When Connor Haynes decided to pursue a degree in computer science, he never dreamed that he would one day be developing video games, let alone running his own company. Now a senior, Haynes celebrated the release of Perspectrum, a two-dimensional side-scrolling puzzle-platform game produced by his company, Proud Mom Games.
Perspectrum was released in August by Vandalia Softworks, a Morgantown-based interactive entertainment publishing company owned by Jordan Hallow, a WVU alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and innovation and a minor in computer science.
“I didn’t even come here with the intent to learn how to make games,” said Haynes, a Cross Lanes native. “I joined the WVU Game Developers Club my freshman year. When I first showed up I realized that the members weren’t experts or anything, yet they were still making games. After learning a few skills from them I found that I really enjoyed it.”
Finding balance between working on the video game and his engineering studies was not always easy. Being a self-taught programmer certainly came with added challenges but also some unexpected benefits.
“One major challenge of developing a game as a student is that you most likely don’t know how to do all the things you set out to do,” explained Haynes. “I learned a whole lot while programming Perspectrum and was surprised when many of the things I taught myself wound up being taught later in class. It definitely gave me a leg up in my classes.”