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Cyber Heist Wins Best Student Developed Serious Game @ SGS&C 2014

Cyber Heist, by University of Utah students Jake Muehle, AJ Dimick, Chris Rawson and Vaibhav Bhalerao, is the winner of the Best Student Developed Serious Game Award at this year’s SGS&C, held early December in Orlando, FL.

The year is 2114. The Department of Education has developed a stranglehold on student debt due to government de-regulation and formation of corporate monopolies. Laws have been passed allowing corporations to purchase debt and leverage it against the population. Those with debt live in indentured servitude.

After years of living underfoot of this rigged system, the people have started to fight back. You… are among those people. Take the role of either an elite hacker or a stealthy thief as they go undercover to infiltrate the Department of Education to bring down the corporate monopolies that enslave the populous and eliminate all debt forever.

Cyber Heist is an intense, two-player stealth and puzzle game that explores co-operative play, where each person plays a different style of game in their individual roles. Play as the top-down 2D Hacker, rerouting power to unlock doors, reveal sensitive information, and provide intel. Or play as the first-person 3D Thief, a stealth-infiltrator who uses only his wits and skills to avoid drone detection, recover passwords, and dupe the security detection system.

Asymmetry in the game is supported by tools to help players rapidly communicate despite playing completely different games. The 2D Hacker can draw paths on the map that will appear on the floor of the Thief's world, allowing the Hacker's vision of the entire level to easily aid the Thief player. Likewise, the Thief can highlight objects in the world that are otherwise unseen in the Hacker's interface.