Demigods, mischievous squirrels, summer camp and the Everglades. What do all these topics have in common? They are themes of four exciting student projects under development at Miami Dade College’s Miami Animation and Gaming International Complex (MAGIC).
MAGIC students produce animated short films and video games as capstones during their second academic year under the mentorship of industry partners. This year, four students are leading projects ranging from a mobile video game celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Everglades National Park, to a 3D-animated short film about Hercules and Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, as the pair competes for the key to Olympus.
“I wanted to have the representation that I would have liked to have had as a child, to see strong women,” said Ariana Rodriguez, who took inspiration from Greek mythology. Rodriguez is working with French studio Gaumont Animation, one of the oldest film companies in the world.
In Armando De-Armas’ Everglades Adventure, the player takes on park ranger duties through minigames. De-Armas realized he had never seen the Everglades in person, so he pitched the concept for others like him to experience it and learn about restoration efforts.
“I’m very happy it got chosen, not only because it was an idea that we collectively developed, but it’s also an idea I’m very passionate about,” he said.
Camp Galaverano, a 2D-animated short film created in partnership with Univision Communications, follows a boy overcoming his fears of attending summer camp thanks to the help of his peers. Project lead Paul Wurmann said he gained valuable knowledge in his first producing role.
“It takes a lot of time just making sure everyone is on the same page,” he said.
As an emergency relief worker in Beaver City, a player is tasked with cutting down trees while avoiding obstacles brought on by disgruntled squirrels. That’s the plot of Chip and Chop, Alexander Alvarez’s arcade-style game. Alvarez originally pitched a training simulator, but guidance from his mentor at Wizards of the Coast, publishers of Magic the Gathering, helped push the idea further.
“Just being able to ask any question and talk one-on-one with their knowledge is a wonderful experience,” Alvarez said.
The capstone projects were screened for the first time at MAGIC’s Premiere Night on April 27th, 2022.
For more information about the MAGIC program please contact Ms. Ariana Fernandez @ (305) 237-7851 or firstname.lastname@example.org