GameFest 2013: Future Play!
Four collegiate game design programs, 40 student-designed video games, speakers from five game design companies (including Microsoft and Vicarious Visions), and one rollicking concert of game music favorites in the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC). It’s GameFest 2013—the annual two-day showcase of student talent in game design and simulations, April 26-27, hosted by the Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) program at Rensselaer.
GameFest 2013: Future Play is a regional forum for students in game design programs to display their work, compete against their peers in a juried exhibition, and make connections in the game design industry. The festival, now in its 10th year at Rensselaer, is also a chance to check out the next generation of game design professionals. All events are free and open to the public.
Microsoft Game Studios Senior Game Designer Richard Rouse III will deliver the keynote address Saturday, April 27.
This year’s festival includes student-designed games from game design programs at Becker College in Worcester, Mass., Champlain College in Burlington, Vt., and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), as well as the Rensselaer Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences program, recently named among the top 15 out of 150 undergraduate game design programs in the United States and Canada, according to the Princeton Review.
“GameFest gives students experience in presenting work in a public context and at a level of professional polish suitable for the marketplace,” said Ben Chang, associate professor of arts and GSAS co-director.
Sponsors for the event include Vicarious Visions, which will also judge the competition, 1st Playable (both located in the Capital Region, and founded by Rensselaer alumni), and Arkadium, Games That Work, Microsoft, Emagination Computer Camps, Harmonix, and WMS.
“The Northeast has an important presence in the game world—New York, Boston, and Montreal, for example, all have strong game development communities,” said Chang. “Rensselaer is in a great location for pulling those communities together, and we definitely view GameFest as a community-building event for the games industry in the Northeast.”
GameFest 2013 kicks off on Friday, April 26, at 8 p.m. in the EMPAC Concert Hall with “Twas the Night Before GameFest,” an evening of game music favorites. As the games are projected on the EMPAC Concert Hall screen, an orchestra will perform the music of Angry Birds, Super Mario Brothers, Uncharted, Bioshock, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and more. The orchestra will be conducted by Joshua Osburn, with performances by Mary Simoni, musician and dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and Rensselaer students.
The student games exhibition and competition will take place at EMPAC from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Forty student-designed games will be on exhibit, with 20 entered in a juried competition with prizes awarded based on technical production, artistry, creativity, and the “groundbreaking” quality of their work. The keynote address, and a panel discussion on “Future Play: The People, the Technology, and the Games” will be held on Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. in the EMPAC Concert Hall, followed by an awards presentation at 6 p.m.
A full schedule of the festival can be found at www.hass.rpi.edu/pl/hass-events/gamefest-2013-future-play.