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PISCES Robotics Tech Casey Pearring

Image Credit: Microsoft Imagine Cup

PISCES Robotic Tech Casey Pearring and a fellow team of University of Hawaii at Hilo (UHH) computer science students claimed victory in the 2015 Pitch Video Challenge in the Microsoft Imagine Cup – a global student technology competition for tech innovation, gaming, coding, and world citizenship.  The group, called ‘Team Hoku’, won $3,000 in prize money for their submission of a three-minute video pitching an original game they created called “reForge”.  Judges selected their entry as the best among competitors from all over the world.

UHH students Brian Hall, Lucas DeRego, and Theodore DeRego accompany Pearring in Team Hoku.  The group pursued the contest as part of a senior software engineering project at UHH.  Two other UHH students, Kristin Pederson and Kelli Yamane, contributed to documentation of the game.

ReForge is described as a “casual 2D online sci-fi sandbox game where players command highly customizable ships in tactical battles.  Players will collect resources, trade in a player-driven economy, and team up to competitively control various parts of the game universe.”

Imagine Cup judges called the game “a clever synthesis of the sci-fi Roguelike hit FTL with the base construction and customization of Minecraft.”

The Pitch Video Challenge was a preliminary contest in the greater Imagine Cup Games competition, and Team Hoku will pursue more challenges to follow.  The grand prize winner of the Imagine Cup will walk away with $50,000, awarded to the team with the “best new student game”.

Pearring’s work at PISCES involves programming and outfitting the ‘Helelani’ Planetary Rover with command and control systems.  The Hilo native and Hilo High School graduate was the lead programmer for his high school robotics team, and currently studies computer science at UHH.

Congratulations Casey and Team Hoku!!  Outstanding Work!!