Becker Game Students Dominate the MA Game Challenge

Published on Thursday, April 30th, 2009

For the second year running, James R. Grant, III, Andrew D. Silvernail, and Patrick C. Walley have created the winning game in 38 Studios’ Massachusetts Game Challenge (MGC). The news was revealed at a reception on April 29 at 38 Studios’ Maynard, Mass. headquarters. The students are all members of the first class that will graduate from Becker, on May 9, with a bachelor’s degree in interactive entertainment.

After announcing the second and third place slots, taken by two teams from WPI, a 38 Studios executive commented that, “apparently Worcester is the place to be if you want to make games.”

The contest’s main requirement was to create a game featuring 38 Studios’ mascot, a little green monster called Munch. Munch’s Vacation, Part 2 is a sequel to Grant, Silvernail, and Walley’s first winning MGC entry, Munch’s Vacation. Charged to create a five-level platform game, the team went with a classic game style, like Super Mario Brothers. Part 2 has the same flavor, this time players use a left-to-right shooter, and the team further developed the characters from the first game. Like any great team, they split up the work, Silvernail handled the programming and technical design, Grant the level design and sound effects, and Walley art and creative design. Both games will be available for free play on

“The students’ passion and ambition combine with the skills they learn in class and a social environment that allows people with different talents to work together,” said Terassa Ulm, instructor of design. She described Grant, Silvernail, and Walley as promising, ambitious, and “all about personality.”

Becker College began offering the bachelor’s degree in interactive entertainment four years ago, to give aspiring game developers an opportunity to specialize in game design or game programming, while building a sound academic foundation. Talented students graduate with skill to not only work at their favorite game company, but to go into a variety of fields including computer software development, multimedia design, movie development.

38 Studios was founded by Curt Schilling, retired Red Sox pitcher, who says the MGC encourages young talent and that he wants student game developers to look at 38 Studios as the place to be when they graduate. According to Rich Gallup, a 38 Studios producer, the MGC winners were selected from “dozens” of entries.

About 38 Studios
38 Studios, a media and entertainment company founded in 2006 by Curt Schilling, is in pre-production on an original fantasy IP driven by the creative and artistic visions of pop-culture icons R. A. Salvatore and Todd McFarlane. Entertainment products will include a massively immersive online entertainment experience that transcends the traditional MMO genre, novels, comics, toys, movies, TV, and more. For more information, visit

PHOTO L-R: 38 Studios CEO Brett Close, James Grant, Andrew Silvernail, Patrick Walley, and 38 Studios founder and retired Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling