Game Design BFA Begins
This fall marked an exciting milestone for our department and a historic moment for NYU. The Game Center welcomed our first-ever incoming class of game design undergraduate students. The Game Design BFA is a 4-year Bachelor of Fine Arts program where students learn about game design, game development, and game scholarship, preparing them for careers as game designers, developers, scholars, and critics.
Our full-time faculty roster has expanded to support a much larger student body. We welcomed Naomi Clark and Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris as Assistant Arts Professors. Both women bring with them exceptional skill, insight, and experience as well as tremendous enthusiasm for the challenge of helping our students create the future of games. In addition to Naomi and Mitu, we are thrilled to also welcome Matt Boch to the department as a Visiting Associate Arts Professor. Matt has provided tremendous insight and knowledge to the production and design of AAA games. We’re happy to welcome our three new faculty members, and are confident that they will be a phenomenal resource for our students.
Naomi Clark is a game designer, teacher, and scholar who has been making games since 1999. She has contributed to over three dozen titles in various roles, including designer, producer, artist, writer, and programmer. Naomi’s experience spans from developing games for well-known companies such as LEGO to smaller-scale independent and experimental work.
Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris is a game designer, scholar, and entrepreneur. She holds a PhD on the aesthetics of interactivity in videogames, completed at the University of Portsmouth in 2015. A rising star in the games industry, she won the Breakthrough Brit BAFTA in 2013 and the Creative English Trailblazer Award in 2014.”
Matt Boch is a musician, writer, artist, developer, and designer with a wealth of experience in high-profile, mainstream game titles. In addition to his teaching duties, Matt also serves as a Creative Director at Harmonix Music Systems, designing and directing some of Harmonix’s premier titles
Now in its eighth year, the NYU Game Center Lecture Series continues to bring top speakers from game development, criticism, and culture to the department for free, open to the public lectures. The Lectures Series is recorded and posted on our Vimeo page, along with videos from other events. Our numerous public events are made possible by the generosity of our Event Sponsors: Fresh Panet, Avalanche, Take Two Interactive, Play Dots, and Shinra Technologies.
PRACTICE: Game Design in Detail is the Game Center’s annual conference for professional game designers. Our goal is to create a context for high-level discourse among game designers of all types. PRACTICE brings together game designers of all kinds, console developers, board game designers, breakdancer tournament organizers, and many more to discuss the details of our shared game design practice. All PRACTICE talks will be available on our Vimeo page January 4, 2016.
This year, the fifth year of the conference, we were able to provide discounted tickets thanks to the generous contribution of Games for Change. We would also like to thank Kickstarter and Brooklyn Brewery for helping make the conference a success.
Our students continue to be recognized by festivals and conferences all over the world for their outstanding work. Below is a partial list of places where our students have won awards and presented games or papers.
Audience Choice Award: BADBLOOD
Digital Selects: Cibele, Maquisard, and Stellar Smooch
eSports Showcase: BADBLOOD and Ninja Tag
Night Games Selects: Hotaru, Scattershot, In Tune, and Slam City Oracles
Big Games Selects: Big Fish / Little Fish and Short Order
Table Games: Signum
Beglitched, Circa Infinity, Backer Reward, and BADBLOOD
Cibele, BADBLOOD, and Circa Infinity
PAX 10: Ninja Tag
IndieMiniBooth: Circa Infinity
Games and Literary Theory
Invited Speakers: Alex Duncan and Karina Popp
Ludicious – The Zürich Game Festival
Student Competition Nominees: Circa Infinity and Maquisard
In addition to teaching and serving the Game Center community, full-time faculty at Tisch are required to maintain an ongoing professional artistic practice, so our professors are releasing games, writing books, and organizing conferences. Their experience and relevancy keeps our curriculum responsive to the rapidly changing industry.
Eric Zimmerman, together with his collaborators at Local No. 12, released The Metagame to critical acclaim and commercial success. Additionally, his work with Nathalie Pozzi, Starry Heavens, was shown at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Naomi Clark was awarded the Impact Award at the 2015 IndieCade Festival for her game, Consentacle.
Matt Boch continues his work with Harmonix, bringing Beat Sports to the Apple TV, where it was both top ranked and top grossing.
Also on Apple devices, Bennett Foddy and MFA Alumni Alec Thompson’s Stair was one of the top 10 free iOS apps this fall.
Clara Fernandez-Vara curated Gamespace, the first ever game exhibit at the New York Film Festival.
Student & Alumni Accomplishments
Our alumni have been making a name for themselves in the game industry by publishing games, joining major game design studios, and pushing games in new and exciting directions.
With the momentum of the NYU Game Center Incubator behind them, Circa Infinity and BADBLOOD were published in September. Also this fall, Cibele, Slash Dash, Brooklyn 1776, Gutsy, and Stair were published on platforms from ranging from Xbox One to iOS. More information on these and other games our students have published is available here.
Rob Meyer and the NYC-based team at Avalanche Studios released Just Cause 3.
Elyse Lemoine is now working at SCE Bend Studio as an Associate Narrative Director.
Grant Reid is the Game Director leading the relaunch of Two Dots in China.
Toni Pizza is now both the Chair of Indiecade East and a game designer at Gigantic Mechanic.
Leandro Ribeiro, following a PAX 10 selection and successful Steam Greenlight of his thesis game Ninja Tag, took a position as a Associate Game Designer at Riot Games.
Fanziska Zeiner, in addition to her continued work at German game company Wooga, is editing the second issue of Amaze Magazine.
Liron Lerman’s work with augmented reality appears in Clifford Ross’ latest book “Seen & Imagined”, published this December.