Swinburne game up for Best Student Game at The Game Awards 2017

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Members of Glitch Crab Studios doing work

The team of eight students formed Glitch Crab Studios for their capstone project

In summary

  • Level Squared is a 2D platformer where the player controls a square with a beating heart
  • The game allows players to project, clone and move objects within a level
  • Category will be judged by a judging panel including Kojima Productions’ Hideo Kojima

A 2D puzzle platformer game produced by a team of Swinburne students has been nominated for Best Student Game at The Game Awards 2017.

The team of games and interactivity and computer science students, named Glitch Crab Studios, joined forces to complete their capstone project and create Level Squared (stylised as LVL2).

“It’s incredibly rewarding to be nominated,” says LVL2 producer Kip Brennan.

“It’s very humbling, looking at the thirty or forty categories of games that are nominated for all various different things. Some of the nominated games are amazing.”

In LVL2, players control a square with a beating heart in a minimalist world. The game features a projection mechanic which allows players to manipulate the size and position of objects relative to their own. Players can select objects to project, clone and move within the level.

As the player progresses through the game, the world changes from a plain, colourless world to one infused with light and colour.

The winner of the Student Game Award will be judged by a prestigious judging panel, consisting of:

  • Todd Howard (Executive Producer and Game Director, Bethesda Game Studios),
  • Hideo Kojima (Director, Kojima Productions)
  • Illka Paananen (CEO and Co-founder, Supercell)
  • Kim Swift (Design Director, EA Motive)
  • Vince Zampella (CEO, Respawn Entertainment)

The winner will be chosen based on the excellence and ambition of the game, without regard to the team size or the subject matter.

Despite the massive achievement of being nominated for best student game, the project had a rough beginning.

“We started out with a pitch at the start of first semester with a game called ‘Four Shadow’. That was a game about a little girl who had lost her shadow. She found some animals shadows instead and used those to help her find her own shadow,” says Mr Brennan.

“We developed that for all of first semester, and at the end of first semester we decided it wasn’t working, and it wasn’t any good so we scrapped that entire project and started over from scratch.

“Looking at it now, it was definitely the right decision.”

Mr Brennan credits the support he received from independent game developers at The Arcade and the Swinburne community, particularly games lecturer Andrew Trevillian as a factor in the game’s success.

The Game Awards will be held in Los Angeles on 7 December.

LVL2 is free to download and play on itch.io.