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The Observer

The Student Newspaper of Case Western Reserve University

CIA and CWRU students collaborate on iPhone game ChromaWaves

Rachel Craft

Issue date: 3/5/10 Section: Focus
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ChromaWaves revolves around the objective of protecting a globular core by shooting down attacking enemies. The game heavily utilizes the iPod and iPhone touch screens, a new feature among CIA and CWRU game designers.
ChromaWaves revolves around the objective of protecting a globular core by shooting down attacking enemies. The game heavily utilizes the iPod and iPhone touch screens, a new feature among CIA and CWRU game designers.
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Last Friday, the design team of ChromaWaves, a color- and music-mixing game for the iPod and iPod Touch, hosted a panel discussion on its product. The event, which drew a crowd of about 50, offered a detailed look at the design and production of the game, soon to become available on the App Store.

EECS 390, Advanced Game Design, is offered every fall to both Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Institute of Art students. There is no instructio - students are expected to know basic game design skills from their previous courses - and the classroom serves only as a meeting place for students to collaborate on the semester-long class project. In the past, projects have typically been XBox games, so this fall's iPhone app was a bit of an experiment. It turned out to be a success. The students were able to produce a finished, working, and even marketable game by the end of the semester; in fact, ChromaWaves is expected to launch within the next few weeks. All proceeds will benefit Child's Play, a nonprofit organization that donates games to young hospital patients.

The idea of the game is to protect a "core" in the center of the screen by shooting down approaching "enemies." To destroy one of the amoeba-like enemies, the player must flick the core in the enemy's direction while simultaneously pressing buttons corresponding to the enemy's color. The buttons function as a sort of palette: blue and yellow must be pressed together to attack a green enemy, yellow and red for an orange enemy, etc. In this way ChromaWaves takes advantage of one of the most appealing features of the iPhone and iPod Touch: multitouch capabilities.

The students involved said this year's success could be partly attributed to the project's small scale in comparison to previous years. Another contributing factor was the exceptional work ethic: this year's team members were more dedicated than past students, and they were all willing to work on the project as much as necessary outside of class, even during the following spring semester. In fact, senior mechanical engineering student Jesse Lee was not enrolled in the class, but donated his time to help CIA student Andrew Kuhar put together the game's soundtrack note by note.
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In This Issue


  • 2010 USG executive board candidates speak
  • Can you name this place?
  • Minh for the win? Current vice president of student life Minh-Tri Nguyen seeks USG presidency
  • New performing arts center announced
  • Representative Barbara Lee addresses concerns over new health care bill
  • SEC proposes cutting 20 percent of Greek life funds
  • Undergraduate Student Government polls open through tonight
  • Weberian politics: Current vice president of finance Max Weber campaigns for the USG presidency


  • CWRU head coaches conference's lowest paid
  • Distance does well at Wake Forest
  • Future is promising for new boathouse
  • Mather Park close to completion
  • Men's tennis squeaks by Walsh, pound John Carroll
  • Spartan Spotlight: Steve Bills
  • Spartans get swept
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  • Z's return

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  • Editorial: Maltz Center a great gift, with some questions remaining
  • Foreign sentiments: an American's reception abroad
  • Formality: dead and gone
  • Letters to the Editor: firearms and Greek funding
  • State of health care not worthy of "crisis" label
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  • An in-depth look: Will You Marry Us?
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  • CIA Student Exhibition displays student works with minimalist atmosphere
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  • Notes from the flowers: florals for spring
  • Over 300 films from over 60 countries in one city: The 34th annual Cleveland International Film Festival
  • Ryan Keytack wins Dancing with the CWRU Stars
  • Sex and dating: A capacity for change
  • The Buzz



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