Drum roll, please.
Game Art & Design faculty member, Alan Flores, is just about ready for his close-up. As lead designer of Drums of War, Alan’s indie game will be front and center during IndieCade Showcase as an official selection at this year’s E3 Expo, June 12-14, at the L.A. Convention Center.
Alan, who teaches Game 106: Game Code Fundamentals and Game 240: Networked Game Development, will be on the floor with Game student, Cameron Williams, demoing Drums of War for the full three-day run of the show (To learn more about the game, click or tap here). Each year, IndieCade curates a spectrum of video games, installations, and tabletop games at its E3 booth. The goal is to reflect the breadth of the independent game space. Last year’s E3 drew some 68,000 attendees.
“This is sensational news for Alan and his students,” says Novak, Chair, Game Art & Design/Animation. “The competition was fierce.” Adds Sue Vessella, Dean of the School of Media, Culture & Design “Congratulations to Alan! We are fortunate to have him at Woodbury.”
Working with lead artist, Mark Scott, Alan fashioned a realm where the gamer can play as a powerful Orc drummer who uses “weaponized drums to kill filthy dwarf scum, burn their villages to the ground and free fellow Orcs in a cross between Overlord and Donkey Kong Jungle beat.” Enlisting drum sticks in virtual reality to bang a virtual drum kit moves the Orc and unleashes his potent arsenal.
“The original idea for this game came to me while watching the troll drummers in the Lord of the Rings movies,” Alan says. “I thought if I could make people feel like a ‘badass’ troll drummer, that would constitute a unique gaming experience. My goal was to create a new type of music rhythm game, something you might call a ‘VR music rhythm combat RPG.’”
Alan initially wanted to try this approach while working on the Playstation Move game Sports Champions 2, but, absent the free look a VR heads-up display affords, he wasn’t convinced he would be able to fulfill his vision. “Seeing the drummers at the back of the vehicles in Mad Max Fury Road stoked the idea again,” he recalls. “Obsessed with the concept ever since, I picked up an Oculus touch kit last year and built a quick mockup.” That did the trick.
Alan holds a B.S. in Physics from UCLA and joined the Woodbury faculty in January 2017. Among the highlights of his game design career: Lead Designer of Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock, Guitar Hero Metallica, Band Hero, Tony Hawk’s Project 8, Tony Hawk’s Underground 2, with engagements at Kung Fu Factory, Zindagi Games and Neversoft Entertainment. He also served as co-founder, Gamebot School LLC, a company dedicated to providing students with the best hands-on knowledge of video game development in a creative and safe environment.