Creative Technologies will host Games Showcase on May 6 – News

Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts’ Creative Technologies Program will host its first-ever face-to-face games showcase on Friday, May 6 in Room 110 of the Visual Arts Center, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 2022 Games Showcase will feature a selection of digital games and analog games made by students during the 2021-2022 academic year in Illinois State University’s Creative Technologies program.

The event will bring together student-created games from CTK’s game design sequence as well as the broader Illinois State community and RSOs. Visitors can drop by to play more than 25 board, card, mobile and video games, all created by ISU students. Two of these games will be the first flagship projects in the recently launched game design sequence, created by seven senior game design students over a year. In addition to the games, visitors will be able to see examples of other student work from the CTK program, such as UI/UX designs for games, digital paintings, and videos.

Faculty member and head of the game sequence, Dr. Sercan Şengün, is excited about the showcase and hopes it will bring together game enthusiasts from the wider academic community such as art, technology, information, Redbird Esports and others.

The students worked hard all year creating and perfecting their games for the showcase and enjoyed every minute of the process. Graduate student Ian Cooper and team leader for Occentatia, a digital game exploring inclusivity and queer theory through an action-adventure lens, says that, “I’m big on collaboration, big on inclusiveness and I want voices to be heard, so the rewarding process of that is working with a group of people who believe in the message of Occentatia like I do. Cooper and his team will showcase their game as well as a VR (virtual reality ) so that players can be transported to the aquatic and celestial oasis where Occentatia takes place before playing.

The preparation of this showcase was not all fun and games. Student game creators faced several challenges when it came to making their games playable. Cody Doerr, creator of Waterfall Panic! a Plinko-style digital game where the player uses a boat to catch food falling from a waterfall to take it to the dock in exchange for points, said the hardest part of the process was formatting the game to play on mobile devices, especially Android systems. Rafael Gonzales talked about his group’s struggle to create an effective set of game stages for their Cavern Crawlers game so that all interactions with objects and cave maps make sense. Many of these issues were resolved through playtesting, where students played each other’s games and tried to find flaws and issues that the creators might have missed. Gonzales mentioned this as his favorite part of the process saying he loved hearing other people’s perspectives and how they thought about a game.

Although still in its infancy, the game design sequence captures the interests and passions of many students in the creative technologies program.

“The best part of the game design sequence in the Creative Technologies program is the teaching philosophy and the amount of knowledge among the various professors teaching each class,” said Cody Doerr, student and game designer. “I had quite a bit of experience with Unity at another club and experience with game design concepts through my own studies. This program taught me new things every day, be it promote the sharing of open ideas among students in the class or teach through lectures on concepts that many YouTube videos or Twitch streamers ignore. Each lesson period in each different class has taught me many new things that I can add to my game design tool belt, and I’m forever grateful.

Creative Technologies hopes to continue to host the Games Showcase each year to recognize the hard work of their game design students each year. For 2022, participants are invited to organize a jamboree with the elderly, find a route to treasure, fly your helicopter to victory, prevent a war in the insect world, grow your baby dragon, Climb the tower before time runs out or keep jumping to a beat through student-created analog and digital games.

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