Visiting Professors Eric Zimmerman and Charles Pratt Join as full-time faculty; Clara Fernández-Vara and Bennett Foddy Round Out Department’s Game Studies and Design Capability.
The Game Center at NYU Tisch School of the Arts today announced the addition of four new members to its permanent faculty, serving to further enhance the size and scope of the department’s academic strength in the emerging field of game design education.
Eric Zimmerman, currently a visiting professor and one of the most widely recognized and respected names in game design and game scholarship, will accept a permanent position as an Arts Professor. Charles Pratt, also currently at the Game Center in an adjunct capacity and who has spearheaded several key Game Center initiatives – including the No Quarter annual game exhibit and the Spring Fighter tournament series – will become an Assistant Arts Professor.
Newcomers to the faculty include Clara Fernández-Vara, formerly visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Bennet Foddy, of Oxford University. Fernández-Vara, whose focus has been in using theory and research in the service of design, with a special interest in procedural and interactive narrative, will become an Associate Arts Professor. Foddy, in addition to being an influential game designer (creator of the cult classic QWOP), has also taught and conducted research in the fields of philosophy and neuroscience. He will serve as Assistant Arts Professor.
“With these new hires, I really believe we’ve assembled a “dream team” of faculty here at the Game Center. Each one of them enjoys tremendous respect in the gaming world and also brings his or her unique strength and specialty, which meld extremely well with the capabilities of our current faculty,” said Frank Lantz, Chair of the Game Center. “Moreover, in addition to their impressive accomplishments in game design and academic research, each one is an experienced and committed teacher, which will allow us to add greater depth to the stable of courses we offer at the Game Center.”
Established in 2008, the NYU Game Center is housed at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and offers both 2-year Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) and an undergraduate minor that explore the design and development of games as a creative practice. The department offers courses and public programs on the design, production, and study of games as an aesthetic and cultural form. Working in conjunction with other departments within NYU, as well as the gaming community, part of the center’s mission is to establish New York City as a center of innovation in the growing field of game design.
Indiecade consistently attracts some of the most interesting and experimental games from the independent game scene. Last year, NYC had an impressive showing out in LA, so the Game Center plans to do its part to support our city again this year.
If you’re submitting a game to Indiecade, bring it to the Game Center on Monday 6/10 from 7 – 9PM for an open playtest!
If you’re not submitting, but you’d like to play a collection of independent games in one place, (including some of our student’s games!) join us on the 10th!
We like to say that thoughtful criticism is the highest form of praise for a designer, so bring your constructive critique and help NYC take over Indiecade again this year.
The event will begin with a short talk about playtesting best practices by Game Center Professor and frequent festival judge, Eric Zimmerman.
Following that, the games will be open for play until 9PM.
If you are interested in playtesting your game, please email email@example.com before 6/6 with a brief description of your game, and any special space or hardware requests.
This event is free and open to the public. See you on the 10th!
Like games? How about games that aim to make a difference in the world? NYU Game Center is proud to partner with the annual Games for Change Festival as it celebrates its ten year anniversary. Games for Change brings together developers and those interested in assessing the positive impact of games on society with the general public for two days of workshops, lectures and demonstrations. The conference will host educators, game designers, government representatives and those from the commercial sector as they discuss how to bring games that implement change to all corners of the industry.
Join the discussion on June 17th-19th at New World Stages at 340 West 50th Street in New York City to hear from leaders in the industry like Brenda Romero, Jesse Schell, games journalist Leigh Alexander, Tracy Fullerton, the team from Babycastles and more. Full schedule is available here.
Game Center community members are eligible for a 10% discount, just use the ‘nyugc’ code at checkout.
Game Center students are eligible for an ever larger discount- $100 for the whole festival! More information here.
Registration is available now - so sign up today and join us in exploring the critical change games can create.
