This article is over 12 years old


UH Students Tops in Video Game Design

There’s still a chance the University of Houston could be crowned national champion this year — not in football or basketball, but in computer gaming. Two teams from UH are headed to the finals tomorrow in Washington D.C. for designing games that can solve society’s problems. Bill Stamps has the story.


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>
Robo Recycler home screen (sounds of music)

Just about every video game has theme music, this one is no exception. The students call the game Robo Recyler. Dan Biediger is one of four students who created the game.

“The robots have a claw on one side and a poker on the other. And so you can poke things like paper and plastic, but things like glass bottles you have to pick up in the claw, and then you run over and recycle them in the appropriate bins for points.” `

The students created the game as an entry in the U.S. Imagine Cup. A competition sponsored by Microsoft. The theme of the game design competition is to imagine a world where technology helps solve some of the toughest problems, such as poverty and environmental sustainability. The UH Team beat out thousands from across the country.
Arif Sabeeth says they started designing the game in September.

“It was hard at the beginning, but as time goes on it comes.”

Alla Gharandoq was the lead graphic designer. She created the look of the game:

“The garbage that you see everywhere: the cans, the bottles, the paper.”

That’s also her voice you hear whenever the robot makes a wrong move.

(ahh sound)

“That means you recycled the trash in the wrong bin.”

She says idea to enter the contest started in class.

A second team from UH made it to the finals as well. That team created a game where the player goes around destroying pollution. 

The top entries from the U.S will compete in Poland later this for the international competition. No word on whether any of the games will ever make to the stores.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required