Student creates board game that utilizes technology



A student-run gaming company called Ardent Games has released its first game titled “The Realm of Agennul.”

In honor of the new release, the OU INCubator, located in the Shotwell-Gustafson Pavilion on Oakland University’s campus, will host a KickStarter campaign July 12 at 5:30 p.m.

Keegan Whitla, the game’s creator and a senior studying management information systems at OU, began creating and promoting the game April 2011.

“I wasn’t able to find a game where I could play beyond the actual board. I decided to make my own (and made it) in just over a weekend,” Whitla said. “It ended up being a lot of fun. It started from a simple idea and it (has) been awesome to make an idea into reality.”

The most important factor Whitla wanted  to incorporate into the game was allowing players to impact the evolution of the game. It allows players to contribute to the growth of the experience by submitting art and character backgrounds to the “Agennul” website.

“The game is about constant evolution and that’s what makes us different from other companies and board games,” Whitla said.

Ardent Games’ adviser Eric Tomei, an OU alum and graduate student, knows what it’s like to experience the struggles and successes of a small business.

“Being an entrepreneur and having your own business is great because it gives you the freedom to do what you want with who you want whenever you want,” Tomei said. “At the end of the day, it’s great.”

Dominic Frigo, a graduate student, and Ryan Gaul, a senior studying management information systems at OU, are both marketing specialists for the team. Their responsibilities include updating the game’s Facebook page and keeping in contact with their online community as well as getting the word out about events.

Frigo and Gaul also converse with the writers who are working on character backgrounds as well as clan and race descriptions.

“It’s been awesome to see how a writer develops (their work),” Frigo said.

In addition to the marketing specialists, the team also includes two web developers, Leandra Kramer, a senior majoring in management information systems, and Steve Stocker, a senior majoring in marketing. Kramer and Stocker have created the “Agennul” website.

One aspect of the website the team is excited about is the card generator the web developers created. The generator allows players to create their own cards through the incorporation of art, and the story can be voted on and possibly included in the game’s next expansion.

In addition to the success the team has had in the blogging world, Ardent Games is the first company to come out of the Ideas 2 Business program at OU.

According to OU’s website, the team hopes to raise $18,000 in one month during the KickStarter campaign.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn and play “The Realm of Agennul,” as well as observe the process of creating an illustration of a character.

For access to the game’s website, visit


Contact Staff Reporter Sarah Blanchette via email at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @S_Blanche_