Students will work alongside the faculty project lead for 5-15 hours per week to construct a flexible, expressive, and web-first game engine combining the accessibility and educational power of MIT Scratch with the professionalism and flexibility of RPG Maker.

Engineers will be needed to introduce new features relevant to the Real Time Strategy (RTS), RolePlaying (RPG), and Tower Defense (TD) genres, and will benefit from an improved understanding of the increasingly popular Godot game engine and AWS cloud infrastructure stack (S3, Cloudfront, Lambda, ECS, Fargate, etc).

UX designers and artists will be needed to ensure the usability and accessibility of the engine across a variety of web browsers, benefiting from experience on a user-facing product.

In its later stages, artists, game designers, and musicians will be needed to create editable “template” projects. All contributing students will gain portfolio material for interviews in addition to letters of recommendation detailing their impact in a fairly experimental pursuit.

Students apply to a specific role on team as follows:

Game Engineer (2 Students)

Required Skills: Game Engine experience (Unity / Unreal / Godot), MIT Scratch experience;

Requested Skills: Wolverine Soft / Wolverine Soft Studio / EECS 494 / EECS 498.003

Likely Majors/Minors: ARCH, ARTDES, CS, CSE, EECS, SI

Web / Cloud Engineer (2 Students)

Required Skills: Basic WebDev experience (personal websites), Basic cloud experience (AWS / Linode / Azure / GCP / Digital Ocean)

Requested Skills: EECS 485

Likely Majors/Minors: ARCH, ARTDES, CS, CSE, EECS, SI

Faculty Project Lead

Austin Yarger

Austin Yarger is an international educator and Lecturer of Game Development in the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering, co-founder of the International Game Developers Association (Ann Arbor Chapter), and President of Arbor Interactive, a local game and software development firm.

A long-time hobbyist game developer, Austin got his taste of professional game development in the summer of 2014 with an internship at Maxis (Electronic Arts) where he helped engineer 2015’s top selling computer game, The Sims 4. Austin has taught EECS 494 for 6+ semesters. His students have achieved positions at prestigious game developers such as Microsoft’s 343 Industries, Volition, Zynga, Google, Gaudium, NetEase, Jackbox Games, and Amazon Game Studios.

In addition to stops at EA Mobile and Facebook, Austin served as President of the Wolverine Soft game development organization from 2011–2014. He co-founded the Ann Arbor chapter of the International Game Developers Association, curates the MichiGames Arcade Cabinet, mentors the Huron High School Game Development Team, consults with technology startups in downtown Ann Arbor, and organizes multi-university exhibitions with Eastern Michigan University and Lawrence Technological University.

He acquired a Bachelors and Masters degree from the University of Michigan in 2015 and 2018, respectively. His research interests include non-gaming applications of game development tools, technologies, and techniques. Learn more at

Students: 4

Likely Majors/Minors: ARCH, ARTDES, CS, CSE, EECS, SI

Meeting Details: Fridays, 11 am (Hybrid)

Application: Consider including a link to your portfolio or other websites in the personal statement portion of your application to share work you would like considered as part of your submission.

Summer Opportunity: Summer research fellowships may be available for qualifying students.

Citizenship Requirements: This project is open to all students on campus.

IP/NDA: Students who successfully match to this project team will be required to sign an Intellectual Property (IP) Agreement prior to participation.

Course Substitutions: CoE Honors. Students can petition for Flex Tech credit.