Popular Game Designer Advises Heinz College Students on Innovative Project

Nov 19, 2012


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A team of Masters of Information Systems Management (MISM) students from Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III College has been working on an innovative gaming project under the advisement of game design professor Ira Fay.

Fay, an assistant professor of game design & development at Quinnipiac University, earned his masters degree from Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center. After his time at CMU, Fay worked in game development at Activision and Electronic Arts (EA), where he served as the lead developer of several top web and mobile games.

 “The team is trying to build the first multiuser video chat board game on Google Plus,” said Yutong Han, a MISM student working on the project. “We were inspired by the transitional party game Mafia, in which people are trying to finish tasks based on the roles they are assigned.”

“Bad guys are trying to hide their identity to accomplish their task, and the fun comes from the debating and logical analysis.”

Han notes that a major issue with the game is that it requires all players to be present in the same room at the same time, and a player eliminated early might get bored.

“Realizing the restrictions of the traditional Mafia game, we decided the build an website for the game so that players are able to join the online game whenever and wherever they are,” said Han.

Fay has been helping the team in an advisory capacity.  According to Han, Fay has offered insightful suggestions on the game rules and design.

“Ira's knowledge and experience helped us greatly,” Han said. “Moreover, he has been really encouraging and insightful for the entire team.”

Students in the School of Information Systems and Management are required to complete a capstone project structured around one of five areas of concentration: electronic commerce, business intelligence, information security management, medical informatics or service management.

Students routinely do projects with clients of varying size, from startup companies to Fortune 100 corporations. The project drivers vary widely from e-marketing to data analytics, and each project requires significant client interaction.

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