you attribute to your successes?

    I am in my last semester here at UAT and this are some of the things that I did to achieve my goal. When you start out here try to meet as many people has you can and make friends. Having a group of friends within in your major and others can be a big help. They can help you with your homework and you can start projects together and make things with your portfolio plus you have connections once you graduate that could help you find jobs. Take a degree specific class and basic classes because the degree specific is where you want to learn knowledge to advance your career and will get busy as time goes. You want to balance a hard class with easy ones.

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    Global Gam Jam 2022: Productivity through Duality


    UAT Students and Alumni Engage in Global Gam Jam 2022 At the end of January, the University of Advancing Technology (UAT) launched into another exciting Global...

    UAT Students and Alumni Engage in Global Gam Jam 2022


    At the end of January, the University of Advancing Technology (UAT) launched into another exciting Global Game Jam as an official site for this year’s game creation event. The free, 48-hour jam was fully virtual this year, boasting 33,000 total jammers at 680 sites in 100 countries around the world! Of those, UAT had a great showing, with 57 registered through UAT’s site, https://globalgamejam.org/2022/jam-sites/university-advancing-technology.  

    Organized by Adam Moore, the jammers used Discord to communicate, form teams, and help each other out. The 2022 theme was Duality, with 16 games uploaded to UAT’s jam site at https://globalgamejam.org/2022/jam-sites/university-advancing-technology/games.

    The Global Game Jam concluded on Sunday, January 30, at 3:00 p.m. Arizona time. Wrap-up included presentations and awards, followed by streaming the games on Discord.

    The following are UAT’s site winners:

    Best Design: Mirror Block 

    https://globalgamejam.org/2022/games/mirror-block-6

    Credits: 

    Game Programmers: Darin Palermo, Lyndsey Boggs

    Game Artists: Kaulana Lee, Lyndsey Boggs

    Game Designer: Darin Palermo, Lyndsey Boggs, Kaulana Lee, Raul Montes

    Mirror Block

     

    Best Art: Harm Charm

    https://globalgamejam.org/2022/games/harm-charm-6

    Credits: 

    Art by Morgan Kitay and Nick Campbell

    Design and Programming by Jeremy Johnston

    Harm Charm

     

    Best Technical: Polarity

    https://globalgamejam.org/2022/games/polarity-6

    Credits:

    Made by CatWithAKeyboard in less than 24h

    Polarity

     

    Best Audio: NoThinkingThing

    https://globalgamejam.org/2022/games/nothinkingthing-3

    Credits: 

    Development and Production credits to William Bailey and Wyvern Studios and Entertainment, LLC.

    Art contributions made possible by Epic Games and Wyvern Studios and Entertainment, LLC.

    No Thinking Thing

     

    Weirdest Game: A Shadow Named Nyct

    https://globalgamejam.org/2022/games/shadow-named-nyct-4

    Credits: 

    Music, Art, and Code by Carter Brinkley

    A Shadow Named NYCT

     

    Great work to all of the jammers! And remember, you don’t need any experience to participate in these events. Be on the lookout for the next opportunity to join the fun—and games!


    Considering a career in gaming? Check out the following for more information about UAT gaming degrees.

    > Game Art and Animation

    > Game Design

    > Game Programming

    Gaming

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