Gettin’ into the game |

Gettin’ into the game

John HartChico State student Dylan Petty, a Nevada Union High School graduate, talks Friday about creating a computer game called "Twister" for a school project, which got him into the International Games Festival taking place in San Jose in March.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

The work of a Nevada Union High School graduate will be recognized at a San Jose computer games festival next month, even though Dylan Petty didn’t think the game would impress the judges.

At first, Petty wasn’t even going to enter his computer game named “Twister” in the contest for this year’s International Games Festival, March 19-23 at the San Jose Convention Center. He had a couple of other games to send in, and he felt “Twister” was unlikely to be a hit with the judges.

“I think it’s kind of a cheesy little game, but it’s fun to play,” said Petty.

“Twister,” written in the computer language C++, features a tornado that catches cows, cowboys and farmers, and then throws them at a target.

Apparently others liked it, because the game earned Petty a Student Showcase award for the games festival. Petty will get a booth where he can show off the game to developers visiting the festival. He also gets a $1,000 pass into the festival and $500 traveling expenses.

“I’m pretty stoked,” said Petty.

Petty, 24, wrote the game as a project for a California State University, Chico class in user interfaces. Petty is a senior at the university, studying computer science. Writing the game took a couple of months, which he says was “kind of going overboard” for the class.

“Programming games has always been a little hobby of mine,” said Petty, who hopes to write games as a career. “Doing the programming is more what I’m interested in. … I don’t think of myself as being creative; I just like to program.”

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