Game Development Showcase celebrates student-created video games


Niagara College Game Development students Zach Campbell (left) Cody Torres (middle, holding controller) and Sergei Merkulov (right, holding controller) test out one of the student-created games on display at NC’s Game Development showcase on April 19.

Niagara College’s Game Development students got their game on at the program’s annual year-end showcase on April 19 where they revealed their finished video game projects for attendees to play and watch.

The event was a collaboration between Niagara College’s Game Development program and the joint Niagara College/Brock University Game Programming and Game Design programs.

The showcase brought over 260 people to the Welland Campus, including professionals from the game development and design industry who spoke with students and discussed their work. Students from the college’s Public Relations (Graduate Certificate) program coordinated the event.

“It’s great to witness game development students across three programs come together to share their creative efforts and love for gaming in one place.” Said Rick Goertz, Game Development program coordinator, “The engagement and energy is remarkable.”

For third-year students of the program, the event was a rewarding sendoff as they prepare to graduate and take their careers to the next level. Years of their hard work and creativity culminated in an evening of celebration and recognition of their self-developed creations. Games created by second-year students were also on display for guests to experience.

“The event was great,” said Turner Springs, a third-year student in the Game Development program. “I came last year and it’s just as good as it is now.”

Springs led his game ‘Shinobi Showdown’ at the event, an idea spawned from a ‘three ideas per day’ challenge that he and his team created. The game featured dark lighting which Springs said was a challenge.

Awards recognized third-year and second-year games projects for best-in-show as well as the best game overall.

Charlie Trafagander’s game, ‘Pinhead’ was awarded the best second-year game at the showcase. The game attempts to create a whimsical and relaxing gaming experience, with the titular pincushion character attempting to escape an art store.

“It’s been a great experience,” said Trafagander a second-year student of the Niagara/Brock joint program. “We’ve never done anything like this, so to get such positive feedback and review and to win an award for our game which we put a lot of effort into was cool.”

Niagara College’s three-year Advanced Diploma Game Development program prepares students for work in the digital game and interactive media industry. Students learn game programming and scripting, digital art production, and game design principles. Their skills are put to test in a final term project that sees them design, develop, program and showcase an original game title.

Niagara College and Brock University offer a four-year Game Programming program that leads to dual credentials. Graduates earn a Bachelor of Science – Game Programming from Brock University, as well as an Advanced Diploma in Game Development from Niagara College.



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