Welcome to Phoenix: Socent Studio

Happy New Year! I hope you had an awesome start to 2016.

Looking back at last year I'm grateful for all of the wonderful people and opportunities that cam our way. One of these highlights is Justin Bastian and his endeavor to create The Deadliest War video game. The Deadliest War is a project to develop an entertainment video game to highlight the issue of conflict minerals in electronics.

Justin appeared on my radar over a year ago and we've been in contact on and off since then. While discussing the details of starting a video game company and developing the initial game concept, I proposed that he offer the opportunity to University of Advancing Technology (UAT) students to design the prototype through the UAT Game Studios program that I co-teach. Justin loved the idea and dove right in.

He and Socent Studios, his vehicle for The Deadliest War, relocated to Phoenix and successfully pitched the concept to the students at UAT last December. They begin pre-production this week with an initial release plan of 15 weeks to try out features and design ideas.

As enthusiastic as I am about this project and the potential opportunities for Game CoLab, UAT students, and ultimately to raise awareness of and end the conflict in the Congo, to fully appreciate his passion and vision you must hear directly from Justin. He's recapped the exciting journey in his blog post: Greenlit.

Now that Justin's in town, I hope you'll get to know him and this project more and I'm excited to not only have more people get into games, but have more games get into Phoenix!

2016 is starting off to be an excellent year and this is just the tip of the iceberg. We, at Game CoLab, wish you a productive and successful year and look forward to seeing you around.

Reminder: We're hosting the Global Game Jam 2016 at UAT from January 29th - 31st with an open play session and awards ceremony on Sunday, the 31st from 4:30-7pm. Find out more about the program and register to take part here: http://globalgamejam.org/2016/jam-sites/phoenix-global-game-jam-2016

Cheers, Ben


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