Logo: University of Southern California

Meet Kirra: USC Student-Created Game Hits the Market

September 18, 2009 —

Konami Digital Entertainment has announced the releae for download of Reflection, a Nintendo DS game invented by a USC student team that included many Viterbi students.

 Reflectors: (from left) Hersh Choksi, Keith Riley Co, Henry Liu, Jeff Magers, Abhinav Jain, Jeremy Jung.
Reflection came out of a joint year-long GamePipe/Interactive Media Final Game Projects course co-taught by Scott Easley (GamePipe), Chris Swain (Cinematic Arts Interactive Media), and Mike Zyda (GamePipe). It first came to public attention when it won the Independent Games Festival prestigious “Next Great Mobile Game” award March 24 at the group's conference in San Francisco. A jury made the decision, which brought the team $2000 and the attention of the game industry.

The premise, per www.reflectionds.com/: "The world splits when a powerful mirror is fragmented and its shards dispersed. Now to restore the world, thief-for-hire Kirra must navigate through a shattered reality to find and piece back together the broken shards of the mirror. Jump, slide, and flip as the agile Kirra, but to successfully complete the levels you'll need to use the two screens of the Nintendo system together!"

The Konami announcement offers this description: "Players take on the role of an adventurer named Kirra who is charged with retrieving a magical mirror that has been broken, unleashing a shattered reality which has also split Kirra into two pieces: one good, one evil.

"Players are essentially forced to control both a normal character and an upside-down mirror image simultaneously with the same set of controls, all the while solving puzzles that involve manipulating both characters. As the game alternates between these two sub-mechanics, gamers will have to learn to use both characters in order to prevail."

Kirra: putting the world back together. Click on Kirra for a gallery of Reflection images.
"The joy of a professor," commented GamePipe's Zyda at the time, "is to see your students start out from nothing and then get to the point where they are actually doing just phenomenally great work,” he said.

Members of GamePipe's Team Reflection included:

  • Keith Riley Co: Director & Co-Creator - USC ‘09 Computer Science (Games)
  • Hersh Choksi: Producer - USC ’09 Business Administration (Cinematic Arts)
  • Jeremy Jung: Co-Creator and Designer - USC ‘08 Communications/Minor in Video Game Design & Management
  • Henry Liu: Designer & Playtest Manager - USC ‘09 Interactive Entertainment/Business Administration
  • Jeff Magers - USC ‘09 Computer Science (Games)
  • Aadarsh Patel - USC ’10 Computer Science/Computer Engineering
  • Noel Overkamp - USC ’10 Computer Science
  • Gershom Payzer: In Game Artist - USC ’09 MS Computer Science
  • Andrew Tio: Concept Artist - USC ‘09 Computer Engineering/Minor in Video Game Design & Management
  • Abhinav Jain - USC '09 Computer Science/Minor in Video Game Programming
  • Igor Nemirovksy: Composer - USC ’08 SMPTV Program
  • Kenny Wood: Composer - USC ’09 SMPTV Program
  • William Rahko: Sound Designer - USC '11 Music Industry
  • Nathan McNamara - USC '09 Interactive Entertainment & English (Creative Writing)