Connor Shugg: Video Game Designer

Senior Connor Shugg designed the video game Allegria and won the National STEM Video Game Challenge. He will attend Virginia Tech in the fall to study Computer Science. Peak Student Media sat down with him to learn more. 

How did you get into video game design?

I’m in AOIT, so I’ve learned a lot of programming, and one of our classes was strictly video game design, so the whole semester we were just coding video games. That was a lot of fun and that really sparked my interest.

Tell us about your game, Allegria. How did you come up with the idea forit?

Allegria was, well I’m in the band, I play the trumpet and I’m also in AOIT so I combined those things together, and with that I just made a music themed video game.

Describe your thought process while creating the game.

I began creating the game before I knew about the contest. When I heard about it, I decided to submit it to the challenge.

What were some of the obstacles you faced while creating the game?

The hardest thing about creating it was sitting and typing for hours at a time. If you enjoy that, then it’s not a problem. Towards the end, I wanted it done, and it got harder to find the motivation to finish.

Were there any personal touches that you added?

Not Really, just what I have learned from playing the trumpet and through AOIT.

Out of 3,000 submissions, there were 18 winners. Did you believe Allegria had what it took to win before you were announced a winner?

I wasn’t entirely sure if I was going to win based on what I submitted, probably because of how popular it was, But I would say the main thing that I thought that would help it win was the fact that I made all of the resources for it. I wrote all the music in it, I drew all the pictures and all that stuff you see, and I basically came up with everything out of scratch, and that was kind of a rare occurrence cause with other games, people will find things online to use for their games, whereas I made all that stuff.

There was a $2000 prize that could have been donated to your school or to a non-profit of your choice. Which did you choose, and why?

I split it between the Apex High Marching Band Boosters and AOIT because they both had some pretty fundamental effects on me and how this game came to be cause if it weren’t for marching band, it wouldn’t have been the same game, and if it weren’t for AOIT, I wouldn’t have been able to make the game.

What would you tell someone who is looking into video game design?

There is a lot of competition out there, so try not to create something that is a cookie cutter game, and that way you’ll stand out.

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