2014-15 Events in Review

At the heart of the Game Center’s mission is a drive to bring the best talent in games to NYC. Our events series is wide-ranging, open to the public, and most events are free – it’s a feat we can accomplish only thanks to our event sponsors, for whose support we’re enormously grateful.Laidlaw, Gaider, Prinze - Dragon Age

This year, our Lecture Series included guests such as influential feminist and media critic Anita Sarkeesian; author Jon Peterson who spoke extensively on the design history of the cultural phenomenon of Dungeons and Dragons; a panel from the creative team behind the Triple-A title, Dragon Age; archivist Jason Scott; author Mary Pilon who discussed the history of Monopoly; Jon Bois on his popular series Breaking Madden; Jack Fletcher on voice acting in games, and many more.  Videos of many events, such as Cara Ellison discussing the birth of the gamemaker, or Adam Saltsman on getting paid without selling out, are available on our Vimeo channel.

Alongside the Lecture Series, we also run more extensive masterclasses, which this year included Jennifer Hale, whose credits include Baldur’s Gate, Mass Effect, Metroid Prime, Metal Gear Solid, Soulcalibur on voice acting, and Greg Trefry, director of Come Out And Play, on making physical games.

Our ongoing weekly event, Playtest Thursday, continues to grow in scope and serve as a lively gathering, not only for our students but also for local developers in the NYC game design scene. It also serves as an excellent recruitment tool for prospective students who want to get a taste of what it’s like to be a part of the Game Center community. Heading into the fall semester, we’ll continue to welcome everyone to the Game Center on Thursday from 5 to 7PM to give and receive feedback.

As with the previous year, No Quarter, our annual indie game exhibition commissioned work by four amazingly talented local developers and continues to contribute to the reputation of New York as one of the most interesting places to be for game makers. This year, we premiered Dog Park by Kevin Cancienne, Slam City Oracles by Jane Friedhoff, Consentacle by Naomi Clark, and Corporate Vandals by Shawn Allen.

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The Game Center again hosted NYC’s Global Game Jam event, attracting 261 jammers for a weekend of building games around the theme of “What do we do now?” It’s a theme that inspired a lot of interesting and experimental games, such as Cuddly Clown Chaos, Abored, and Shia LeBeouf Ate My Hands.  All of the games from the NYU location are available to play here.

PRACTICE, our annual conference on game design continues attract some of the best talents currently working in games. Speakers this year included Jake Elliot and Tamas Kemenczy, the designers behind Kentucky Route Zero; Drew Murray, who presented the design process of Sunset Overdrive; Samantha Kalman, who shared prototypes of her upcoming musical game, Sentris; Lukas Litzsinger, who spoke about the identity of Android: Netrunner and many more.

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Our yearly showcases of the amazing student work continue to be our most popular events. We started the year with a showcase of the six games from the 2014 Incubator cohort, games that have gone on to win awards, secure publishing, and find financial success. The end of the academic year was marked by the Game Center Student Show, a collection of nearly 100 games from MFA, BFA, and game design minor students. Many of the games at the show are available right here on our site.

We’re looking forward to filling next year’s calendar with a similarly dynamic range of events. Thanks to everyone who participated or attended, and thanks again to Fresh Planet, Play Dots, Avalanche Studios, Take-Two Interactive Software and Gigantic Mechanic for their vital sponsorship. Together, we’re building a world-class gaming community in the heart of NYC. See you next year!

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We’re a passionate team developing social apps that stand out in a sea of similarity. Founded by serial entrepreneurs and gaming veterans, our most important goal is to make fun games for smart people.

www.freshplanet.com

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Avalanche Studios

Avalanche Studios is the original creator of the award-winning Just Cause franchise (published by Square Enix). The studio was founded in Stockholm, Sweden in 2003 by Christofer Sundberg and Linus Blomberg, and established a US presence in New York City in 2011. Avalanche Studios develops games based on its proprietary technology, the Avalanche Engine, enabling huge open worlds filled with emergent gameplay. Avalanche Studios is currently developing for PS4, XBox One, and PC.

www.avalanchestudios.se

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Take-Two Interactive Software

Headquartered in New York City, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is a leading developer, publisher and marketer of interactive entertainment for consumers around the globe. The Company develops and publishes products through its two wholly-owned labels Rockstar Games and 2K. Our products are designed for console systems and personal computers, including smartphones and tablets, and are delivered through physical retail, digital download, online platforms and cloud streaming services. The Company’s common stock is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol TTWO. For more corporate and product information please visit the website at http://www.take2games.com.

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Playdots, Inc.

 

PlayDots is a New York based mobile game studio that makes original games with thoughtful design.

www.weplaydots.com

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Gigantic Mechanic

Gigantic Mechanic is a game design studio exploring new ways to bring fun and engaging experiences to the world around us through real-world, physical and social play.

www.giganticmechanic.com