Drexel University

ID 657611
Updated 2/24/2017
Version Latest




Drexel is proud to be invited to IUGS since the beginning. It’s a great opportunity for Drexel students to have their work recognized on a national stage. Holding it at the premier game development industry conference makes it a great practical exercise in promoting their projects, as well as a strong networking opportunity, regardless of the competition outcome.

Drexel’s Digital Media program produces many student projects every year, so when they open their internal competition, they get student teams applying from different years (sophomores through PhD candidates), courses, and programs under the DIGM umbrella. They hold their own competition using a format similar to the actual event, modeling their judging process on the IUGS rules, and adding the overall quality of the presentation to the gameplay and visual quality categories. With energetic discussions among the faculty, they choose from their 6-8 participating teams the one team that will represent Drexel.

It’s an exciting process that becomes a goal for the students, especially after Drexel’s first-place win for gameplay last year. Opportunities like IUGS inspire students to stay focused on their projects as goals beyond just grades and portfolios.

The Team:

  • Nabeel Ansari – Composer who is responsible for the game’s beautiful music and audio design
  • Nina DeLucia and Vincent De Tommaso – Artists who work tirelessly to paint, model, and sculpt all of Sole’s art assets
  • Thomas Sharpe – Creative director and programmer

The Inspiration:

The team says: “The creative process for conceptualizing ‘Sole’ has been one of the most challenging and rewarding journeys of our artistic careers. We believe video games are an incredibly powerful tool for capturing abstract emotions that are hard to put into words. So in approaching the original design of Sole, we started with a particular emotion and worked backwards to find what kinds of interactions would evoke that feeling. The game’s core mechanic and thematic content were inspired by the internal struggles we’re currently facing in trying to figure out who we are and where we’re going in our personal and creative lives. In many ways, Sole is an allegory for all that uncertainty we’re feeling working through our first major artistic endeavor.”

The Game:

Sole is an abstract, aesthetic-driven adventure game where you play as a tiny ball of light in a world shrouded in darkness. The game is a quiet journey through desolate environments where you’ll explore the remnants of great cities to uncover the history of an ancient civilization. Paint the land with light as you explore an abandoned world with a mysterious past.

Sole is a game about exploring a world without light. As you move through the environment and discover your surroundings, you’ll leave a permanent trail of light wherever you go. Free from combat or death, Sole invites players of all skill levels to explore at their own pace. With no explicit instructions, players are left to discover their objective as they soak up the somber ambiance.

Development and Hardware:

The team says: “Developing the game on Intel’s newest hardware has given us the opportunity to experiment with many visual effects we previously couldn’t achieve. As a result, we are now able to incorporate DirectX 11 shaders for our grass, add more props and details to the environment, and render the world with multiple post-processing effects. The feel of our game changed dramatically once we had access to hardware that was capable of powering the latest rendering technology.”