14th Annual RPI GameFest, “Intersecting Orbits,” This Friday and Saturday, April 28/29

14th Annual RPI GameFest, “Intersecting Orbits,” This Friday and Saturday, April 28/29

Date posted: 2017-04-26 16:52:17

It's GameFest time again!  The 14th annual celebration of creativity and innovation in digital games returns to RPI this weekend, featuring a student-designed games showcase and competition, music performances, and presentations from veteran game designers, critics, scholars, and indie developers. The 2017 theme, Intersecting Orbits, explores the intersections of games, arts, and science.

The two-day event kicks off with the GameFest Expo on Friday, April 28, which will be held for the first time at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity, 30 Third Street in downtown Troy, and the Troy Innovation Garage, 24 Fourth St., as part of Troy Night Out. The event will be held from 5 to 9 p.m.

On Saturday, April 29, the action moves to Sage Labs 3303 (Auditorium) on campus for the Symposium, beginning at 12 noon with eSports Competition—a professional competitive gaming competition—that will be live-streamed on Twitch.TV, running from noon to 1:30 p.m. Rensselaer’s eSports community will present an Overwatch scrimmage between rival teams from Rensselaer and the University of Albany. The 6v6 Competition will feature live commentary by Electronic Gaming Federation certified announcers and will be streamed live from the VAST Lab to the Sage Auditorium.  

Rensselaer graduate Jonathan Mintz ’04, currently senior designer at Harmonix, will deliver the keynote speech, “The Space Between Galaxies: Charting New Frontiers in Game Design.”  Following the keynote at 2:30 pm, there wil be a panel discussion featuring several notable Rensselaer alumni and alumnae from the GSAS program, which was established in 2007. Panelists include: Jennifer Ash ’08, lead UI/UX designer at Bungie Studios; Zach Barth ’08, founder of Zachtronics; and Ian Stead ’04, lead game designer at 1st Playable Productions.

GameFest will culminate with an Awards Ceremony from 3:30 to 4 p.m., hosted by Velan Studios, a new development studio founded by brothers Guha and Karthik Bala ’97.

GameFest is presented by the Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) program and the School of HASS, and is made possible in part by a grant from the Empire State Development Agency.