For one group of University of Saskatchewan students, the final class projects were not papers or essays but working video games made from scratch.

Students in the 400-level Game Design Workshop course worked for four months, honing their skills and learning to make the games.

The class was split up into different teams, each tasked with making a game on a different platform with different challenges.

Professor Kevin Stanley gave his students a series of unique specifications for each game the students developed. The groups had to develop games for Playstation, XBox Kinect, tablets and virtual reality.

Fun, but challenging

For students like Colby Lemieux, working on a tablet game offered a new chance to be creative.

"It was nice to just [kind of] be free with how we were making the game," said Lemieux. 

But his group had to make the game multiplayer for four other users, which he said was the trickiest part. After learning to to make it work, Lemieux said the experience was worth it.

"After taking so long to build it and seeing all the bugs, when they don't actually come up when people are playing and if it's like how it's supposed to be, it's pretty rewarding," said Lemieux.

The Future of Indie Game Makers - UofS

Connor Lavoy and his group had to develop a game for a virtual reality system. (Victoria Dihn)

Virtual reality among project platforms

Another group was tasked with developing a game on a new platform called Oculus Rift, which is a virtual reality system.

"I get motion sick," said Stanley. "So their challenge was to make a virtual reality game that wouldn't give me naseua."

The Rift was one of two VR platforms the students were assigned to work on. Graduate student Connor Lavoy said building a game for a new technology is fun but challenging. 

"I think people are finding it difficult because ... it's a new platform. Many people aren't used to this sort of interaction. They're used to mouse and keyboard and Xbox style controls," said Lavoy.

This is the first year the class was offered. For students like Lavoy and Lemieux, it offers a chance to experience what it's like to work on video games professionally. 

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said this was the second year the class was offered. It was, in fact, the first.
    Apr 12, 2017 10:40 AM CT
With files from CBC's Victoria Dinh