By: Liz White
UCOL Whanganui design student Anirudh Cheruvu has found a way to realise both possibilities with his game apps Celestial and Eternal Vengeance launched this week.
The 30-year-old Indian student says he chose the Whanganui course as one of the “top 13 international design courses” listed online.
Arriving one week after the 2015 floods, Mr Cheruvu was adopted by his “Whanganui parents”, Vejishwar and Pushpa Prasad.
The Prasads attended the launch at UCOL with mayor Hamish McDouall, deputy mayor Jenny Duncan and councillor Josh Chandulal-Mackay.
“I have the games on my phone and my grandson loves them,” said Mr Prasad.
Celestial is an “edutainment” simulation strategy game of human colonisation of other celestial bodies within the solar system.
“People have said to me that a planet like Venus is too hot and the atmospheric pressure is too high for human survival but there are no impossibilities in gaming.”
Mr Cheruvu’s other game is Eternal Vengeance, where the player is a Shaolin monk who must fight for the secrets of the order.
Some of the moves in the games are modelled on the designer’s own body movements.
“I learned kung fu for four years and I learned the moves of the crane and the tiger.
“I then sent footage of me practising the moves to the animators.”
Mr Cheruvu has developed the games with guidance from UCOL tutors Gary Whiting and Barry McGoldrick.
“Thank you for being patient with me when I slept too long,” he told them.
The student has often worked late into the night at the Rutland St campus and had trouble waking in the mornings.
All the long hours have paid off now that the Android and iOS compatible games are launched.
UCOL campus manager Bronwyn Paul made Mr Cheruvu’s day even better when she presented him with a signed photo of his idol – American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Mr Cheruvu hopes he will get to meet the world-renowned scientist and author when he attends his speaking tour at Spark Arena in Auckland next month.
“At home in India, it is everything to gain a doctorate or an engineering degree,” said Mr Cheruvu.
“I want to thank my parents for understanding that I wanted to do something outside the box.”
“Games give possibilities and hope,” he said.
Celestial and Eternal Vengeance will be available at the app store in Google play.
Source: Wanganui Chronicle