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Animation Students Create Quick, Easy-to-learn Video Game and Find Mainstream Success

Photo by BYU Photo

Only three days after the launch of the Vanguards video game — the BYU Center for Animation students’ senior project — 1,500 people had already downloaded and played it.

“We guessed that anywhere from 30 to 400 people might have played it once it went up on Steam, which is the computer-game equivalent of the App Store or Google Play,” said animation student Garrett Egan, the game’s producer. “We never expected to get four times that many downloads so quickly.”

Despite the surprise, that doesn’t mean the success of Vanguards wasn’t earned. Every year, the senior animation students lead a project to build a video game. But this year, they set themselves up with a tough challenge: create their version of a multiplayer online battle arena game, or MOBA, one of the most popular and complex genres, and also make it simple enough for anyone — gamers and non-gamers alike — to figure out.

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