Are you a Battlestar Galactica fan? Ever wondered what it would be like to live a day in the Colonial Fleet? The Monitor Celestra Project received international acclaim for giving live-action role-players in Sweden the chance to experience the drama of the BSG universe first hand in one of three epic weekends aboard a Cold War battleship. Now, Celestra designers Martin Ericsson and Cecilia Dolk will be at the Game Center discussing the game design challenges they faced bringing the Battlestar Galactica universe to life.
Come join us Thursday night May 30th at 7PM to meet the designers, hear about the Celestra Project and talk about the Celestra’s place in the live-action gaming world. See video and photos of the event, get in on the Q&A and hear about the efforts to bring the Monitor Celestra experience to the United States.
The talk will be given at the Game Center at 721 Broadway on the 9th floor and is open to the public. RSVP here and we hope to see you there!
This summer, Phoenix Perry is running a weekly coding workshop for women (and transfolk) with a focus on game creation. The workshop will mark the very first session of the Code Liberation Foundation, an educational initiative founded by Perry which offers free game development and programming skills to creative women and teens.
Classes will run June 19th – August 14th, on Wednesdays from 6.30 – 8.30 at the NYU Game Center. Spots are almost filled so sign up today. Register here.
For more information about the Code Liberation Foundation:
What do you get when you export an NYU Game Center MFA student to Norway for a weekend of live action game design conversation? The answer is an education in the rich tradition of Nordic LARP.
Last year, representatives of the Nordic LARP scene visited the NYU Game Center for a talk on the first US run of the Nordic game Mad About the Boy hosted by author Lizzie Stark. Tor Kjetil Edland, Trine Lise Lindahl, and Margrete Raaum lectured regarding not only the game but their involvement with the larger community in Europe. In response, this year NYU Game Center MFA student and US LARP designer Shoshana Kessock visited the Nordic LARP game conference in Norway known as Knutepunkt.
Held outside of Oslo at scenic Haraldvagen, Knutepunkt is a gathering of members of international LARP organizers and academics interested in sharing the latest ideas and advancement in the community. Since 1997 it has become arguably the most important conference in Europe regarding LARP. The theme of the weekend was Crossing Borders, appropriate for a convention which drew attendees from a dozen countries including Russia, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Israel, Palestine and the United States. New games were presented, including Huntsville, a LARP that explored capitol punishment in a Texas Prison, Robin’s Friends which explored friendship in the shadow of leukemia and Prison which let players explore the confinement and psychological pressures of incarceration. These kinds of intense games are typical of Nordic live action games, which focus on game experiences that provoke emotional response and thoughtful consideration of the content. The conference also hosted the LARP Exchange Academy, a three-day game jam for new developers the week before the conference to produce brand new games for presentation.
Along with the games presented, an extensive program of panels and discussions explored different parts of Nordic LARP. One such short discussion by author Jaakko Stenros (Nordic LARP, Pervasive Games) highlights the difficulties of defining Nordic LARP as a game genre in the context of more traditional live action games. Other lectures for the weekend included advanced LARP theory by author Markos Montola (Nordic LARP, Pervasive Games), discussions on political LARPs by Stockholm University professor and researcher Annika Waern (Pervasive Games), discussions on the handling of sexual content in live action games and practical workshops on LARP development techniques.
The conference also provided a home for international collaboration. Designers from around the world shared tips on game design and discussed the relative cultures of their communities and brainstormed future collaborations, such as the joint Norwegian-Palestinian conference in Ramallah this summer. Discussions took place about bringing over more Nordic games to the US, with organizers from the Battlestar Galactica-inspired Monitor Celestra game announcing their intent to aim for a US run. Shoshana Kessock spoke with several designers regarding future collaborations for a New York-based academic LARP conference and showcase, planned for 2014, and the importance of importing Nordic games for US runs. Overall, Knutepunkt is a brilliant educational opportunity for anyone interested in pervasive and live action games and essential for anyone curious about the Nordic tradition itself. Next year’s dates have already been announced for April 2014, to be held in Sweden.
