Bradley student uses video game to help diabetes patients

Game Board for Dapper

April 13, 2014

By: Savannah Jones ‘14

When it comes to video games junior Interactive Media student Bobbi Schultz is on a whole new level as head artist for “Dapper,” a program specifically made for patients with Type 2 diabetes. Interactive Media professor Monica McGill invited Schultz four months ago to help bring “Dapper” to life. Patients play alongside their own doctors and non-diabetic friends, learning how to control their diabetes by exercising their avatar and taking health quizzes to unlock points.

Schultz describes herself as a “non-traditional” student; the mother of two graduated from Illinois Central College last year and applied to Bradley after her professor said it has one of the best game design programs in the state. She’s not a stranger to creating video games. Earlier this year she made a game called “LegenDairy” for one of her Interactive Media classes.

Schultz is also in the process of creating her own board game with five other interactive media majors.

“It’s similar to Risk but in space. You’re competing to take over the most territory by shifting alliances to gain control of the space ship,” Schultz said.

Schultz said creating a board game is a process of “rinse and repeat.” First the game is created on paper and then presented to a test-group for feedback. Next, she and her team make the first physical build of the game called an alpha-build before going back to the test-group for more feedback. Afterwards, a more fleshed-out and improved version of the game called the beta-build is created before going back to the test group again. Schultz’s board game is currently in the beta-release stage.

The group meets every Friday but each member works individually throughout the week. Schultz spends 16-17 hours a day on campus going to class and working with teammates on the board game and “Dapper.”

“It’s been a great pleasure working with Bobbi. She’s always, always prepared with artwork,” junior interactive media major Heath Moore said. “Her artwork is always gorgeous and she has a very great way of taking these vivid ideas and putting them into her artwork.”

“She works really hard and gets everything done at a frightening speed,” senior interactive media major Gregor Armstrong said.

Schultz said her courses at Bradley help improve her game design skills and prepare her for possibly starting her own independent game company after graduation.