Alien Rescue team consists of a team of graduate students working collaboratively under the supervision and guidance of Dr. Min Liu at the University of Texas at Austin. Harnessing students’ diverse talents and ideas is a major characteristic of the design and development process. Students’ engagement in the project is largely driven by their interest in creating a quality technology program to enhance learning while developing multimedia production and research competencies. As the program evolves from one version to another, team members’ skills also progress and reflect current industry best practices and trends. This process has provided opportunities for students to prepare for future careers as multimedia designers and developers, instructional technologists, and educational researchers. If you are interested in joining the team, please contact Dr. Min Liu.


Current team members include:

Former team members include:

Online version (Unity game engine)

v. 4 (Unity game engine)

  • Michael Andersen
  • Royce Kimmons
  • Woonhee Sung
  • Yin Li
  • Laise Santana

v. 3 (Torque 3D game engine)

  • Paul Toprac

v. 2.1 (CD Version)

  • Susan Pedersen
  • Doug Williams

v. 1.5 (CD Version)

  • Suzanne Rhodes
  • Arie I. Stavchansky

Many graduate and undergraduate students have worked on different aspects of the program at different times. We appreciate very much their contributions.

History and Awards

The development of Alien Rescue began as a cooperative venture among several units at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) in response to a lack of quality research-based learning software. Since conception in 1997, the program has progressed from a prototype in 1998 to version 2.1 (created in Macromedia Director and delivered on CD-ROM) in 2001, to version 3.2 (created using the Torque Game Engine) in 2008, to a web-based version (created in the Unity game engine) in 2012.

The design and development of Alien Recue is primarily driven by team members’ interests in producing a high-quality learning environment while learning multimedia production skills and by a desire among faculty mentors to support students in preparing for future careers. While a small amount of funding has been used to support some development work, purchase software, provide teacher training, and provide server space, development is largely supported by the time and effort of the students and faculty.

Alien Rescue has received funding from several units at the University of Texas at Austin including the Division of Instructional Innovation and Assessment, College of Education, University Research Institute grants, and the Charles A. Dana Center; and also from Texas Space Grant Consortium, American Honda Foundation, Dell Foundation, NASA Space Telescope Science Institute, Tyco Foundation, Verizon Foundation, GTE Foundation, Motorola Foundation, and more recently, ESA Foundation.

If you would like to contribute, please contact Dr. Min Liu.

Association for Educational Communications and Technology

In November of 2013, Alien Rescue won the Outstanding Practice Award sponsored by the Design & Development division of AECT.

Association for Educational Communications and Technology

In November of 2012, Alien Rescue won the Interactive Learning Award sponsored by the multimedia division of AECT.

Learning Software Design Competition

In 2001, Alien Rescue received the First Prize in the nationwide Learning Software Design Competition sponsored by the University of Minnesota.

Best Educational Application

Alien Rescue also received honorable mention for ingenuity in the Best Educational Application category of Macromedia eLearning Innovation Award Program in 2001.

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