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UNF alumni creates PC game

Kaitlyn Bowers, Features Editor

Like many other people, the pandemic hit UNF alum Brian Durham hard. What started as a lost job, however, ended up being one of the best things that could have happened to him, as it opened up the opportunity for Brian to chase his dream. 

Graduating in the fall of 2016 with a degree in information technology, Durham is now proud to be able to call himself a self-made game developer. Currently, he’s putting the finishing touches on his first game, “Nominal.”

Brian Durham

“Nominal” is a party game set in outer space, but contained in one ship. The goal is to keep the ship from blowing up, but it isn’t quite so simple. Durham compares the game to “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes,” a 2015 puzzle game that relies heavily on communication between the players. 

“The morning before I was pulled into a meeting to be told that I was being let go, I was just like, ‘What if there’s a game like ‘Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes,’ but it was in space, and instead of a bomb, it’s your spacecraft basically malfunctioning?’,” Durham said. “And then about two hours later I was let go, and I was like, ‘I guess I know what I’m doing.’”

Essentially, the game involves one player being the spacecraft commander. This player is the only one with the manual to the spacecraft, and the other players, taking the role of crew members, aren’t allowed to look at it. The manual explains emergency protocols, different aspects of the ship and meanings of various indicators that may pop up. As you can imagine, communication between all players is incredibly important.

Upon release, the game will only be available for PC. However, Durham intends on releasing the game on every platform if the reviews are positive enough. The game is planned to be released in the month of January, although the exact date is currently unknown. 

“Functionally, it’s all there. I’m just working on the final polish,” Durham said. “As long as my hands don’t disintegrate, I should be able to meet my deadline.”

While this is his first time acting as his own boss, Durham doesn’t find it too hard to stay on a schedule. If anything, it’s relieving to be left to his own devices. 

“I wake up every day more motivated than I ever have been,” Durham said. “This is something that I actually care about. It’s my baby. I make all the calls, and I don’t have the stress of a boss pointing out typos that go in my quarterly review.”

To stay up to date, Durham suggests following his game studio’s Twitter page. More information on the game can also be found on the game’s Steam page and website. The game’s trailer can be viewed down below.

 

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

 

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