UF senior creates his own videogames

Domesticus sample image

An early prototype image from "Domesticus."

Gators know how to make games — at least that’s the case with University of Florida senior Ahmar Rana.

He has been creating his own videogames since 1996 after he began using a basic game editing program called Klik & Play. Since then, Rana has crafted dozens of games in his spare time — most of them eccentrically surreal gameplay experiences that he enjoys sharing with friends and having a laugh about.

“I just like it when I make something and then a bunch of other people turn out to enjoy what I create,” Rana said. “It feels liberating in a way.”

Rana is currently taking interactive storytelling, a class at UF that highlights the mediums and methods in which stories can be presented. For the final project, Rana is working with a team of six other students to create “Domesticus,” a game in which the lead character discovers that his father is an android, which Rana said poses a philosophical question to the player.

“Can a machine embody true human emotions?” Rana asked. “Is it possible for a human to feel love for a machine the way they feel love for another human?”

Rana said the gameplay will follow the format of point-and-click adventure games like “Monkey Island” or “Myst.” Players will be able to walk throughout various stages solving puzzles, speaking with the game’s inhabitants and uncovering the mystery of the mechanized progenitor.

“Domesticus” will be finished in December, but Rana said his foray into game making is far from over. He plans to attend a graduate program in order to learn more about game design and eventually enter the videogame industry where he’ll be transforming his ideas from mere thoughts to virtual realities.

Above image owned by Ahmar Rana and used with permission

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November 2010

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