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Carroll County Times
Carroll County

McDaniel computer science majors design zombie App, land postgraduate employment

Look out for zombies.

In the video game app "Survivor: The Last City," users must build a community quickly before zombies attack.

Four McDaniel College computer science majors created the game. After a few final tweaks, they plan on releasing "Survivor" via Apple's App Store.

Not that they need the income.

Despite a challenging job market for graduating seniors, "Survivor" designers Isaac Wolinski, Brandon Myers, Timothy Foley and Matt Brooks have already landed full-time jobs with the computer science degrees they earned.

Foley, of Westminster, will be working for defense contractor The SI organization in Laurel as a software engineer.

Myers, of Hampstead, is headed to RDA Corp in Hunt Valley. Wolinski, of Taneytown, will be working for MRW Systems in Westminster. Brooks, of Hampstead, is employed at Zenimax Media in Bethesda.

The national unemployment rate for those ages 21 to 24 has averaged 8.8 percent during the last year, according to U.S. Department of Labor data. But computer science majors are in demand, particularly in the mid-Atlantic, Foley said.

Computer science majors can expect to earn $60,000 after graduation, according to education resource site TheBestColleges.org.

Seven of the nine graduating computer science majors at McDaniel have jobs, the students said. One of those who doesn't has turned down opportunities while looking for the best fit, they said.

"I was in [McDaniel's] career office the other day and they were like, 'We keep hearing about computer science majors who have jobs,'" Foley said. "Yes, we do."

The students were busy during their four years at McDaniel.

While juggling the difficult course load required for computer science majors, Foley also worked at the Westminster Subway across campus.

His days of making foot-long subs are over. Now he can focus on his career path.

Myers double majored in math.

"Not an easy thing," he said.

During a respite from their challenging workloads, the students decided to create a game specifically for Apple products in January.

They picked a zombie-focused game since they are currently popular.

The students learned a new way to program via iOS. They are working on improving the game's graphics before releasing it.

"As you build things in the city, you have a noise meter that goes up," Wolinski said. "As your noise goes up, more zombies come, until you eventually die."

The four programmers, all graduates from Carroll County Public Schools, became close friends at McDaniel. They plan to keep in touch as they continue developing a video game they started while attending McDaniel.

"We'll all still be local," Foley said, "so we plan on still working on it."


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