Wednesday, September 16, 2015

UIS students develop games to help pay for college

A pair of twins at the University of Illinois Springfield have found a unique way to help their parents afford school – developing video games.

The Jacksonville natives, Matthew and Nathan Dean, say it all started off as a fun hobby. The two started playing the computer game ROBLOX, a free-to-play online sandbox game where users create and develop content, back in 2009. It was when they entered college that they started to explore the map designing portion of the game that their interest in it took off.

“We have made some popular games on the ROBLOX platform,” said Matthew Dean, a senior at the University of Illinois Springfield who alongside his brother has developed some of the most popular games on the site.

It was during 2011 when things changed for the twins. The designers of ROBLOX offered up a payment method for players; allowing users to spend real money for in-game currency which they could spend on buying in-game items or perks for the digital avatars. For the developers who create those items that people are purchasing – the designers can then trade in that digital currency for real-life cash.

Since the Dean twins offered up their first purchasable item in 2011 their digital market place has been very profitable. The twins have netted roughly 40,000 dollars since their first purchase on the ROBLOX market.

“ROBLOX is a game development platform,” says Nathan Dean. He continues to say, “So basically it gives you all the tools you need to create the games yourself.”

The story was reported by WICS-TV 20 on September 15, 2015.

Watch the story online.