Local students win big for ‘Cyton’
YAKIMA, Wash. — A team of four high school students set out on a quest to create a game from scratch while balancing the demands of classes, night in and night out for six straight months and ended up placing third in a tough competition.
The students, all hailing from Mr. Myles Blakney’s class worked tirelessly, sometimes 12-hour days to complete a video game their instructor is proud of.
“These kids basically knew nothing,” Blakney says with tears in his eyes, “to a finished product that people in the industry are very impressed with.
“Recognition is pretty great when you can show something off at a competition,” Nathanial Richards, the Lead Programmer of the project says, “and you can say you work on something for six months and that you’re proud of it.”
Cyton is a biology term referring to the central part of a neuron. The game, a psychological thriller in the horror genre and after waking up inside a German mental asylum, you are left to uncover the secrets of the asylum no matter the cost while dealing with paranoia, paranormal and unbelievable happenings, and the battle between your mind and your surroundings.
Jamie Ajuirre, who is heading to Seattle for his next educational stop, says this is a lifelong dream he’s held since childhood.
“Since I was five or six I basically decided that I want to make games. I like playing them and I want to be heavily involved,” he says. “I want to help create these worlds and these experiences for people to interact with.”
Judging the competition was difficult according to Blakney and he says that 30 points separated the top three finishers. It took the judges almost two hours to come to a consensus on the winner.
“It was definitely worth it. That’s all I can say,” Ajuirre says. “A lot of stress and a lot of just wanting to go to sleep on your desk and not move anything. But, it was worth it.”
If you would like to purchase the game, you can do so online. The cost of the game is $2.99.