Army veteran designs successful game plan as Quinnipiac graduate

May 12, 2023

Tyler Gorman

U.S. Army veteran Tyler Gorman ’23, took advantage of the GI Bill to attend Quinnipiac, where he’s charted a unique path to earn his bachelor’s degree with a double major in game design and development (GDD) and English, and a minor in theater. Now, he’s launching an independent studio into the gaming world.

As someone who delayed entering college, and needed help to pay for it, Gorman said joining the U.S. Armed Services gave him the opportunity to receive a comprehensive education at a school that welcomes and supports the military.

“When I came here, Quinnipiac was the number one school for veterans. It had 98 percent job placement and was one of the top schools for game design, as well. And it just happened to be in Connecticut, where I’m from. So everything ended up clicking,” said Gorman.

Quinnipiac’s commitment to assisting the nation’s veterans, active and reserve military and National Guard members in reaching educational goals has earned several distinctions. This year, Military Friendly® named Quinnipiac among the top three military-friendly private U.S. universities offering doctoral degrees. In 2022, the Military Times selected Quinnipiac as a Best for Vets College. In 2021 and 2020, Victory Media awarded Quinnipiac a gold rating among Best Vets Schools in the U.S.

Gorman is especially grateful for the support he received from Quinnipiac’s game development and design program and professors.

“You’re working with professors who you can reach out to, at any time, if you need help with anything. It doesn’t have to be just classwork,” he said. “And the game design and development program’s senior seminar really helps out, because it’s actually focused on career development, so you have a portfolio and make your resume and apply for jobs. A lot of programs don’t do that.”

During his senior year, Gorman’s student team developed an original, virtual reality, archery tower defense strategy game, “The Defense of Trewel Towers.” Gorman was the game’s narrative designer, producer, and team lead, working with fellow GDD program students Brendan Berg, ’23, Matt Camerato, ’23, and Horacio Valdez, ’23.

“We were building it for a class, and we ended up getting into the Game Development World Championship. It’s a global competition with about 3,000 participants overall. In our category, there were about 1,000 games, and we were one of the fan choice finalists in the hobby category,” said Gorman.

The game also won Best Technical award at the annual Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute GameFest in New York; and got plenty of play at PAXEast in Massachusetts.

“PAX is the world’s largest gaming convention for gamers. We presented it at the Boston convention, PAXEast, which has about 130,000 to 150,000 attendees over four days. We had a couple thousand people stop by the booth and try the game. It was a great time,” said Gorman.

The game has also earned accolades in the annual Quinnipiac GDD Showcase, winning Best Game Overall last year; and has recently been provided with some remarkable start-up support.

“We got accepted in the accelerator program for the school. It’s a three-week program. They’re going to help us build a company for it, so we can publish it, and help publish games later on. There aren’t any large indie companies in Connecticut, so they want to see if they can help students start one,” said Gorman, who will serve as the company’s owner/operator.

On June 5, Trewel Towers will be published at Steam, an online game platform. The team’s newly launched indie studio, Little Loaf Studios, already has plans in the works for a new game.

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