Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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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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Princeton Review Ranks Rensselaer Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences Program Among Best in North America


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Program Ranked in Top 15 Out of 150 Programs in U.S. and Canada

Troy, N.Y. – The Rensselaer Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) program today was named among the top 15 out of 150 undergraduate game design programs in the United States and Canada, according to the “Top Schools to Study Video Game Design for 2013” report from The Princeton Review, in partnership with PC Gamer magazine.

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Electronic Arts Concentration: Tuesday March 19, 4:00 – 6:00, GSAS Classroom  (Sage 2510)

Computer Science Concentration: Wednesday March 20, 4:00 – 6:00, Sage 3303

Writing, HCI, Cog Sci, and Management Concentration: Friday March 22, 4:00-6:00, GSAS Classroom (Sage 2510)

General makeup session: Tuesday March 26, 4:00-6:00, GSAS Classroom (Sage 2510)


Curriculum Information and Template Worksheets


Presentation from the Tuesday advising session:

GSAS Advising Presentation – Electronic Arts

Presentation from the Wednesday advising session:

GSAS Advising – Computer Science

Presentation from the Friday advising session:

GSAS Advising – Writing, CogSci, HCI, Mgmt


DreamWorks Campus Visit


Spring2013_RPI_GC_resized     Spring2013_RPI_JohnShih_resized

Please join us for the DreamWorks Animation presentations (attached) on Thursday, March 7th.  The company overview will take place from 2:00 – 3:00 PM and the Department Technical Director Presentation will take place from 3:00 – 4:00 PM, both in Sage 2715.
Submit your portfolio by February 22 for a 1-on-1 “Office Hours” visit.  Read below for details.
What is the outreach program?
The DreamWorks Animation Outreach Program is a company-wide effort that includes scouting for Art/Illustration, Design, Character Animation, Computer Graphics, and Media Studies graduates from colleges and universities around the globe.
In addition to our talent scouting efforts at schools, Outreach conducts mentoring and instructional programs to help identify and coach talented students towards potential entry-level positions within our studio upon graduation . We find students are more prepared than ever to jump into a real production environment – even one as focused and intense as DreamWorks Animation – so we are working very hard to ensure they succeed in their new jobs once they arrive here. Many of our new colleagues will eventually take on significant positions in the company; some will even become the next leaders in the animation industry.

Zenith selected for the Independent Games Festival Student Showcase


Zenith by ArcaneKids is one of the eight winners of the IGF Student Showcase, selected from over 300 entries from around the world.  The Student Showcase winners will be exhibited at the 2013 Independent Games Festival at the 27th Game Developers Conference, March 25-29th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and will compete for an additional Best Student Game award.  Now in its 15th year, the Independent Games Festival honors excellence and creative vision among independent game developers, and consistently showcases games that open new horizons for the medium.

Zenith was created in Kathleen Ruiz’s Experimental Game Design course at RPI, and was one of the winners at the 2012 Rensselaer Gamefest.  The ArcaneKids are Russell Honor, Jacob Knipfing, Tom Astle, Sylvia Forrest, Tom Lanciani, Evan Gonzalez, and Dan Spaulding.

More information:

IGF Student Showcase

Arcane Kids




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