Friday April 28
Student Game Design Showcase and Competition
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Checkout the Participants page
Saturday April 29
Overwatch Exhibition Match, RPI vs University of Albany
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
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.
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
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.
is lead game designer at 1St Playable Games and is an internationally known game and VR designer.
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
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM