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Leaping the competition: Lufkin students win national game development contest

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 6:38 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - A group of Lufkin ISD students designed a computer game that won the SkillsUSA Interactive Application and Game Development national contest.

From one lily pad to another, players can now test their skills with Frog Flip!, a game designed entirely by a group of four Lufkin ISD students.

“The plot was that he got tired of his day job,” explained Lufkin ISD graduate Michael Hill. “He’s trying to get more out of life, so he tries to hop his way to outer space.”

It’s a plot familiar to many, but in technical terms, the game is an infinitely scrolling vertical platformer.

“Which basically means like you start at the bottom and you keep going up for as long as you possibly can, and the frog just hopes off lily pads and stuff like that,” Hill said. “It keeps going until you die. You keep replaying it to earn more things and customize your frog. There’s an achievement system.”

Lufkin ISD graduates Hill and Noah Hillis will tell you a lot of work went into the game. It involved more than 400 hours of programming, developing, composing music, and rendering artwork.

“There was a lot of math geometry, arc tangents stuff to do some of it,” Hill said. “Lot of partial motion and algebra.”

“Also just knowing the language and getting the syntax right,” Hillis said.

They took their program and design to the district, state, and national competitions … and hopped over all the competitors to win first place. - a golden lily pad, if you will.

“We had to do another test and another interview, and we won first place,” Hillis said.

“I’m so proud of what they’ve done and how they worked together as a team,” said Lufkin ISD Animation Teacher and Sponsor Tracie Miller. “It was just fantastic.”

“I was not expecting to hear our name come up on the gold medalist position,” Hill said. “It’s a really good feeling. It doesn’t feel real honestly.”

To play Frog Flip, which was created by Lufkin ISD students, click here.

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