GameFest 2017 : April 28 + 29, @ TVCOG, TIG, and RPI

Friday April 28

Student Game Design Showcase and Competition

Tech Valley Center of Gravity, 30 3rd St, Troy, NY


Troy Innovation Garage, 24, 4th St, Troy, NY
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Checkout the Participants page


Saturday April 29

Overwatch Exhibition Match, RPI vs University of Albany

RPI, Sage Lab 3303


Noon – 1:30 PM

In an event sure to delight GameFest participants and observers alike, Rennselaer’s eSports community presents an Overwatch scrimmage between bitter rivals team RPI and the University of Albany. This 6v6 competition will feature live commentary by EGF-certified announcers and will be streamed live from RPI’s VAST lab to the Sage Auditorium.



Keynote: Jonathan Mintz

RPI, Sage Lab 3303


1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

The Space Between Galaxies: Charting New Frontiers in Game Design

In the vast universe of possible games, it can be challenging for developers to travel beyond established genres and mechanics. Designers who want to invent new ways to play must be able to identify unexplored opportunities, prototype and prove out their ideas, and help their audience connect with an unfamiliar experience. Using the development of DropMix as a case study, Jonathan will share methods for defining your creative goals, rapidly iterating to refine your core experience, and user testing to guide players into your game.

Jonathan Mintz (B.S. EMAC ’04) is currently a Senior Designer at Harmonix Music Systems. He is the Creative Lead on DropMix, an original music mixing card game developed in collaboration with Hasbro. Previously, he worked as Lead Designer on Harmonix’s Kickstarter-funded reboot of Amplitude as well as Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved. Prior to joining Harmonix, Jonathan designed games in franchises like Skylanders, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, and many more at Vicarious Visions, an Activision studio.


Alumni Panel

RPI, Sage Lab 3303


2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Zach Barth

is an indie video game designer who creates games under the company Zachtronics, known for Infiniminer, which created the genre of procedurally generated block-based world deformation and building mechanics later used by games such as Minecraft, as well as creating successful engineering-based puzzle games such as SpaceChem, and Infinifactory.

Ian Stead

is lead game designer at 1St Playable Games and is an internationally known game and VR designer.

Jennifer Ash

is a UX/UI Designer at Bungie, working on Destiny. For three years previous, she studied players and data as a User Researcher on Destiny. Ash has designed for a variety of projects, including a dungeon crawler for mathematical fluency, a location-based ARG exploring Jewish history, a grocery store simulation for the disabled, Club Penguin DS, and user experience on z/OS at IBM. Her academic background consists of a degree focused on educational games from NYU (Digital Media Design for Learning, MA) and game design via integration of many majors at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Games and Simulation Arts and Science (BS), with a concentration in Human-Computer Interaction, and Psychology (BS)). She’s passionate about discovering meaningful play, and loves board games and knitting.


Velan Studios Award Ceremony

RPI, Sage Lab 3303


3:30 PM – 4:00 PM