Television screens, game consoles, motion sensors and virtual reality (VR) goggles filled the Design Exchange in downtown Toronto for the 6th Annual Level Up showcase.
What began as a small academic collaboration between, computer science Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Steve Engels and Assistant Professor Emma Westecott at OCAD University, has grown into the largest event for student game design in Ontario.
Three of this year’s must-see games, Plunder, Shadow Tag, and Chrominance, were designed by U of T and OCAD U teams.
Plunder (team photo top left), where players must navigate pirate ships through sea monster-filled waters, took home the People’s Choice Award. The students team members are: Nicholas Adams (OCAD), Sehran Hasanli (computer science), Murali Komaravolu (computer science), Will Parks (OCAD), Nathan Pilla (OCAD), Dhyey Sejpal (computer science) and Abhijeeth Swaminathan (computer science).
Toronto Star: Students get their game on at Level Up Showcase
Fourteen participating colleges and universities demonstrated over 50 projects, sharing with industry and gaming fans of all ages, what students can create within an academic term. For U of T and OCAD U students, by the time their groups were formed and concepts approved, they had only seven weeks to deliver in time for Level Up.
Members of last year’s Level Up winner, Pitfall Planet, Emma Burkeitt (OCAD), Adam Robinson-Yu (BSc 2015) and David Czarnowski (OCAD), returned to the showcase after being shortlisted in the best student game category at the Independent Games Festival held in San Francisco. Their game is being released by Steam later this year.
Their game features two robot astronauts that have crash-landed on a mysterious planet and must scavenge enough ore to fuel their trip home.
CBC: Level Up Showcase exhibit brings student-made video games to the public
This year’s Game Design course (CSC404H) was instructed by Elias Adum, a technical lead in game development at UKEN Games.
Engels and Alum hint there may be an opportunity to add an additional mobile (app) game design course.
Congratulations to team Plunder on their People's Choice win!
– More Level Up photos (via Flickr)