August 16, 2018

The Great War PC Game Commemorates WW1

The Great War

How are video games made? That’s what Nick Reed wondered as a child.

“I loved playing video games and wanted to know how they were made. So after serving six years in the Navy, I decided it was time to spread my creative wings and do something I really enjoy,” Nick said.

After searching for the perfect school, Nick enrolled at UAT to study Game Design in January 2013. With financial backing from a GI Bill, he knew it was time to get to work on making his dream into a career.

“I like the environment here – it’s small and community oriented.”

In Spring 2015, Nick began designing a PC Game called The Great War: Strategic Tactical Advance on Unity 5.1, which was started as a Greenlight demo project in the GAM 381 class at UAT. Nick’s project was “greenlighted” or chosen by his professors and classmates to be created into a full version of the game.

Nick Reed - UAT Game Design

Nick Reed working in the UAT Commons

Nick dove in head first, conducting extensive research on the history of World War 1. He selected audio from the time period, included actual battles from WW1, and designed a war stricken scenery of shell craters, barren land and run-down shelters. He also used replicas of actual weaponry from the time period such as machine guns, rifles, tanks, and cannons or ‘howitzers.’

Nick also created the architecture and mechanics of game play, level design, user interface design, and narrative.

How does one play “The Great War: Strategic Tactical Advance?” Here’s the plot. You are the British army and your enemy, played by the computer, represents the Germans. You take on the role of allied armies and will always be fighting against the enemy. This is a real time strategy game; it takes some planning and strategy, similarly to chess. The goal is to advance your units across the map and take out the enemy. Utilize the WASD or arrow keys to move your player across the screen. In order to win the game, you must take over the opponent’s trench lines.

The idea for this game was triggered when Nick realized that 2014 was the Centennial of World War 1, so he decided to commemorate the 100-year milestone with a video game.

Investing a full semester on the game, Nick has recently added a few classmates to work on the project with him during the summer semester. They plan to add animation, allowing characters more movement such as the ability to enter into trenches, barracks, and climb up ladders into no man’s land.

Nick is glad he found UAT, “I like the environment here – it’s small and community oriented. We all know each other and work together on projects. There’s also many veterans attending UAT, and we easily relate and band together.”

What’s the best part of making your own game?

“It’s rewarding when you get to play your own game or show someone else how to play it.”

We think it’s safe to say that Nick’s dream of designing video games is headed in the right direction!

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