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U. student-produced video game wins international competition

Screenshot from the PC game, "Cyber Heist.” The game, which has players portray college students sneaking into a building to erase their student debt from the Department of Education computers, won Best Student Game in the Serious Games Showcase and Chall
Screenshot from the PC game, "Cyber Heist.” The game, which has players portray college students sneaking into a building to erase their student debt from the Department of Education computers, won Best Student Game in the Serious Games Showcase and Challenge in Orlando.
University of Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — Student video game developers from the University of Utah’s Entertainment Arts and Engineering video game program have won Best Student Game in the Serious Games Showcase and Challenge in Orlando.

The award was announced earlier this month for the two-player action game “Cyber Heist.”

The PC game is a heart-stopping adventure where two players who portray college students try to infiltrate the Department of Education in the year 2114 to erase their student debt from the agency’s computers.

One player controls a student who sneaks through the building in a first-person perspective, trying to avoid security drones, while the second player uses an overhead map to act as a guide. The point of the game is to help players use good communication skills and teamwork to succeed.

In addition to winning Best Student Game, the winning students also received $30,000 worth of Autodesk 3-D modeling software.

It took a team of 13 graduate students 18 months to create “Cyber Heist,” said the game’s lead designer, Jake Muehle, who graduated this past spring with a master’s degree in the program, a new graduate degree at the University of Utah for video game developers.

The game is available free for download at desura.com. Muehle also is working to sell a version of the game through the popular digital distribution service Steam.