Lakeview students win national video game design contest!

A pair of Lakeview Leadership Academy students have won first place in the national Got Game design competition.

Senior Jose Rodriquez and sophomore Andres Gonzalez collaborated on the game ToasterHead, which beat out nine other finalists in the contest hosted by STEM Fuse Arcade.

"This game is incredibly well-designed,” the judges said in their comments. “Bounce amidst the clouds, ejecting toast at your enemies as you seek to complete levels and missions. The whole game is kitchen-appliance-themed, making it very unique and fun to play. The different levels, animations, sound, and mechanics make this a very enjoyable experience for the player.”

The students will receive a digital $250 Amazon gift card, and Lakeview will receive a STEM Fuse game design course for free, teacher Javier Ortega said. Ortega also said the game also took second place in the region in the SkillsUSA video game design competition and will move on to the state conference in April.

ToasterHead is a two-dimensional vertical platform game that can easily be played on a computer keyboard.

“You get a toaster stuck on your head, and you get to shoot toast out of your head,” Rodriguez said. “(The idea) just started with, ‘What’s funny and what’s unexpected? What if a toaster fell on someone’s head and it just gets stuck on there?’ ”

Gonzalez developed ideas for the game while Rodriguez did the coding and artwork.

“I was thinking of the designs for the enemies and what they should be doing, and special abilities for ToasterHead,” Gonzalez said.

According to the game description: “With this newfound power ToasterHead has to ascend to the heavens and find out who dropped the toaster on his head and how to get it off.”

The students said Ortega, their Lakeview video game design teacher, helped them refine the theme for the game, in which ToasterHead must battle other kitchen appliances.

Rodriguez said he would like to have his own game development studio someday, while Gonzalez said he is exploring different career options.

“It’s great to see our students not only receiving acclaim for this unique game, but also sharpening valuable career skills including coding, collaboration and work ethic,” Victor Valley Union High School District Superintendent Carl Coles said.

Visit to play ToasterHead and other Got Game winners.

Lakeview Leadership Academy students Andres Gonzalez, left, and Jose Rodriguez, right, pose with their game ToasterHead in their video game design classroom at Lakeview. The game won a national game design competition.