Fishers resident creates award-winning video game at BSU

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By Jessica Hoover

A team of 12 students from Ball State University spent the 2019 spring semester developing an original, award-winning video game to be displayed at the Oakhurst home in Muncie.

“Canning Heroe,” is a cooperative video game for one to four players. The goal is to virtually process green beans, tomatoes and carrots for canning. The game was inspired by Muncie’s history of food preservation, specifically the canning of food into Ball jars.

Gabrielle Hogan, a 2019 BSU graduate and music media production major from Fishers, was part of the video game’s design team. Hogan composed original soundtracks and edited and created sound effects for the game.

“I was in charge of making each mini game have a 30-second soundtrack,” Hogan said. “I also was in charge of finding and creating original sound effects for the game, like chopping carrots. I brought in some actual vegetables and me and my classmates would chop carrots or peel tomatoes, and I would edit that into the game to make it more realistic.”

The game was designed for installation on touch screens at the historic Oakhurst home at Minnetrista, a Muncie museum and gathering place. Although the target audience is children and families at the museum, it also is available for download on computers, phones, tablets and other devices. To download the game, visit doctor-g.itch.io/canning-heroes.

“Canning Heroes” recently won a silver award in the student division of the International Serious Play Awards, which honors games made for education or training.

“Winning the award made me feel really accomplished, and it made me feel like I was a part of something that was way bigger than I even thought it was going to be,” Hogan said. “Since the game was geared toward kids, I hope they think that it’s a fun and educational experience. I know it was fun for us to make, too.”

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