October 28, 2015
CONTACT: Jason Pace, firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-681-1232
Dozens of University of Washington Bothell students collaborate across disciplines to create new mobile game Ghostlight Manor
More than 40 UW Bothell students from a wide range of majors and programs collaborated on the ghoulishly fun Ghostlight Manor adventure game for iOS, Android, and Amazon devices.
BOTHELL, Wash. – The University of Washington Bothell’s Digital Future Lab announces the release of Ghostlight Manor by student publishers Nybble Studios. The Halloween-themed mobile game is the first commercial game from the Digital Future Lab and is among the largest University-sponsored game development projects.
Ghostlight Manor takes players on an epic journey where they must use their wits, a trusty robot companion, and a group of helpful cats to scare away an army of classic Halloween monsters. Produced by a team of more than 40 undergraduate students over an 18 month development cycle, Ghostlight Manor began haunting iOS, Android, and Amazon Kindle Fire devices today.
Digital Future Lab (DFL) is an interactive media research and development studio at the University of Washington Bothell, staffed largely by undergraduate students. DFL as a game studio is unique: with one of the highest staff diversity profiles in the games industry, dozens of students from diverse backgrounds crossing majors and degree programs come together over 12-24 months to work on a wide array of interactive experiences, with individual contributions ranging from a single academic quarter to the full production cycle and beyond. Student developers, artists, designers, music composers, audio engineers, producers, marketers, testers, and others contribute to all areas of development and receive equity in the final products. Ghostlight Manor is the first commercial offering to launch from the studio.
“We’ve spent the last three years creating a commercial production studio pipeline that supports the unique requirements of the undergraduate experience,” said Jason Pace, Digital Future Lab studio head and Executive Director. “Our biggest challenge was developing a way for students without a lot of domain expertise and with limited time to drive a large percentage of design and development on high-quality productions. We’re all incredibly excited to see our first commercial effort launch!”
The DFL uses video game development in many ways, focusing on both the learning environment for teaching high-level concepts such as interaction design and user research, to helping students explore and develop their professional identities by allowing them to significantly contribute to long-term projects with an industry quality bar. “Many of DFL’s efforts begin as academic research projects, so our students get great exposure to the connections between theory and product development; Ghostlight Manor, for example, began as a prototype to teach introductory programming concepts and is currently being used in a number of curricular contexts,” Pace said.
Commercial Ghostlight Manor is a strategic arcade puzzler where players of all ages will face legions of monsters over 51 levels and 13 game modes that require multiple strategies to master. Accompanied only by some friendly cats and a loyal robot companion capable of revealing and scaring away creatures of the night, players encounter a rogue’s gallery of ghoulish but endearing characters with unique abilities that work together to increase the challenge. In-game achievements, beautifully haunted environments, and a lush musical score provide hours of ghastly gameplay perfect for long, stormy nights!
Pace is proud of the level of quality the students have achieved with the project. “More than 40 of our UW Bothell students from all around our campus and programs have poured a lot of love into this game over the last year and a half and it shows, from the gameplay to the characters and environments to the original musical score. I’m not aware of another University project of this scale that includes students from so many majors.”
Ghostlight Manor is available on the App Store now, and will be available in Google Play Store, and Amazon App Store by mid-November for $1.99. For more information and up-to-date release details, please visit the official product page digitalfuturelab.com/ghostlight/.