UNM Engineering Professor, Students Working to Sell Games to Xbox

March 20, 2009

pradeepIn April, STC.UNM will present awards to Assistant Professor for Electrical and Computer Engineering Pradeep Sen and five of his computer gaming students. The students conceived and developed simple versions of computer games, and Sen is working with STC.UNM to help them navigate the legal hurdles and copyright their games. One of the games is now in Beta testing with Xbox, and development is proceeding with the others.

Sen says Xbox allows players to develop games and submit them to the playing community on the Xbox site. Players critique them and offer suggestions, which can be used to improve the game until the playing community deems it ready. At that point the game can be offered on the site either for free or a small amount of money. If any of the games make it to that final stage, the developer of the game will make royalties, and the university, through STC.UNM, will also make money from sales.

Sen would like to take each group of students in his computer gaming classes through the copyright stage because he believes it will help them understand the legal process needed to protect their intellectual property if they want to develop games professionally. He says it will also help develop UNM’s reputation as a welcoming place for gamers to perfect their skills.

Sen explains, “I would like to see UNM develop the reputation for supporting game development. This allows students to do complex problem solving in a context they understand.” This is the first group of gamers to have copyright projects through the university.

Students who will receive the creative awards from STC.UNM are Justin Kellogg for “Missile Defender,” Jeremy Wright and Craig Vineyard for “Buccaneer Bonanza,” John Harger for “Toybox Racing” and Guanyu Wang for “XTank.”

Lisa Kuuttila, President and CEO of STC.UNM, the wholly owned corporation that patents and markets intellectual property at the university says, “The games created by the talented students in the class are a welcome addition to the STC Intellectual Property portfolio. STC is a technology leader in technology transfer and used a variety of tools, including its on-line end-user licensing mechanism called foliodirect to transfer copy materials.”

The STC.UNM Creative Awards will be presented during a reception on Monday April 13, 2009 at 5:30 p.m. in the Science and Technology Park Rotunda at 801 University Blvd. SE on UNM’s south campus. The public is welcome to attend.