Ever played a video game and eventually got bored or frustrated? That is exactly what four Cal State Fullerton students are trying to prevent.
The project is called Head Games. Wilfred Batas, Thomas Kelly and Ty Martell, three Mihaylo College business students, teamed up with a Hayden Donze, a student from the CSUF College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, to create a product and a business that enhances the gaming world.
The team has developed a business that will take an existing device and launch it onto a new genre: the video game.
Currently, the device is used in the medical field as a headset that measures brain waves.
Head Games will incorporate the headset into a video game system. While playing the game, the headset will measure the brain waves, and the sensors on the device send signals to the gaming system constantly adjusting to the user’s preference. If an area of the game becomes too difficult, the headset will read the player’s frustration and the level of difficulty will be lowered. If a player becomes bored with a level, the game will adjust to higher difficulty. The first step in building this technology is creating brand new video games. For that, the team turned to Donze, an engineer and computer sciences major.
“The idea started from the computer science department. We met at the beginning of the semester when Hayden pitched the idea for our New Venture Creation and Funding class,” says Batas, marketing and sales manager of Head Games. “I couldn’t help but think that this idea would be a hit.”
Head Games plans to make this technology compatible with all gaming systems while still being affordable to the general public.
“We found out by conducting long interviews that it wasn’t just the hard-core gamers that would want this product,” says Kelly, operations manager of Head Games. “It was also the casual users that were interested in an interactive system.”
This grand idea and business strategy all started with a class assignment.
In Professor John Jackson’s New Venture Creation class, student teams are required to create a viable business concept, fine-tune the plan throughout the semester, and then compete against each other in front of a panel of judges. The winning team is awarded a scholarship to further their new business venture.
“What makes Head Games so unique is that it is a marriage between a computer engineering student and business students, which is what you would need to make this business succeed,” says Jackson.
During the presentation of their business concept, the students put together a PowerPoint presentation showcasing their idea. Batas talked about marketing and sales of the product; Kelly presented the operations; Martell handled the finance portion; and Donze talked about the programming.
Once the presentation was finished, nine judges from different businesses in Southern California shared their thoughts on the business venture.
“I like this one,” said Peter Meyers, first vice president of Farmers and Merchants Bank Long Beach.
Meyers advised the team to keep it simple at the start.
“Give me one game; Show me one game where this works. Give me something concrete, and then you’ve got someone’s interest,” suggests Meyers.
After careful assessment of all the student teams, the judges awarded Head Games with a $500 scholarship provided by Andrew Carroll of NCH.
Says Batas: “As a team, we all decided to move forward to the second part of the project and get the tools to help us launch the business in our New Venture Launch course.”
— Cal State Fullerton (@csuf) December 6, 2013