Surviving the Ash: A Game

Fall 2012 - Spring 2013 Project

DCL game designers created Surviving the Ash for NIU’s STEM Teen Read.

During the Spring 2013 Semester, a team of NIU students from Computer Science, Educational Technology, and Time Arts designed and developed an immersive 3D Game inspired by the teen novel Ashfall by author Mike Mullin. The students worked with Mike and with Gillian King-Cargile of NIU’s STEM Read program to create the game and integrate it as a part of the reading program.

This multiplayer 3D game allows players to experience the world, created by Mike Mullin, in which a volcano beneath Yellowstone Park has exploded, covering Midwestern United States in a blanket of ash and ashen snow. Players scavenge for food and water, escape encampments, treat diseases, and solve problems while they search for family members. The team built “Surviving the Ash” using the 3D game engine Unity 3D, Jibe, and Smartfox, programming primarily in Javascript and C# and building assets in 3D Studio Max and Photoshop. Surviving the Ash was presented to the client in May 2013 and was débuted for public play that following Summer at NIU STEM Camps. Register for a login on STEM Read to access and play the final game!

Interview with one of the Surviving the Ash game developers, and Digital Convergence Lab staff Eamon Newman.

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