Student Spotlight: Luke Lin

Christina Liu, Staff Writer

While most  students have spent some time  playing video games, Diamond Bar High School senior Luke Lin has taken gaming to the next level, incorporating his passion for gaming into a potential career.

“I was really interested in programming and that got me into making games because that’s something I’m very familiar with and passionate about,” Lin said.

Lin first started programming in the summer of his freshman year during a technology camp hosted by ID Tech at UCI. Through the summer camp, Lin learned how to create an adventure game using the programming language C++. From there, he began to watch tutorials on the internet to get a better grasp of how to utilize the different programs for video game development.

“I wouldn’t say I’m a very good developer but I think I got better,” Lin said. “Games feel smoother and they work as intended.”

Since then, Lin has switched from using C++ to Unreal Engine, as the program has many preset functions that makes programming faster. He has also tried to make different types of games, such as puzzle and stealth games. Lin is currently working on an adventure exploration game that is inspired by his interactions with his teammates in colorguard.

“When my teammates are sad, I’ll try to cheer them up,” Lin said. “It’s kind based around the theme of bringing light to dark so that’s kind of the basic inspiration.”

For the game, players play as an orb of light that lights totems with the goal of lighting up the rest of the world. To bring the game together, Lin used the design tools Unreal Engine 4 for programming, Autodesk Maya to model his characters and Audacity for audio effects.

“When I’m creating a game, my main concern is usually with game feel,” Lin said. “I’m trying to see if the game is fun and if it conveys the feelings I’m trying to create.”

Lin spends around 3 to 6 hours on the weekends working on his game. He said  that although he hasn’t published any of his games, he has let a few friends test them out.

“When my friends play my game, I feel a little bit of anxiety because the game is not as good as I hoped it is, but I also feel it’s a chance for me to get some feedback to make it better,” Lin said.

Hoping to continue game design in the future, Lin has already submitted some of his games with his college application, including a level from his newest adventure game. One day Lin said he hopes to work in a video game developing company like Naughty Dog, which Lin describes as a playable action movie.

“When I play games now I start looking into the little things,” Lin said. “It just makes me think more about games under the hood rather than just play them for enjoyment.”