Computer science student develops video game


Ben Prengler

Senior Ben Speicher is developing a video game in his computer science class.

Sydney Grissom, Staff Reporter

Writing code and programming in a computer room tucked away in the band hall is more than just a class for some students on campus. For students like senior Ben Speicher, the skills he learned in computer science are helping him to do more than just solve problems in class and instead create a video game during an independent study period.

“What he is doing is he isn’t just writing in one programming language, he is writing in several,” Ford said. “He is using some third party software to help him with the animation and to draw his figures and then he uses the programming behind it to get the figures to do what he wants to do.”

Speicher has been working on this project the entire year and continues to do so.

“I know he has been working in my class since the beginning of the year, but he has probably been working before then,” Ford said.

The process of creating a video game is quite complex, and Speicher is still working out the kinks of it.

“It’s a robotics simulation thing. It is individual parts and I run it and drive it around and stuff,” Speicher said. “It is a little stubby in the front side because it doesn’t have any weight and it is very light. The code makes it work. Unity is the software and it is a 3D development game engine.”

What he has learned in computer science has helped Speicher to create the game.

“The software package he is using ties back with his code,” Ford said.

After he completes the game, Speicher will most likely enter it in competitions.

“It’s really kind of interesting and he has gone pretty far with it,” Ford said. “He needs to enter it in some competitions they have where you can compete with other high school kids based on what you built.”

Speicher and other students in the school regularly compete in computer science on their general skills as well.

“I have about 15 members on the computer science team and what we do is we meet every Wednesday after school,” computer science teacher Pam Ford said. “I invite any of my computer science students to come to the meetings and I usually pair them up with someone who has experience and they get used to the format of the computer science contest because it’s a little unusual.”

The computer science team does more than just compete; they are like a family.

“On the computer science team what we do is compete in UIL competitions and we all get on a bus and go to other schools and compete against them in computer science,” senior Jacob Hanson said. “We all joke around a lot and it isn’t really a strict kind of club and it is really fun.”