VP of Academic Affairs

» SPSU Home / Vice President Academic Affairs / Faculty and Staff /

Collaborative project unites game-design, architecture students and faculty

A collaborative venture launched this fall has upper-level students in architecture and computer game design and development (CGDD) working together with faculty members and university administrators on a project that will cap off the final year of their studies.


Students in both majors are required to complete a capstone or signature project during their last year of school. When Prof. Richard Cole, interim dean of the School of Architecture and Construction Management, approached Dr. Zvi Szafran, vice president for Academic Affairs, with ideas about increasing cross-collaboration, Dr. Szafran suggested that upper-level students in architecture and CGDD might be able to help each other out quite well.


As a result, architecture thesis students Patrick Chopson and Logan Brennan are working with 12 students in CGDD’s Capstone course. The collaboration will enrich the architectural thesis designs by illustrating them with interactive computer games.


The basic storylines of Chopson’s and Brennan’s projects involve the architecture of a colony on Mars. The CGDD students are working in teams to develop games that include a protagonist, colony leader and an antagonist. The games will advance the storylines through architectural drawings and models as the protagonist and antagonist battle over the colony.


Dr. Sam Conn, SPSU chief information officer, is supporting the effort by making virtualized software available to the project team, and Dave Parham, director of tech support in University Information Technology Services, is helping to manage the IT effort. Dr. Szafran and SPSU President Lisa A. Rossbacher are also supporting the team by serving as chemistry and geology consultants, respectively.


School of Computing and Software Engineering faculty members Dr. Jon Preston (CGDD coordinator) and Dr. Jeff Chastine (associate professor in CGDD), and architecture professors Cole, Chris Welty and Manole Voroneanu are also managing the project in various capacities.