The Lehigh-Lafayette App team during a meeting on Nov. 11. Pictured from left are Yin Luo, '18; Chris Herrera, '15; Sam Nguyen, '17; Carli Sukonik, '15; Jen Mauric, '15; and Ayelat Gat, '15. This app is part of the 150th Lehigh-Lafayette meeting celebration. (Emily Hu/B&W photo)

Gamelocker web app creates virtual rivalry competition

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On-campus student graphic design firm LU Fusion Design has designed and developed its own Lehigh-Lafayette game web app, Gamelocker, to rally unity, as well as friendly competition, between the two rivals in the weeks before the 150th Rivalry Game.

LU Fusion Design has recently collaborated with computer science students to create an interactive online game that can be played on desktop and various mobile devices.

Gamelocker is a web application that the creators hope students, faculty and alumni will play to raise their excitement. As of Nov. 10, Gamelocker can be accessed online at www.gamelocker150.com. The game allows users to play for either school’s sports teams.

The virtual players wear school colors, and each school’s fight song can be heard as users play the game. When a player enters the site, he or she chooses to either play for Lehigh or Lafayette. Each time a player earns points, the points are added to the larger pool of overall scores for their chosen team. These total scores are displayed on the game’s main menu.

There are four mini sports game players can play within the overall app: football, soccer, basketball and swimming.

“We didn’t just want to have football because that is always the main focus of the Lehigh-Lafayette rivalry,” said Ayelet Gat, ’15, a fusion designer. “We chose these four sports because we felt they embodied the largest amount of student-athletes and also were the most fun and interactive sports to play in an online game.”

In addition to the scores, the main menu displays a link for each school to donate to the Lehigh-Lafayette Giving Challenge, which contributes to the friendly competition of the game and helps raise money for a good cause.

The goal of Gamelocker is to earn points for both Lehigh and Lafayette, and one school will be named the victor at the rivalry game on Nov. 22. The app’s creators said they hope the final score between the two schools will be announced at Yankee Stadium during the football game and displayed on the jumbotron once there is a final winner.

With such a short timeline, the group said had to meet several times a week and truly live and breathe the project. Designing a web app in just a few weeks was no easy feat for the designers and developers.

“As a web app, you just follow a link and play it on any type of device,” said Jennifer Mauric, ’15, a designer on the team. “From a programming and design standpoint, this was an issue because the way you click a mouse and the way you operate a touch screen is very different, so that was a whole other component we had to work out.

“There was also such a learning curve because the programmers and designers had to learn to speak each other’s language,” Mauric continued. “It was a real team effort between the two groups.”

The creation of the app was almost completely student-run. The advisers had great experience and advice to share; however, they allowed the students to take over the project and run with it.

“I was really impressed with both the design students and the computer science students,” said Jordan Reese, director of media relations. “I came up with a very vague idea for a mobile game that people could play in the weeks leading up to the game, maybe while they’re standing in line at the stadium or waiting for the subway to take them to the Bronx. I had no idea how this was going to work. This was really all their work, and for them to have this in just two months is pretty impressive.”

The LU Design Fusion team played many different online games to gauge which formats were the most enjoyable and interactive. For example, the classic app game Helicopter inspired Gamelocker’s swimming game. Once the team had developed a version of the game, they clocked many hours playing it to figure out what worked in the game and what needed to be changed or added.

The game was completely crafted from scratch, and no graphics were taken from existing web games, so the app team completed the entire process.

The promotion of the web app has also been very critical to its success. Team members said throughout the process, they made sure to create an equal app that did not favor one school over another. Therefore, they applied this same mentality when it came to the marketing of the app.

The release date for the app and the flyers were the same for both Lehigh and Lafayette. The team developed two sets of promotional posters, one targeting Lehigh students and one for Lafayette students.

“We have done as much as we can on our part to give Lafayette all the materials necessary to make it as successful at Lafayette as we think it will be at Lehigh,” Mauric said. “The hope is that people catch the spirit of the rivalry and actually rack up the score for their school. ”

The programmers — including Stefan Gorski, ’18; Yin Luo, ’18; Chanh Nguyen, ’17; Bill Ulrich, ’18; Lai Zhang, ’16 and Liberty High School senior Juliana Hong — and the fusion designers — Christopher Herrera, ’15; Carli Sukonik, ’15; Mauric and Gat — said they are eager for people to get to finally play the game they have worked so hard on.

“This app is a great way to incorporate every single person in the student body (and) alumni group, as well as friends and family,” Gat said. “They can all be involved in this rivalry one way or another. You don’t have to play football or even be attending the game to still contribute in a fun and exciting way.”

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