Ogden man named finalist in Xbox competition

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OGDEN -- An Ogden man is in the running to have his idea for an Xbox 360 game made into a real game. He's one of eight finalists in Microsoft's "Unlock Xbox" contest.

For the contest, gamers were invited to develop an idea for a new Xbox game. Over 1,500 people entered, and Ogden native Justin Carpenter received enough online votes to make it this far.

"It's a contest to design your own Xbox arcade game," Carpenter explained. "You come up with a concept and map out the game -- how it's going to work and how it's going to be."

Carpenter's game is called ["Harm's Way."](http://www.unlockxbox.com/gameideas/gameIdeaDetails.aspx?gameId=176) It incorporates two things he loves about video games: shooting and racing. "It's a racing game at the core, and the thing that makes it unique is you are on a team with snipers. So, the snipers are shooting at other cars, or shooting down obstacles to block other cars," Carpenter said.

The idea for "Harm's Way" came to Carpenter while playing Xbox with a friend.

"I have a buddy who loves shooting games," he said. "I love to race, and he never wants to do it. I thought if we did this we could play on a team. We would both want to play."

Once Carpenter made the final eight, thanks to online votes, he was flown to Seattle to visit Microsoft. He had to present his idea to a panel of real game developers.

***Harms Way***
*Harms Way* is a fast paced, action packed race with both drivers and snipers pairing up. As the sniper, help your driver win by any means necessary. Destroy the opponents, block their path, pick off their sniper, or even create shortcuts and earn nitrous for your driver! As the driver, you will want to be aggressive and ram the other cars. Don't stick too close for too long though, or your sniper won't have many options. Game modes: - **Sniper Campaign** has you trying to help your driver through various scenarios. - In **Singled Out**, everybody is a sniper except for one target car. If the target finishes the race, they can earn upgrades like bulletproof windshields. If somebody stops the target, they get to be the target next round. - **Call Your Shot** mode is only racers, but allows you to call for race changing shots. There will be four player splitscreen and online play.
Even though Bill Gates was not there, Carpenter was pretty nervous. This is more than just a contest to him. "This is a chance for me to live my dream. I'm a computer programming student right now, and I would love nothing more than to be working in the game industry," he said.

If Carpenter wins, he'll get thousands of dollars in cash and a 6-month internship with Microsoft working on developing games. That's why he needs a really big favor from you.

Please come and vote every day. Help me live my dreams, guys!" he said.

You can vote once a day online, and on Xbox, until Dec. 31. The top two winners will be made into a real game you can download to play on your Xbox for free! [CLICK HERE to place your vote]

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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