GameFest 2014 - Symposium and Exhibition

NEXT 10: the tenth anniversary

Location: EMPAC

Website: http://games.wp.rpi.edu

April 25 &  26

Schedule

Friday April 25

Panel: Outrageous Future Predictions

EMPAC Studio Beta
7:00 – 8:00 PM

Panelists: David Allen, Jason Coley, Nick Hanford, Stephanie Jennings
Moderator: Ben Chang, Director, Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences, RPI

Celebration: JustPressPlay!

games, music, and VJ’s with PULSE (People Using Live Sofware and Electronics)


EMPAC Studio 1
8:00 – 11:00 PM

Saturday April 26

Expo: Student Game Showcase

EMPAC Studio 1, 5th Floor (Evelyn’s Cafe), 6th Floor Mezzanine, and 7th Floor Lobby
12:00  – 3:00 PM

Keynote: Leigh Alexander

EMPAC Concert Hall
4:00 – 5:00 PM

Panel: NEXT10

Panelists: Matt Boch (Harmonix), Michael Nitsche (Georgia Tech), Jake Elliott and Tamas Kemenczy (Cardboard Computer)
Moderator: Rebecca Rouse, Department of Communication and Media, RPI

EMPAC Concert Hall
5:00 – 6:00 PM

Awards: Student Game Competition

Sponsored by Vicarious Visions

EMPAC Concert Hall
6:00 – 6:30 PM

Program

Outrageous Future Predictions

Panelists: David Allen, Jason Coley, Nick Hanford, Stephanie Jennings
Moderator: Ben Chang, Director, Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences, RPI

Friday April 25

EMPAC Studio Beta

7:00 – 8:00 PM

What will games look like in 2024?  How has the field of Game Studies developed in the last ten years, and where does it go from here?  Will the pendulum swing from social gaming to anti-social gaming?  How will our games shape the way we understand the world, play and live together?   How many Oculus Rifts can our panelists really wear on their heads at the same time?

Rensselaer graduate students David Allen, Jason Coley, Nick Hanford, and Stephanie Jennings present their most scientifically rigorous data and most outlandish predictions to answer these and other critical questions in this rapid-fire panel at the bleeding edge of games research.

Bios:

Nicholas Hanford, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Games Criticism, is a graduate student in the Department of Communication and Media at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He holds a B.A. in Media and Communication Studies and a B.S. in Biology from Ursinus College. His work focuses primarily on games criticism and theories of audience and identity.  He has previously contributed to Higher Level Gamer and operates the blog The Man of Many Frowns. He can be reached on Twitter @ManofManyFrowns.

David Allen is an MFA student in the Department of the Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a digital artist, animator, and instructor with a professional background in children’s game development, communication design, multilingual typesetting, and traditional media, who has published titles for the Nintendo GBA, DS, DSi, Wii, and Jakks Pacific platforms. His current work centers on the intersection of games, emotion, movement and dance.

http://blog.ludimotion.com/

Jason Coley is PhD student of Communication and Media at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His dissertation is a transmedia study that measures presence across devices like the Oculus Rift, Google Glass, and the Emergent Reality Lab in order to develop a new framework for designing content on head-mounted displays. This research also analyzes art and media history with regards to the immersion and presence experience on digital and pre-digital devices with particular attention to games.

Stephanie Jennings is a PhD student in the Department of Communication and Media at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who studies issues of authorship and agency in the relationship between game designers and game players.

JustPressPlay

A night of games, live electronic music and visuals by the mad geniuses of PULSE (People Using Live Software and Electronics).

Friday April 25

EMPAC Studio 1

8:00 – 11:00 PM

 

Expo : Student Showcase

Saturday April 26

EMPAC 7th Floor Lobby, 6th Floor Mezzanine, 5th Floor (Evelyn’s Cafe), and Studio 1

12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Run and leap through a mystical floating city, use the Kinect to become an elemental spirit, put on an Oculus Rift VR headset to explore the dark history of an abandoned mental hospital, delve into a deep cavern made entirely of text, or bring back the days of the video arcade with new games created for custom-built arcade cabinet.  The GameFest Expo showcases the next generation of game designers, with over forty games from students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, Champlain College and the NYU Game Center.

Keynote: Leigh Alexander

Saturday April 26

EMPAC Concert Hall

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Experimentation in design plays a crucial role in the ongoing evolution of games both as a creative and a commercial medium. Leigh Alexander explains the new trends in tools and culture alike that make it a more exciting time than ever to participate.

Leigh Alexander is a writer, speaker and activist on interactive entertainment, social media and the culture of play. She’s editor at large for industry site Gamasutra and has been a longtime contributor to the specialist press, including Edge, Kotaku and Polygon, among others. Most recently, her work has appeared in The New Inquiry, Slate, The Atlantic, New Statesman and the Columbia Journalism Review, and she authored the ebook Breathing Machine, a memoir of a digital childhood. She is co-founder of Agency, a new creative consultancy for game development.

Panel: NEXT10

Panelists: Matt Boch (Harmonix), Michael Nitsche (Georgia Tech), Jake Elliott and Tamas Kemenczy (Cardboard Computer)
Moderator: Rebecca Rouse, Department of Communication and Media, RPI

Saturday April 26

EMPAC Concert Hall

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Dr. Michael Nitsche joined the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech in 2004, and formed the Digital World & Image Group DWIG (dwig.lmc.gatech.edu/) shortly after. His research looks into digital spaces, where and how they intersect with physical environments. Combining video games, mobile technology, and digital performances, he experiments with borderline areas of digital and physical media. Michael holds a PhD in Architecture from the University of Cambridge and researches digital virtual worlds as environments for dramatic engagement and human expression. His work combines theoretical analysis and practical experiments and his collaborations include work with the National Film and Television School London, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Turner Broadcasting, Alcatel Lucent, and others. He is author of Video Game Spaces: Image, Play, and Structure in 3D Worlds (MIT Press, 2009), and has published on Game Studies, virtual worlds, digital performance, games and film, and machinima in numerous publications.

Matt Boch is Creative Director at Harmonix Music Systems, guiding the direction of some of Harmonix’s premier titles. Matt began at Harmonix six years ago, with a Visual and Environmental Studies degree from Harvard University. From 2007-2010, he worked as a hardware designer, developing the look, feel and functionality of Rock Band’s iconic set of instruments. Matt then moved from the world of plastic guitars to the arena of game design when he began prototyping what would become Dance Central, utilizing his love for both music and dance. Most recently, he directed Harmonix’s newest innovation in music gaming, Fantasia: Music Evolved, a collaboration with Disney to bring the classic film into the 21st century. In his spare time, Matt is the lead singer for the Main Drag, a VJ and video artist, and makes video game remixes through his music project, AniGif.

Jake Elliott and Tamas Kemenczy are Chicago-based indie game development studio Cardboard Computer, creators of the critically acclaimed games including Kentucky Route Zero, The Entertainment, Limits and Demonstrations, and A House in California.

Kentucky Route Zero is a magical realist adventure game about a secret highway in the caves beneath Kentucky, and the mysterious folks who travel it. Gameplay is inspired by point-and-click adventure games (like the classic Monkey Island or King’s Quest series, or more recently Telltale’s Walking Dead series), but focused on characterization, atmosphere and storytelling rather than clever puzzles or challenges of skill.  The game is developed by Cardboard Computer (Jake Elliott and Tamas Kemenczy). The game’s soundtrack features an original electronic score by Ben Babbitt along with a suite of old hymns & bluegrass standards recorded by The Bedquilt Ramblers.