Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Alumnus Karthik Bala ’97 and Brother Guha Bala of Hit Video Game Development Company To Be Honored October 9
Vicarious Visions started out in 1991 as a “hobby” for Guha and Karthik Bala in their parent’s basement, while they were in high school in Rochester, N.Y. A few years later they landed their first publishing deal when Karthik was a freshman at Rensselaer. They formed a team of eight friends from college and in 1999, they entered the first Independent Games Festival. They won two awards – Best Programming and Best Audio which put them on the map and provided visibility amongst the big game publishers.
Over the years that followed, they were able to secure angel investment and an acquisition which allowed them to stay independently run. They’ve shared the stage with Steve Jobs, debut new game releases regularly and are ranked 18th among the world’s top developers.
The Severino Center is proud to recognize the accomplishments of Vicarious Visions founders, Karthik and Guha Bala, at the 2013 Rensselaer Entrepreneur of the Year Award Celebration.
The celebration will include a showcase of student games from students in Rensselaer’s Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences Program.
Jaron Kong. Jon Ota. Greg Weil.
Ethan Richards – Producer
Ian Kettlewell – Lead Programmer
Christian Tewell – Art and Sound Design
J.J. Go – Lead Design
Nichoas Cesare – Producer, Programmer
Dennis Co – Programmer
Chris DeBartolomeo – Programmer
Grace Rhee – Artist / Designer
Tom Weithers – Programmer
Miles Beaven – Music/Sound
Gerald Franklin – Lead Designer, Lead Artist
Reginald Franklin – Lead Programmer, Co-Designer
Triangle Legacy Revolution
Tom Astle – Game concept, main game programming
Jacob Knipfing – Game concept, cellphone programming
Russell Honor – Game concept, main game programmin, level design
Tom Lanciani – Character rigging, animation, additional models
Evan Gonzalez – Music, sound effects
Dan Spaulding – Character and world design, story, level design, additional art
Sylvia Forrest – Character and monster design, story, character models, additional models, animation, art, sound effects
Flo: The Watershed Project
Kathleen Ruiz, Ph.D. abd, Associate Professor of Integrated Arts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute:
Student Design Team Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute:
Dan Hawkins, Game Designer;
Bryce Miller: 2-D Artist;
Evan Minto: Project Manager/Web Designer & Programmer;
Colin Neville: Programmer;
Evan-Daniel Rose-Gonzalez: Music Composer;
Randy Sabella: 3D Artist/Designer;
Anthony Szymczyk: 3D Artist;
Beth Towns: Programmer;
Rosa Tung: 3D Artist/Level Designer;
Beth Werbaneth: Programmer/Game Designer;
Gabriella Ciavardoni: Artist/Animator
Kate Van Baren, 8th grade science teacher Onteora Middle School, Boiceville, N.Y. (Watershed partner school)
Amber Bennett, 8th grade science teacher NYC MS x551 The Bronx Academy of Letters (N.Y.C. partner school)
Katie Palm, Education Director, The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development: Environmental Education Consultant
Kerissa Fuccillo, Ph.D. MS, Ph.D. candidate, Green Infrastructure Scientist and Director of Education & Research, The Ashokan Center
Elliot Schneiderman, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, NYC Environmental Protection: Watershed Science Modeling Consultant
Specter Seekers is a first-person multiplayer horror game built for the Oculus Rift. It was initially developed for the 2013 IndieCade VR Jam competition, and has since earned the honor of being a Finalist in the global competition. The game is currently in development, and we are aiming to release the full version before the end of the year.
Specter Seekers is being developed by a team of seven in the US and Europe, led by Ryan Anderson (RPI GSAS ’13).
BostonFIG is a free event celebrating independent game development in the New England area and neighboring regions. It features terrific keynote speakers, a games showcase, and a game music concert (say, does that sound a little like any other awesome game festivals you’ve heard of ? 😉
This year the keynotes are Robin Hunicke and Chris Remo, a film screening, an art show, live music, tabletop games, live action games, and of course indie digital games. Check out games from RPI students and alumni there including co.llide by Gradient Studios, Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller by Phoenix Online Studios, Hangeki by Pentavera, and Shock Jocks by Michael Andryauskas.
RPI student team Pentavera won third place in YoYo Games Win Big, an international competition for game developers using GameMaker to publish games for Windows 8. Their game Hangeki is a new twist on a classic arcade game genre. Hangeki is out now on the Windows 8 Store, and you can also play it in full nostalgic glory on the RPI Game Development Club’s Arcade Cabinet in the Union. Also, be sure to check out Hangeki next week at the Boston Festival of Independent Games , September 14 at the MIT Stratton Student Center and Johnson Athletic Center.
We’re honored to be included in AnimationCareerReview.com’s 2013 list of the Top 50 US Schools for Game Design and Development, coming in at #5. RPI was also ranked #17 in their Top 100 Schools for Animation, and #11 in the Top 20 Animation Programs in the Northeast.
The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center
110 8th St.,Troy NY
Saturday, April 27, 2013 12:00 Noon – 6:30 PM
Opening Concert Friday, April 26, 8 PM
Free & Open to the Public
Opening Concert: “Twas the Night Before GameFest” – A Game Music Spectacular!
Please join us for an unforgettable evening of game music favorites, including the Angry Birds Theme, Super Mario Brothers, Zelda’s Lullaby and more! The orchestra will be conducted by Mr. Joshua Osburn with performances by Dean Mary Simoni and the talented students of Rensselaer.
