NYU Game Center students, faculty, and alumni continued to make games that delight, challenge, and excite. The past year saw games launched, job promotions received, and new opportunities found. Here are just a few highlights from our community’s accomplishments in 2020.
Adjunct faculty and Incubator alumni Cosmo D released Tales From Off-Peak City vol. 1 this Spring. It was nominated as a Finalist for the IGF Nuovo Award and has a 99% Positive rating on Steam. Pick it up here.
MFA alumni and adjunct faculty Jack Schlesinger released Good Sudoku, Spelltower+, and worked on the following releases: Card of Darkness, Neonimo, and We should talk..
MFA alumni Carol Mertz released Paintbrush for the Blinks Game System as part of their Community Set.
Alumni Nina Demirjian and Sean Park launched their Alfred P. Sloan Foundation-backed game Red Planet Farming on Steam and on coolmathgames.com
MFA alumni Kat Aguiar, Nobonita Bhowmik, Francesca Carletto-Leon, Jordan Jones-Brewster, Carol Mertz, and Jack Schlesinger released We should talk. on PS4/Xbox/Switch/Steam/itch.io, published by Whitethorn Digital. The game was an IndieCade nominee and featured in the IndieCade Summer Series.
Alumni Jeff Brice was the sound designer on Respawn Entertainment’s latest VR launch, Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond.
Press and Recognition
Current BFA Issac Wirth was profiled in a mini documentary in PC gamer, talking about his VR dancing game, Spotlight. Watch the video here.
Faculty Robert Yang launched Hard Lads. About the game, Art In America wrote, “Robert Yang’s masculinity simulator uncovers the sadist streak in internet voyeurism.”
MFA alumni Milan Koerner-Safrata was profiled in Killscreen about his design process and about SCRNPRNT, the studio he launched with this brother, Neilson.
Awards and Accomplishments
MFA Alina Constantin was selected for a collaboration with Mona Sloane (PhD) from Tandon on “This is Not A Drill” a research project at the intersection of arts, science and inequality, supported by NYU Tisch Future of Imagination Fund. She also did a post-mortem talk for QGCon 2020 on the process of making Shrug Island, a game she crowdfunded and released in 2018. Alina’s pitch was also chosen for the NYC Media Lab – Consumer Reports Data Challenge fall prototyping program where she designed Ganesha’s Terms, a narrative card game concept merging data rights with hindu myth. You can see her team’s results here. She was also selected for an AIAS Women In Scholarship for this year, and her mentor will be Jennifer Schneidereit of Nyamyam, producers of Tengami and Astrologaster.
BFA’s Connor Allen-Kilpatrick and Elizabeth Yuan were a part of a team that placed 10th place overall and 9th in fun out of over 5,000 entries in the GMTK Game Jam 2020. Play the game here!
Current MFA Charles H. Huang spoke at Babycastles’ Farewell to Flash Games, as well as earlier in the year about Asian American Game Design. Additionally, he was one of the Incubatees at RPI’s Level UpState Summer Incubator and is teaching Intro to Game Programming at Hostos Community College.
Jobs and Professional Work
Faculty Robert Yang was commissioned for the Manchester International Festival 2021
MFA alumni Danny Hawk was invited to write a piece for the online and printed versions of New Rules, a booklet of writing about play during the current pandemic edited by Holly Gramazio.
MFA alumni Ilya Zarembsky was promoted to lead front end engineer at Ghostery.
MFA alumni Allison Cole worked with IMVU as game designer on their newest game-based project, which launched in Canada. She was commissioned to make a board game for WordPlay festival, worked on a contract with Shield Your Rights to mentor indigenous youth in game design, and her artist collective was commissioned by Up in the Air theatre festival to finish the their game, Strangers on the ‘Net. The game was very well-received, including featuring in Indiecade/QGCon/Larp festivals, CBC arts put it on their list of “10 best bets for online events” and a Fanbyte article was written about it. Her artist collective also was accepted into the Damage Lab incubator, and are in the process of legally forming a co-op game studio (one of the first in Canada!)
MFA alumni Nova Villanueva has been writing a book for game development under a contract for the publisher Apress, the book will be published in all major retail stores in 2021. She is also streaming the developing of her game The Mills on Twitch.tv.
MFA alumni Carol Merz landed a full-time job as a Game Designer at Exploding Kittens. Also this year, Breaking Games announced the signing of KROMA, a game made she made with other MFA alumni that started during their time at the Game Center. KROMA will have a Kickstarter and anticipated mass retail release next year.