UT Alum Beats Angry Birds with a Game of His Own

Almost every iPad gamer’s goal is to beat Angry Birds, but for video game producer Dave Taylor, BS ’93, seeing his work beat the ever-popular game in the App Store is even more rewarding.

That’s what happened last week when Taylor’s latest project, Band Together, was the No. 1 free iPad game and No. 2 free iPad app on the App Store on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as being featured in the “New and Noteworthy” section. (Today, the game is featured at No. 4 in the “What’s Hot” section of iPad apps.)

Part puzzle, part adventure, the game leads players through 30 levels of diabolical tests to rescue mysterious little creatures—called “Bandies” because they like to band together—from homemade traps, including thumbtack death machines, pencil pits, and dangerous rolling baseballs.

An electrical engineering major, Taylor says his original goal was to invent things, but he ended up in game development instead, programming games such as Doom and Quake.

“I’ve always been fascinated with games since I was a little kid, but, to be honest, I thought there was no way I could get into the industry,” Taylor says. “I was wrong.”

Taylor says he created Band Together with three of his students—Zack Wiesnoski, Thatcher Christeaan, and Danielle Olson—from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where he taught a game production class last year. Artist John Chalfant also collaborated. (Check out a video about the game’s creation).

Beating Angry Birds “felt really cool,” Taylor says. “I was really excited, in particular for the students, because this is their first commercial game out of school.”

Photo courtesy Backflip Studios


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