Becker College Students’ Shadow Walker Video Game And Comic to be Released At PAX East

Published on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Becker College packs a one-two punch with the preview of Shadow Walker, a PC video game and comic at PAX East, April 6-8, 2012, at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. A group of students in Becker’s nationally ranked video game design program created the game and comic. Shadow Walker will be playable at the Becker College booth at PAX East.

“Shadow Walker was professionally developed, just like a video game at an indie game company,” says Becker College President Robert E. Johnson. “Our video game programs professional expertise, tools, opportunities, and a real-world environment, as well as industry collaborations through the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute, located on our campus.”

Allen Foster, aka Shadow Walker, is on the run from the police, framed by a madman on the loose for the murder of his own sister. As the game begins, players learn to use the power of shadow along with Shadow Walker:

  • to attain invisibility when in Shadow Ground by merging with the shadow on the ground
  • to leap large distances using Shadow Port by merging with a shadow that spans gaps, such as the spaces between the roofs of buildings
  • to scale extreme heights using Shadow Climb by merging with shadows that are on vertical surfaces, such as walls
  • to use Shadow Punch, which allows tangible force that projects out telekinetically

Shadow Walker was created by seniors Matthew Hopkins and Ilir Mborja, of Worcester, Mass.; and Cody Olivier, of Pascoag, RI; junior Anthony Botelho, of Dighton, Mass.; Professor of Game Development Terrasa Ulm; and Adam DeZego, a 2011 game design graduate and current adjunct instructor in the program. Shadow Walker the comic, drawn and written by junior Nick Beatrice, of Duxbury, Mass., tells the anti-hero’s back story.

Says Olivier, speaking for the student-driven development team, “Four years ago we never thought we would release our senior project to 70,000 people at a show like PAX East. Through the experiences we have had at Becker—designing educational games for community and cultural organizations and receiving invaluable exposure to industry professionals—we are prepared to make the next best-seller, or create serious games.”

“The students were ambitious enough to incorporate a number of professional development tools including the 3D engine Unity, Maya, Zbrush, Pro Tools, and a full-body motion capture system,” says Professor Ulm. The game was play-tested by the college’s 15-member Quality Assurance Team.

2012 will mark Becker College’s third year at PAX East. Demonstrating its entrepreneurial approach to video game education, Becker led the way in 2010 as one of only four colleges or universities to exhibit at Boston’s first industry-targeted PAX expo. Today, Becker College is still leading the way as home to the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI), a statewide center designated by the Commonwealth for academic cooperation, economic development, and job creation in the Massachusetts digital games cluster. PAX East organizers Reed Exhibitions recently announced a $325,000 contribution to MassDiGI at the same time the popular video gaming event committed to stay in Boston for the next 10 years, and its goal to make PAX East one of the largest gaming events in the world.