EOC Student Places 1st at National SkillsUSA Competition

Former Web/3D Design student Declin Lozano, was recognized at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education in Stillwater, OK on Thursday, January 9, 2020 for placing 1 st in the National SkillsUSA Competition. Lozano represented Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center when he competed in the Interactive Application and Game Design division for post-secondary students in June 2019, in Louisville, KY. Students were required to create a game demo that successfully implemented problem solving within the game while also describing the design process of the game.

Lozano designed a game that was sound based, where he could focus on the player being able to interact with the environment. “My game was a horror game where the character had to sneak around the environment as a creature roams around and you could make sound by throwing objects and interacting with the environment.” As an avid gamer himself, Lozano said he thought making a game that allowed the player to interact with the environment would be a good idea. “The way a lot of games are structured, they have big environments that are full of things that you can’t do anything with,” he said. “I wanted to make a game where you had an environment where you could move things around and actually interact with what was in the environment and use it to your advantage.”

Having people to work with turned out to be a valuable asset.

Declin Lozano, Former EOC Web/3D Design Student

Lozano said throughout the process of building the game, what he learned exceeded far beyond navigating his way through different programming languages to successfully complete the project. “What I learned from making the game itself was how to go about solving problems,” he said. “It was really interesting to learn how to use cinematography techniques. To make a game, you have to try to build the environment in a way that directs the players attention toward a certain thing, so figuring out different ways to do that was challenging.”

Lozano completed the game on his own but said he did learn the value of asking his peers for their help or opinion. “When I had a problem and I wasn’t sure how to go about fixing it, I would ask some of the other students,” he said. “Having people to work with turned out to be a valuable asset.” Declin is one of many former students of Travis Tracy’s Web and 3D Design class who have advanced to, and placed at the National level at SkillsUSA. “We have been very fortunate to have National winners for the years 2018 and 2019,” Web/3D Design Instructor, Travis Tracy, said. “Over the last five years, we have held two National Titles, placing twice at the gold level, as well as, twice at the silver level, and once at the bronze level.”

Students spend at least a semester building their game for the competition and in the process, learn different programming languages and skills that not only allow them to compete in SkillsUSA, but set them up for success to continue their education or go into the workforce. “I’ve learned the Maya software, which is a 3D modeling software that a lot of film companies use, like Pixar,” Lozano said. “I’ve also learned how to program, animate and
texture light using the Unity software. Most of all, I’ve enjoyed creating a 3D model of something that didn’t exist before, or re-modeling something to make it better.”

Lozano is currently attending Rose State College and plans on starting the Game Design program at Oklahoma City University in the future. Lozano encourages current high school students to explore EOC Tech and the programs they have to offer, especially Web/3D Design. “If you’re interested in how anything is made, absolutely do it,” he said. “Even if you don’t want to go into game development, it’s helpful to learn the different programming languages and the principles of animation.”

If you’re interested in how anything is made, absolutely do it.

Declin Lozano, Former EOC Web/3D Design Student

Eastern Oklahoma County Technology students compete in SkillsUSA beginning in the Spring of 2020. For the 2018-2019 school year, 67 EOC Tech students competed in 32 different contests at the State SkillsUSA competition, representing nine different programs.

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