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Student-created video game gets spotlight at SCAD GamingFest

2021 SCAD GamingFest goes virtual
2021 SCAD GamingFest goes virtual
Updated: Apr. 9, 2021 at 12:07 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah College of Art and Design’s annual festival for game design and development is shining the spotlight on some of its own creative talents.

A team of SCAD alumni will have the chance to showcase their work at SCAD GamingFest during a presentation Saturday morning called “The Making of Zoelie.”

“For the entire team, seeing it in a spotlight like this is incredibly surreal,” 2020 SCAD Alum Dixon Dubow said.

He’s one of more than 40 SCAD students who teamed up to create a new video game called “Zoelie.” The game was a cross-departmental collaboration that included students in the game design program, the illustration department, and the sound design department.

The game focuses on a young girl’s quest to find her sister, using the help of a magic blanket, a cat, and other companions she meets along the way. Dubow worked as an environmental artist on the project, creating Zoelie’s world and everything in it.

“We really wanted to explore the way the child sees the world and kind of that openness and imagination that’s present in all of us,” Dubow said. “It was a lot of fun to kind of tap into that and explore how we would see our environment growing up.”

The student development team began creating the characters, storyline and virtual world for Zoelie before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. They would finish the project virtually over the next several months.

“When we all started this project in January, we would not have foreseen that we would end it all over the country and internationally,” Dubow said. “It was rough. It was an adjustment and several of us lost family, myself included, but I think it really speaks to the resiliency of the team.”

Dubow graduated and took a job working as a marketing liaison for a gaming company and says the skills he learned in SCAD’s interactive design and game development program translate into so many opportunities beyond creating games for people to enjoy.

“I do have friends who work on ‘Call of Duty.’ I do have friends who are on ‘Overwatch,’” Dubow said. “I’ve also had friends who work at Volvo. I even have friends working with the CIA. They cannot tell me what they do, but they’re doing it with a degree in interactive design and game development.”

For more information on SCAD GamingFest 2021, click here.

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