IEEE-ICEO Announces UAT Team Tellus as Winners of Game Design Competition

TEMPE, AZ--(Marketwire - Dec 9, 2011) - The IEEE announced Tellus as the winner of the second contest in the SAVEEARTHGAME Playable Game Design Competition. The Tellus team created and submitted a fully functional game that challenges players to save the Earth based off real-world data and issues.

IEEE collaborated with Digipen in 2009 to launch a two-part contest to develop a game that allowed players to use Earth Observation to solve world problems. The first phase was to develop a game concept showing how real-world events such as flooding, agriculture and energy changes affect people and the Earth. The game idea would use real-time data that was a direct outcome of the game session dependent on the decisions the player made.

Faculty and students at the University of Advancing Technology stepped up to the challenge and crafted a game concept they called Tellus. Their idea was chosen to go on to the second contest where the objective was to create a playable computer game.

David Wessman, faculty member at the University of Advancing Technology, put together a team of students to create a playable version of Tellus. Over the last year and a half, the team worked an average of 90 hours a week, collectively designing the look and feel of the game, creating assets and crafting game systems. The most challenging part was to take a complex topic and distill it into a game that was fun for children ages 9-18.

Wessman commented about how proud he is of his students for their ability to work together despite the fact that most of them had never met before. The Tellus team was able to come together and create a game offering a positive answer to the question "Can a video game save the Earth?" Wessman said, "Our goal was to create a game that raises awareness and educates players about the critical role that Earth Observation systems and data have to play in ensuring that humanity can build a sustainable future with a rising quality of life for everyone."

The Tellus team put together a solution that won them first place in the SAVEEARTHGAME competition. The IEEE Committee on Earth Observation will award the Tellus team monetarily and contribute funds toward student licenses for Unity Pro.

Contact Information:

Jennifer Wagner
UAT/Media Relations