5 Alumni design Grabbles video game
June 26, 2014
A group of Stetson alumni–majors in digital arts, computer science, business and other programs–have designed a video game called Grabbles, which, according to the website, is a deceptively simple, yet “addictive” platformer that requires the player to navigate the levels in an unconventional way. Rather than running and jumping, Grabbles pull themselves through a treacherous alien world using their two sticky elastic appendages. The game features include:
- Online and Local Multiplayer
- Arena, Deathmatch, and Race modes
- Single Player / Co-op Campaign
- Stretchy, dynamic, physics-based character
- You play using a mouse, touchscreen, or any standard controller
- Runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.
Zebadiah Long, one of the founders said that the group took inspiration from recent indie games like Super Meat Boy and Braid. He explained that their “simple mechanic” made the games “really dynamic and fun.”
Long, who graduated Stetson in 2009 as a computer science major, collaborated with Stetson’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and involved several current majors in beta-testing the game. “We worked cooperatively with Zeb and company to help out,” said Michael Branton, Ph.D., professor of mathematics and computer science. “Zeb also then gave a talk to the Stetson ACM club on game development.”
The Grabbles production team, pictured from left to right: Brent Walker ’09, Joseph Flanagan, Francisco Boden ’14, Brad Murphy, Zebadiah Long ’09, Sebastian Amunategui, and David Plakon ’09, are members of Noble Whale Studios, captained by Zeb Long and Brad Murphy. (Henry Toland ‘08, is not pictured.) In addition to graduating with majors in math and computer science, the team’s combined majors also span digital arts, business administration as well as other programs in arts and sciences.
Noble Whale Studios is an independent game studio formed by childhood friends. After graduating college in 2009, they moved in together and soon found themselves collaborating on simple prototypes and experimental games. Their first mobile game “Poo Monkeys” never saw the light of day, but resulted in a related side project named, “Liquid Color Live Wallpaper,” being released on the Android market. They are planning their first major commercial release in 2014. With their tight-knit crew pieced together from past roommates, current roommates, and friends of roommates, they thought it only appropriate to name their studio after the house where it all began, “The Whale.”
The team is building a Kickstarter campaign to launch in the upcoming months. For now, these Stetson alumni are looking to raise awareness.
by Grace Aguda