Note: Video available for this story
With Rochester Institute of Technology celebrating a milestone year in the game design and development industry, more than 100 RIT students, faculty, alumni and staff will travel to San Francisco this week to participate in the Game Developers Conference 2017, the world’s largest professional gaming industry event of the year.
“With the official launch of MAGIC Spell Studios this fall, our designation as one of three New York State Digital Gaming Hubs, and our growing roster of published games, we believe the spotlight will be focused on RIT and the cutting-edge digital media projects our talented students and faculty are creating,” said Jennifer Hinton, chief communications officer of RIT’s MAGIC Spell Studios. “GDC is also an amazing opportunity for our students to make essential connections with those in the industry, sharpen their presentation and interviewing skills and serve as ambassadors for RIT’s top-notch programs.”
The conference runs through March 3 and is a key learning and networking opportunity for both aspiring and professional game developers. Students attending the event will have access to hundreds of lectures, panels, tutorials and discussions given throughout the week by gaming industry leaders. In addition, GDC’s bustling expo floor features recruiters from virtually every major gaming company and provides developers with their first look at emerging industry software and technology.
Representatives from RIT’s MAGIC Spell Studios will be working the show’s expo floor, which opens Wednesday, March 1, and will have a booth featuring games created by RIT students and alumni, while students and faculty from the School of Interactive Games and Media will be promoting RIT’s academic programs by networking throughout the conference. RIT students, faculty and staff will also attend several alumni gatherings that have been organized in conjunction with the conference.
RIT’s game design and development program was ranked third at the undergraduate level and seventh at the graduate level according to the 2016 international rankings from The Princeton Review. The program also ranked fourth in the nation among the Top 50 Game Design Schools and Colleges in the United States by Animation Career Review. In 2016, RIT launched a fully functioning studio, was designated a New York State Digital Gaming Hub and was the first university to launch a student-created game on Xbox One.
During the conference, Andrew Phelps, director of RIT’s MAGIC Center, will co-present “Beyond the BA: Navigating Status as a Department, Center or Program, While Working with Industry Partners,” and faculty from the School of Interactive Games and Media will share their expertise in the video game field. Professor Stephen Jacobs will speak about his experience designing and delivering a massive open online course (MOOC) on Video Game Design History. In addition, Professor Elizabeth Lawley will be discussing the value of study abroad for game design students, while Assistant Professor Ian Schreiber will present his talk, “So, You Want to Be a Game Professor.”
Student-developed games will be showcased at the booth. They are:
RIT News will be providing live coverage of GDC throughout the week. Stay tuned to our official Twitter and Facebook accounts; reference the hashtag #RITGDC17 for updates. The Intel University Games Showcase will also be live-streamed at http://twitch.tv.IntelGameDev/ on Thursday.