With production only taking nine months, three former Morehead State University students have created a mobile game that is now available for free nationwide.

Shelby Price, 24, of Waynesburg, Daniel Tungate, 29, of Nashville, Tennessee, and Dustin Sammons, 36, of Raceland, met each other as students at MSU about seven years ago.

The three have had an interest in gaming and game creation for some time with hopes of developing their own application (app).

About a year ago they formed a development team called Healthy Gamer aimed toward ideas for science.

Released on July 1 was their first published effort, Rocket Plunge, a game idea that shows the interest for mining for resources outside our planet.

“Rocket Plunge is an intense rocket mining game that puts the player up against an army of blackhole barrages while trying to mine for precious resources in the beautiful yet chaotic cosmos,” the game’s description states.

The game is an “endless runner,” meaning you’re trying to get the highest score possible as the game gets more difficult.

The idea for the game was inspired by Price, an astrophysicist, who loves space and science.

Price, the assistant developer, just graduated from MSU with degrees in astrophysics, physics, and math.

She’s currently taking a gap year before going to graduate school to hopefully get a PhD, most likely out of state. Her ambitions are to get that doctorate degree from either Harvard or MIT, but also has backup options.

Tungate went to MSU to study art and video game design, where learned the basics to help code and develop the game. He is the developer, artist, and musician on the project.

Sammons, an English major and Theater minor, is the editor and writer for the game who has a brief background in coding and is currently working on writing his second video game project.

He currently is a substitute teacher for Rowan County Schools and freelance writer.

The game is rated “E” for everyone, meaning any ages can play the game.

The game is playable at no cost, but cost the trio about $5,000 to create.

Monetary compensation from the efforts are made solely on advertising revenue as more and more people play the game.

“We know there are people out there that are having hard times, so why would we ask them to purchase something,” Tungate said. “We are going to make it where people are going to enjoy and don’t have to purchase anything. They can spend their money elsewhere.”

Hundreds have already downloaded the game and have began playing, but the group says they aren’t finished just yet.

They plan to continue working and upgrading the game while also adding a beatable adventure mode.

“We are at the bare minimum with what we want, but our mission is much greater,” Tungate said. “We have a lot of great ideas and different projects we want to work on and we want to offer all of those free to the consumer.”

The game is available on Google Play and/or Android devices by searching “Free Rocket Plunge.”

For more information on how you can support the team’s efforts in continuing development of their various projects, visit their GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/app-ideas-that-lead-to-real-science.

The purpose of their mission is to inspire more interest in science, especially to the youth.

Brad Stacy can be reached at bstacy@themoreheadnews.com or by telephone at 784-4116.

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