Shoshana Kessock is an Game Center MFA student, creator of Phoenix Outlaw Productions, a writer, and much more. You can learn more about Shoshana here.
The NYU Game Center’s annual PRACTICE conference asks the question, “What is the practice of game design?” We invite you to explore this question with us once again when PRACTICE 2013 returns on November 15th- 17th.
Out of all the disciplines needed to make a game, game design is the most critical but least understood. PRACTICE is a yearly conference for professional game designers that explores the ideas and methods of game design. PRACTICE brings veteran designers across computer and videogames, paper games and sports, over three days to take a close look at the nuts and bolts of game design. Through lectures and panels, workshops and discussion, we explore the practice of game design, with a focus on the concrete, day-to-day techniques of designing games, with plenty of time for playing and socializing as well!
Exclusive speakers you won’t see anywhere else, an intimate gathering of working designers for high level discussion, and lots of time for social events in NYC makes this conference is a true must-attend for anyone interested in game design.
Last year, conference goers created a collaborative record of the many threads and conversations brought up over the course of the conference. We encourage you to browse through this amazing and entertaining record of PRACTICE 2012 and learn why PRACTICE is not to miss!
We also have video recordings of each of the lectures on our Vimeo page! Each lecture is full of unique insight, we welcome you to enjoy and share them!
Join us on Thursday May 16th at 7PM for the NYU Game Center Student Show! The first class of NYU’s MFA program is completing its first year, and to celebrate, the students invite you to come play games developed in their first year of education. The semester-long projects from Game Studio II will all be on display, as well as a collection of work from Game Design I & II, Minimalist Game Design, and Game Studio I. A few select undergraduate projects will also be represented! The games from Game Studio II will be:
- Float through space in Kaleidoscope, an existential space crisis homage to Ray Bradbury.
- Team up with others in the networked spaceship battle game Asterisk.
- Try and escape a sunken Roman wreckage in the undersea puzzle game Octavia.
- Rediscover your childhood love of tabletop dungeon battles with the digital tribute Brutal Arena.
- Float through the trees and make the forest bloom with the Kinect game Jungle.
- Experience a trippy narrative experience on the tennis court with Text Tennis.
Refreshments will be served. RSVP here and come join us!
Come join us for an end of the semester day of games at the NYU-Poly Game Innovation Lab in Brooklyn on May 8th! Celebrate the end of term from 3-10PM and play games made by students as well as developers from the extended New York game design community such as Kaho Abe and Howard Tsao.
The schedule for the day includes games to play in the lab and on the plaza (weather permitting) from 3PM-6PM, followed by an Indie Tech Talk at 7PM by Canabalt designer Adam Saltsman entitled “Humanist Game Design”, hosted by Andy Nealen. Afterwards, stay to enjoy more games into the night, including the alpha playtest of the outdoor platformer re-creation of Canabalt entitled Canasphalt, created by Come Out and Play.
No RSVP necessary. NYU-Poly Game Center is located at 5 Metrotech Center in Brooklyn.
Please join us in welcoming Harvey Smith for the conclusion of 2012-13 Guest Lecture Series on Thursday May 2nd at 7PM!
With a pedigree extending back to the famed Looking Glass Studios, Harvey Smith has been a designer of innovative and lauded games since the mid 90′s. Most recently he was the Creative Director of Dishonored, one of this year’s most creatively ambitious and well-received games. We welcome you to take part in a conversation with Harvey about how his team’s approach to player-centric and adaptive gameplay has made Dishonored such a success.
We encourage you to bring colleagues and friends, and to come with questions and participate in the conversation. Free and open to the public. RSVP required, register at this link.
Beginning on Monday in the Open Library, our student librarians will be curating games that are in conversation with Harvey’s work. The games will be open for play throughout the week and before the lecture on Thursday, so we encourage you to arrive early and play. The Open Library is open Monday – Friday 12PM – 8PM in the lower level of 721 Broadway.