Kaili Aloupis ’17

Conference work has also enabled me to understand that there’s more than one way to do things—and the combination of things is better than one idea.

What was your conference project?

My conference project was a video game that I designed from the ground up: a hands-on, immersive look at the field of forensic biology from a beginner’s standpoint. It allows players to experience the steps taken to solve a typical crime using techniques such as DNA analysis and fingerprint matching. I’m hoping to get a kind of interview aspect to it, too: questioning suspects—but it’s still a work in progress. I started it with zero knowledge of video game design.

How did faculty support you?

Drew Cressman was really great. He helped me develop my idea, and he hasn’t denied me anything in terms of my creative processes. I went in with the idea that I wanted to base my work on a video game that already existed, called “LA Noir.” He was totally supportive and really excited, actually, because it wasn’t your typical research project.

What have you learned from your conference work?

I think conference work has really helped me learn that not everything is finite. Everything can be tweaked, changed, or expanded upon. It has helped me learn that everything is connected, too. I’ve managed to connect video game programming with forensic biology; art with science. Conference work has also enabled me to understand that there’s more than one way to do things—and the combination of things is better than one idea. You cover more ground that way. And you’re learning so much!