On the 19th day of this month, USPGameDev, a game research and development group mantained by USP students, completed four years of existence since its foundation back in 2009. Everything started with a proposal from USP's Polytechnic School Basic Cycle's current pedagogic orientor, Giuliano Salcas Olguin, during a meeting of class representatives from the Computer Science course. With some of those representatives' help, USPGameDev's first meeting - to which both CS and Engineering students were invited - was organized. From it came the idea of the group's first of many games: Horus Eye.
Since then, the group worked in at least six more projects, among which the noteworthy ones are UGDK, a 2D game engine, and the game PsyChObALL, oficially released last August. All programs developed by the members adopt Free Software licenses, and the media they produce (such as images, musics and plots) remain under Creative Commons. Besides its projects, USPGameDev also contributes to both gamers' and USP's communities with news regarding important events, relevant releases and interesting articles aswell as with courses where the members teach about the technologies they use in their projects - all of them free software too: LaTeX, Git, Lua, Love2D, SSH, GIMP, WordPress, among others.
Many members have come and gone; some graduated, others are (almost) graduating and new participants come up every year, both seniors and freshmen, from either exact ou human sciences, be them USP students or not. Some of them obtained scholarships with their participation. Others acquired the experience which led them to the professional game developing business. Many others used what they learned to improve their graduation works, and other way around too. Some published papers and there were also those who turned their experiments into their final graduation work.
During these years, the group earned not only the support from many teachers (to whom we owe much and will forever be deeply grateful), but also the right to use a computer laboratory in the Polytechnic School and to have a machine for its own Web server. With new generations of promising developres arriving, and seniors leaving for the professional or academic world, USPGameDev hopes to get many more successful achievements from here on too.
(Wilson Kazuo Mizutani)