Personal Best is a new event series presented by NYU Game Center which showcases the best practices of contemporary women game designers and researchers through a feminist lens. Co-created by Game Center MFA candidate, Toni Pizza and Graduate Assistant to the NYU Poly Game Innovation Lab, Sarah Schoemann in partnership with NYU Game Center faculty and staff.
Jessica Hammer, a Columbia University researcher, veteran game designer and teacher, will share about her current work on Stronger Together, a games-based youth education program based in Ethiopia, created in partnership with the NGO Girl Affect. Hammer will discuss her work on the design of Stronger Together’s pilot program, which works with teenage girls to practice emotional skills and forge social connections with each other through gameplay. Join us to learn why Hammer saw games as the perfect medium for exploring and strengthening social relationships between girls and to hear her insights into the complex process of designing effective games that also serve as research and facilitation tools.
When: Tuesday, February 19, 7:00pm, Where: 721 Broadway, 9th Floor Lobby
Event is free and open to the public.
Stay tuned for a second event this March or join the Game Center email list for more information.
IndieCade will be hitting the east coast for the first time next month, and the Game Center is proud to announce that we will be sponsoring the conference! In addition, our faculty, students, and alumni will also be out in full force to show off their latest projects.
First and foremost, Game Center adjunct faculty member Matt Parker is the chair of the conference. His Kinect/iPad game Recurse was a finalist back at IndieCade 2010. Professor Eric Zimmerman is bringing out his as-of-yet unpublished strategy board game Armada d6. Alumnus Michael T. Astolfi is presenting BlindSide, an audio-only adventure game for iOS. And Grant Reid, who graduated just last year, will be presenting Staccato, a game he made with other Game Center students in one of our Advanced Game Design class.
Two of the Game Center’s No Quarter exhibitors also have projects that are appearing at the conference. Ramiro Corbetta is presenting Hokra, the fast-paced, competitive, local multiplayer game that was also recently featured in a successful Kickstarter campaign (along with Doug Wilson’s JS Joust, Noah Sasso’s BaraBariBall, and Bennet Foddy’s Super Pole Riders) that will see its release on the PlayStation 3. Zach Gage, another NY-based indie, will be showing off Spelltower, his iOS word-search/spelling game that challenges players to find words in randomly-generated grids of letters.
The conference will also feature a Keynote by Kris Piotrowski co-founder and creative director of CAPY, makers of SWORD & SWORCERY EP; a Show and Tell showcase/lounge, inviting independent developers to bring in and show off their games while getting feedback from other indies; and the Iron Game Design Challenge, an hour-long event where Game Center students will be pit against Parsons students in a challenge to come up with the best game concept.
A full festival pass is only $60 for students, and $80 for the general public. Pricing for single days and other tickets can be found here. The Game Center is very excited to be a part of the first IndieCade East festival and we look forward to seeing all of you there!
The Game Center Lecture Series is happy to present Chris Melissinos, guest curator of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s “The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect” exhibit, discussing the evolution of video games from their humble beginnings to eventual arrival as one of the most significant forms of artistic expression in human history. With unique insight that spans his almost 40 years of playing, collecting, developing, and curating video games, Melissinos will discuss how video games have grown in importance, the opportunity they represent in transforming culture, and how he turned this passion into one of the most visited exhibitions in the history of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
The talk will be held on Friday, February 15 at 721 Broadway, Room 006 (Lower Level), at 7:00pm. This event is free and open to the public, RSVP required. Please RSVP here.
Copies of The Art of Video Games, ($40) Melissinos’s co-authored (with Patrick O’Rourke) companion book to the exhibition, will be available for purchase and signing. One free signed copy of the book will be awarded to a lecture attendee!
If you’re on the West coast and can’t join us for the lecture series, by happy coincidence, The Art of Video Games exhibition opens at Seattle’s EMP Museum the same day as the lecture!
On Feburary 5th, the NYU Game Center, in cooperation with NYU-Poly’s Game Innovation Lab, is hosting the Second Annual New York Video Game Critics Circle Awards. The event will be held on February 5th at the Pfizer Auditorium at NYU-Poly.
Daily Show writer Daniel Radosh has been tapped to host the event, which will feature performances by MC Frontalot and Schaffer the Darklord. Presenters include horror filmmakers Larry Fessenden and Graham Resnick, as well as The Magician author and Time magazine book critic Lev Grossman. To round out the event, six members of the NYVGCC will “hold court” to discuss the games and trends of 2012.
The show is free and open to the public, but space is limited and RSVP is required in order to attend. RSVP here.
After the awards show, there will be an afterparty hosted in the lobby of the auditorium, which will include a performance by Control Group, a new band from Bastion composer Darren Korb.
We hope to see you all there!
Diego Garcia is one of the 19 students currently enrolled in our MFA program, and his portfolio contains a gem that we wanted to share with everyone else. Heads Up! Hot Dogs is a iOS game that challenges players to balance hot dogs on the heads of random people as they pass by on the street, produced by Garcia and partner Emmett Butler, with sound from knife city and Space Boyfriend. The game was released with the help of publisher Adult Swim Games.
