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Pressing play on gamepressEmily Peat of EcoPlace Organics

It was on a family trip to Europe that Behroz Saadat and his two cousins came up with an idea for a game, but had no way of developing it further because of a lack of tools.

So the now third-year computer engineering student, pictured on the left above, Hamed Saadt, middle, and Murtaza Saadat put their heads and imaginations together and decided to make something that would let them quickly create and prototype their concepts. From there, they developed GamePress, an easy-to-use app that allows anyone to unleash their creativity.

“The beauty is that it requires absolutely no programming and anybody has the power to create games,” says Behroz. ”If you don't feel like making games, you can use the GamePress Arcade and play the ones made by our users.”

Instead of programming, Behroz explains, users drag and drop actions and events to model the behaviour of their game into a flow chart.

The cousins expect that it will be iPad users with a creative streak who will purchase and use their app. They say it will appeal to computer science, game development or engineering students who would like to quickly prototype their ideas and focus on gameplay. And they anticipate parents will use it to create customized learning games for their kids.

Behroz credits the two internships he spent with the University of Waterloo’s campus-wide Enterprise Co-op program for helping him develop GamePress with his two cousins: Hamed is a fourth-year computer science student at Western University, and Murtaza is a graduate of the business information systems program at Fanshawe College.

“The Enterprise Co-op program has been a great resource for obtaining information in government grants, business pitch competitions and mentorship,” says Behroz. "Most importantly, the program has allowed me to pursue my passion full time during my co-op terms.”

Overseen by the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre, the Enterprise Co-op Program encourages and supports business ideas of many types, from consulting to high-tech startups.
 
During Behroz’s first term with the program, he won a $4,000 E-Coop Launch Award sponsored by Nigel Stokes (MASc ’82 SD). That same term, the trio entered the Innovation Fair elevator pitch competition and took second place.

Recently, they won top prize at the Ace the Pitch contest held on campus. And this week they are pitching GamePress at the LaunchPad$50K Competition in Waterloo, as well as at a Seed Your Startup pitch competition at Western University.

By the end of this month, GamePress will be ready for download by the general public. In the meantime, it's being promoted on Facebook and Twitter with the opportunity to win iTunes gift cards by providing feedback.

Behroz feels the best part of the family-approved GamePress is the creative freedom it allows.

“We give our iPads to our cousins, nephews and nieces to test GamePress,” he says. “When we get the iPads back we are amazed by the things that are being created. From four-stroke combustion engine simulations to interactive adventure stories, our game-creating platform is being used for other things, which is incredibly rewarding to us.”

 

 

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