PVIT Students Design Their Own Game


PVIT Game Design character designed by Rose Feng. (Photo courtesy of Rose Feng)

Video games are a wildly popular activity among teens, especially high school students.  Many high school students spend hours playing video games everyday, but has anyone ever stopped to think how the graphics, art, and sound effects (among many other important components) were created? In addition to being able to play these video games, students are also given the opportunity to create their own.The Palos Verdes Institute of Technology (PVIT) offers an unforeseen branch of technological experience to its array of opportunities this year: the PVIT Game Design Team. In addition to being able to code, build underwater and on-land remote operated vehicles, rockets, robots, as well as a number of other opportunities, students are able to hone in on a variety of skills, all while having the opportunity to work with friends and peers on a very elaborate project: creating a video game.  

Team leader and senior Katie Choi describes the goal of the PVIT Game Design Team: “…to create a high-level, fully functioning video game as a group…The team, consisting of various artists, software developers, and other talents decides which game type to pursue as a focus point and collaborates to create a full game. Everyone gains experience in the various aspects of game creation and is able to focus on their specific passions oriented around video game development.”

Though it is known for being focused on mainly engineering and technology, the broad scope of PVIT’s programs allows room for artists and musicians to contribute to the game design process. One of the most memorable aspects of a video game is its art. Junior Rose Feng speaks on what it is like when art and coding meet. 

“Art and coding go hand in hand more than you’d expect in game design. The artwork has to be specific dimensions in order for the coders to be able to work with them. Also, if coders need something fixed the artwork comes directly back to me so I can make changes and send it back to the coding group,” Feng said.

The PVIT Game Design program also enables students with various skills and backgrounds to find a common interest. Freshman Dylan Kelley remarks on how PVIT has helped the move from a middle school to high school setting. 

“As a freshman, PVIT helped me get to know the sophomores, juniors, and seniors…I’ve learned the basics of coding and the game software,” Kelley said.

To no surprise, some students’ experiences in PVIT’s various teams have opened many doors into the wide expanse of the engineering world and beyond.Students like Feng have had the ability to pick up new concepts much different from their own particular skill set. 

“I cannot imagine making a whole game on my own, but my art background combined with my team members’ coding experience creates a well-rounded team where everyone contributes their talents, while also learning about the other topics! Even though I work on art design, through my communications with the coding team I’ve been able to learn how the code works for our game,” Feng said. 

These experiences take students beyond the PVHS campus.

“PVIT allowed me to find my passion for computer science and granted me a deeper understanding of STEM with experienced mentors assisting my journey,” Choi said. 

“My experience in PVIT eventually led to my internship with the United States Space Force, where I was able to utilize what I learned and introduce a new creative perspective as a high school student.”