From the App Store:
“The world’s first and best frankfurter-wearing simulator finally arrives on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch! Assembled with the utmost care and attention under the supervision of highly-trained pixel craftsmen, Heads Up! Hot Dogs will tickle your fingertips as well as your taste buds with its rich tapestry of 2D flavors. Ultra-realistic, arcade-perfect visuals, stunning encased-meat sound effects and sizzling Space Age chiptunes combine to provide a culinary experience sure to satisfy even the most demanding gamer appetite.”
The game has received rave reviews across the ‘net, with Modojo calling it, “entertaining and challenging at the same time,” and CVG noting it, “adds a vital streak of silly, oddball fun to the App Store.” The game stands at 4.5/5 on the App Store, with users lauding the addictive gameplay and stellar soundtrack.
You can pick up Heads Up! Hot Dogs in the App Store now for just $0.99.
The Game Center is hiring additional faculty for the 2013-2014 year!
We are seeking applicants with experience in one or more of the following areas: game design, game
programming, and game scholarship.
Game Design – candidates with a focus on game design should have a professional background doing
original and innovative creative work that demonstrates proficiency in some or all of the following –
concept development, system design, interaction design, user interface, level design, narrative design,
creative direction, project management, and content creation.
Game Programming – candidates with a focus on game programming should have a professional
background that demonstrates expertise in writing code for substantial game projects. Knowledge of
multiple programming languages and development environments is preferred. Experience in shipping
large-scale commercial game projects will be strongly considered.
Game Scholarship – candidates with a focus on game scholarship should have an academic or
professional background in game studies and/or game criticism and should have a body of work that
demonstrates original and insightful thinking in the form of published writing, broadcasting, curriculum
development, active teaching, research, curation, or related activities.
Deadline for submissions is February 8, 2013.
For submission requirements and more click here.
The Global Game Jam returns to the NYU Game Center once again in 2013! Join us for one of the most exciting weekends of the year with 48 hours of game creation with developers from around NYC, our MFA students, and you! Beginning on Friday evening on January 25th and running until Sunday evening, you’ll have a chance to take part in the entire cycle of designing on game on fast forward, from team formation, concepting, execution, and even feedback, during our awards on Sunday night. Registration spots are limited, so be sure to indicate that the Game Center will be your jam site by registering and updating your profile on the GGJ site, here. No prior experience is required, and all are welcome to this free event.
And under the right circumstances, the constraints of the Global Game Jam might just lead to your next big project! Congratulations to Itay Keren for earning backing from Indie Fund for his game Mushroom 11! The game was initially designed at our 2012 Global Game Jam site. It took home the award our Game Jam award Best Game Design, and Itay has since been working to continue developing and polishing his fascinating fungal based game.
If you are interesting in following Keren’s footsteps and making your own innovative and award winning game, register today to be a part of our 2013 Global Game Jam site!
Tuesday, December 11
721 Broadway, 9th Floor Lobby
#1reason blew up on twitter and brought the conversation about women in the game industry to the forefront. Join the conversation this Tuesday at the NYU Game Center.
NYU Game Center MFA student Toni Pizza has brought together a collection of thinkers to lead a discussion on the topic, and we invite you to be a part of the dialogue. Naomi Clark (Brooklyn Game Ensemble), Katherine Isbister (NYU Poly), Frank Lantz (NYU/Zynga), Colleen Macklin (Parsons the New School, PETLab), Karen Sideman (Games for Change), and Sarah Schoemann (NYU Poly student- Hey Girl Gamer) present insight on Twitter’s recent #1Reason hashtag phenomenon. These designers and academics discuss the industry from their perspectives, challenges they’ve overcome, and their thoughts on how anyone in the game industry might adapt to be more inclusive. Q&A will follow.
This event is free and open to the public.
Please RSVP here.
It’s time to start practicing your Ice Climbers combos! Our annual Fall Brawl returns Saturday, December 8th bigger and more exciting than ever with tournament play for three different Super Smash games. This year’s tournaments will include Pro 2v2 and 1v1 brackets as well as Amateur 1v1 brackets for both Brawl and Melee. Plus, a special 1v1 tournament for Project M.
Check out the Fall Brawl website http://nyu.smashtournament.com/ for more information on the tournament set-up, schedule, and Pro bracket entrance fees.
When: Saturday, December 8th, 10am
Where: 721 Broadway, 9th floor
Some of the best Smash players on the East Coast will be out for this tournament, so if you’re excited by high level game play, be sure to join us! We’ll also have amateur tournaments and free play matches of the Super Smash Bros. for the 64, so there’s something for all levels of Smash fan.
Game or Be Gamed: Play, Participation and Power in the Digital Landscape
Thursday, December 6th 7PM
721 Broadway, Room 006
Douglas Rushkoff, code evangelist at Codecademy and author of Program or Be Programmed, Life Inc, and Media Virus, will explore the levels of playability in video games for what they reveal about our access to participation in society at large. Are we players, cheaters, modders, or programmers? What do games teach players about their agency both within the game and in the world beyond, and how do we – as game authors – encourage the quest for greater agency? Do we even want to?
Join us for December’s guest lecture. This event is free and open to the public.