• Student Game Exhibition and Competition
Throughout Main Lobby & All Floors / 12 Noon – 3 pm
• Keynote Address – Richard Rouse III, Senior Game Designer, Microsoft Game Studios
Concert Hall, Main Auditorium / 4 – 4:45 pm
• Panel Discussion: “Future Play: The People, the Technology and the Games” – With Tobi Saulnier (Founder/CEO, 1st Playable); Jennifer Oneal (Executive Producer, Vicarious Visions); Richard Vogel (Director, Battlecry Studios); Mark Terrano (Founder/Design Director, Hidden Path Entertainment), and Richard Rouse III.
Concert Hall, Main Auditorium / 5 – 6 pm
• Awards Presentation
Concert Hall, Main Auditorium / 6 – 6:30 pm
GAMEFEST, RPI’s annual celebration of student work in computer games, returns this year to EMPAC, the extraordinary digital arts venue located on the RPI campus.
Launched in 2004, GameFest is a collaboration between Rensselaer’s Games and Simulations Arts & Sciences (GSAS) program and local game development companies. Student game developers compete for prizes based on technical production, artistry, creativity, and the “groundbreaking” quality of their work.
With its distinct regional focus, GameFest also aims at strengthening the games industry in the Northeast as a whole. This year’s participating schools include Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Becker College in Worcester, Mass., and Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. Sponsors for 2013 include Vicarious Vision, who also judge the competition, 1st Playable, Agora Games, and RedCandy Games—all located in the Capitol District, and started by RPI alumni.
Magnosphere, Champlain College
Christina Aceves, Vince Bibuild, Ben Bolton, Ian Cubin, Rob Drury, Scott Gilman, Andrew Gould, Phillip Holland, Ryan Topping, Deanna Vaida
Ten 4th years, two semesters
Quibly Ball, Champlain College
Andrew Auclair, Roy Baron, Anthony Blake, Harry Boltz, Travis Constantino, Dave Mahoney, Kyle Killian, Xanth Veilleux
Eight 4th years, two semeters
John Araujo, Madeliene Rabil
One graduate student, one 4th year, one semester
Prismatic Showdown, Rensselaer
Nicholas Cesare, Dennis Co, Chris Debartolomeo, Grace Rhee, Tom Weithers
One 4th year and four 3rd years, one semester
Energy Drive, R.I.T.
Matt DeNovio, Blake Gross, Amanda Imperial, Dustin Kochensparger, Torey Scheer
Five 3rd years, sixty-six weeks
The Bigfoot Journals, Rensselaer
Dan Hawkins, Colin Neville, Randy Sabella, Rosa Tung, Beth Werbaneth
Five 4th years, one-and-a-half semesters
Ethan Richards, Christian Tewell, Ian Kettlewell, JJ Go
Four 2nd years, one semester
Sagittarii Run, Champlain College
Ethan Akey, Christopher Brough, William Dramstad, James Harvey, Matthew Ide, Kyle Marchev, Eric Miles, Jacob Mott, Grant Parker, Jason Rauck, Justin Ryder, Joshua Stowe
Twelve 4th years, two semesters
Crisis of the Super-Verse, Champlain College
Tristan Carter, Martin Cuadra, Eric Euchler, Mason Fiore, Ryan Hill, Kyle Lopes, Adam Reed, Donny Torrey, Connor Vassar, Rebecca Whitley
Ten 4th years, two semesters
featuring over 40 games from four schools (RPI, RIT, Champlain College, and Becker College)
Nicholas Cesare, Dennis Co, Chris DeBartolomeo, Grace Rhee, Tom Weithers
Prismatic Showdown is a split-screen multiplayer game in which 2-4 players compete to transform a blank playing field into a mess of colors. The player who colors the most territory with their color wins!
This game is simple and fast-paced, and super easy to pick up and play. Players move about a grid obtaining power-ups to give them an advantage over others and facilitate their coloring.
Cogs of War
Kevin Chang, Jay Lee, Andrew Ryther, Kai Vandrunen, Gabriel Violette
Cogs of War is a fast-paced and intense top-down shooter game where teams of players face off on arenas. These arenas contain nodes which link power between the bases. Push the power lines from your base to the opponent’s base in order to lower their shields and achieve victory! Players take control of giant war machines that bring destruction on their opponents with a diverse selection of weaponry.
Anthony Szymcyzk, Ashley Tanski, Daniel Newton, James Ross, Marcus Baker
The game takes place on an abandoned amusement park island. The island is infested with mysterious monsters from the deep. The player must solve puzzles and navigate through the park in order to be rescued before they are sent to their grave prematurely… or worse. Missions include getting the phone lines working by repairing the phone line that runs through the park and getting the generator working. Once both are working, the game ends and the fate of the player will be discovered.
Zineth, a game created by Rensselaer student team The Arcane Kids ( Russell Honor, Jacob Knipfing, Tom Astle, Sylvia Forrest, Tom Lanciani, Evan Gonzalez and Dan Spaulding), won the award for Best Student Game at the 15th annual Independent Game Festival. Created in Professor Kathleen Ruiz’s Spring 2012 Experimental Game Design class, Zineth is a game that celebrates speed, movement, and twitter. Congratulations Arcane Kids!!
Download and play Zineth here (PC, Mac, Linux; free)
Read more about the IGF here
Click below to continue reading with more photos from the Awards Ceremony.