Penn State encourages its students to be well-rounded. And Penn State student Max Besong more than fulfills that tenet.
Besong (senior-secondary education) is a trumpet player in the Blue Band. He is also the creator of Fight on State, a new Penn State gaming app available on the iTunes store.
In Fight on State, players work to navigate the drum major through the ranks of the Blue Band. Players must avoid the football players charging through the band members. After successfully navigating each round, players must complete the famous back flip over the 50-yard line.
The main menu of the app also features the Blue Band’s performance schedule, lyrics to the Penn State fight songs and alma mater and a link to donate to the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon.
On its first day of release, the app peaked as the 148th most downloaded app on iTunes. It was also the 35th top free arcade game, Besong said.
As of midnight Sunday, there were 5,656 downloads of Fight on State. The app has 68 5-star reviews on iTunes as of press time, Besong said.
The idea for the app came about during Blue Band camp, Besong said.
Besong learned to design apps when he worked at the Penn State Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos. He said he was learning code through his work at the institute and decided to apply his skills to designing apps.
The app has garnered positive reactions from the Blue Band.
Blue Band Drum Major Ian Kenney was impressed with Besong’s creation.
“It’s very professional, that’s the most impressive [aspect],” Kenney (senior-music education) said.
Kenney said he also found it weird to play himself in a game.
“It’s really strange. I never expected anything like it to exist,” he said.
Besong said he was shocked by how quickly the app gained popularity. He said he’s never seen anything like it.
“That’s the power of Penn State,” Besong said.
Kenney said he knew the app would make a splash once it debuted.
“I’m not surprised at all. I knew everyone would have it,” Kenney said.
The app was truly a Penn State effort. Besong enlisted his fellow trumpet player, Becky Guldin , to handle the public relations aspect of the app.
Guldin (junior-women’s studies and public relations) has been managing the app’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Guldin plans on keeping the accounts current.
“As long as Max is working on updates, I’ll keep up the Facebook and Twitter accounts,” Guldin said.
The app is gaining popularity among both students and beyond the Penn State community.
Lauren Shevchek (freshman-communications science and disorders) has already told her family to download the app.
“It’s cool. Not a lot of other colleges have its own app, game-wise,” Shevchek said.