Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences

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Q&A With Paul Neurath and Jonathan Mintz

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Please join us Thursday November 20  at 4:00 PM in Sage 3303 for a GSAS Q&A with game industry professionals Paul Neurath (Looking Glass, Floodgate, Zynga) and Jonathan Mintz (Harmonix). They will be answering the question you want to ask: Where do I go from here? They each bring a unique perspective. Paul has owned several game companies and Jonathan is an RPI alum.
Disney Fantasia : Music Evolved (2013)
Terra Nova : Strike Force Centauri (1996)
Paul Neurath is a Boston-area serial entrepreneur who has been at the forefront of game innovation.  Paul started as an independent game designer in the “8-bit” 1980’s, working on such games as Ultima IVOgre and Space Rogue, and pioneering the first use of 3D texture mapping in games.   In 1990 Paul founded LookingGlass, a studio known for such titles as Ultima UnderworldSystem ShockFlight Unlimited and Thief.   In 2001 Paul founded Floodgate Entertainment, a studio focused on mobile games, including mobile versions of Madden Football and Pirates of the Caribbean.  In 2011 Paul sold Floodgate to Zynga and joined Zynga as Creative Director for mobile.   Currently Paul has a new startup in stealth mode.
Jonathan Mintz (EMAC ’04) is a Senior Designer at Harmonix Music Systems, where he is currently working as Design Lead of Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved for Xbox One & Xbox 360. Prior to joining Harmonix, he was at Activision’s Vicarious Visions studio in Troy, NY. His design credits there include Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure for Nintendo 3DS,Skylanders: Cloud Patrol for mobile, Guitar Hero for iOS, and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 for Xbox 360 & PS3. He has worked in a variety of design roles on over a dozen shipped titles, including narrative, UX, and motion control design. With a small team at Vicarious Visions, Jonathan also developed Mixed Messages, an original IP for Nintendo DSiWare.

Co-Founders of Vicarious Visions Named 2013 William F. Glaser ’53 Rensselaer Entrepreneurs of the Year


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.


Video of the event


Times Union

Times Union

The Business Review

Troy Record





Desktop Bomberkid


Reginald Franklin



Jaron Kong. Jon Ota. Greg Weil.



Ethan Richards – Producer

Ian Kettlewell – Lead Programmer

Christian Tewell – Art and Sound Design

J.J. Go – Lead Design

Prismatic Showdown


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


Matthew Chapman



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

photo1 my-streamhouse-building

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

Science Team:

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 finalist in the 2013 IndieCade/Oculus VR Jam

specter_seeker_boxwide oculus_slow_jam

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).

RPI Students and Alumni at Boston Festival of Independent Games


September 14, 2013

MIT Stratton Student Center & Johnson Athletic Center


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 students win in the YoYoGames WinBig Competition


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.

RPI Ranked #5 in Animation Career Review’s Top 50 Programs for Game Design and Development


We’re honored to be included in’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.


GameFest 2013

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GameFest 2013

GameFest 2013 : Saturday April 27, EMPAC

Click here for full schedule



GameFest 2013: Future Play


April 27, 2013 12:00 PM – 6:30 PM

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

FRIDAY 4/26 – EMPAC Concert Hall:

Opening Concert:  “Twas the Night Before GameFest” – A Game Music Spectacular!

8–10:30 pm

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.


Gamefest 2013 Competition Winners

1st Place

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

2nd Place

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

3rd Place

Unbroken, R.I.T.
John Araujo, Madeliene Rabil
One graduate student, one 4th year, one semester

Excellence in Multi-Player Gameplay

Prismatic Showdown, Rensselaer
Nicholas Cesare, Dennis Co, Chris Debartolomeo, Grace Rhee, Tom Weithers
One 4th year and four 3rd years, one semester

Excellence in Concept

Energy Drive, R.I.T.
Matt DeNovio, Blake Gross, Amanda Imperial, Dustin Kochensparger, Torey Scheer
Five 3rd years, sixty-six weeks

Excellence in Immersion

The Bigfoot Journals, Rensselaer
Dan Hawkins, Colin Neville, Randy Sabella, Rosa Tung, Beth Werbaneth
Five 4th years, one-and-a-half semesters

Excellence in 2D Gameplay

Heist, Rensselaer
Ethan Richards, Christian Tewell, Ian Kettlewell, JJ Go
Four 2nd years, one semester

Excellence in Visuals

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

Excellence in GUI

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

GameFest 2013 Sneak Peeks

Gamefest 2103, Saturday April 27 at EMPAC

featuring over 40 games from four schools (RPI, RIT, Champlain College, and Becker College)

Click here for the full schedule

Prismatic Showdown

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

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.

Monster_Face_SS_final Trees_Rollercoaster_SS_final


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 wins Best Student Game at IGF!!




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.


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