Think summer: 2015 SIP application period opens – 1/30/15

Think summer: 2015 SIP application period opens

By Timothy Loew, executive director, MassDiGI

SIP '14 - Team picture

SIP ’14 – Team picture

There may be 33.5″ of snow on the ground as I write but it is never to early to think about our annual Summer Innovation Program. Since the program began in 2012, of 296 total applications, 61 students from 16 different colleges and universities have earned a spot to spend their summer making games with us.

This past year, the 22 accepted students came from Becker College, Berklee College of Music, Hampshire College, MIT, Mt. Holyoke College, Northeastern University, RISD, Smith College, Tufts University, UMass Lowell and WPI.  Working on teams – in just a little over 11 weeks – they produced four great games, all of which will be available to play soon, with two being published by Thumbspire. To get a sense of their games and the process, scroll back through some of last summer’s blog entries.

There is no other internship program like SIP in the world. Accepted students will have a game development experience they will never forget. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? Details on the program, as well as the application, can be found here. Apply today.

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The gates are open: 2015 Game Challenge registration begins – 12/2/14

The gates are open: 2015 Game Challenge registration begins

By Tim Loew, executive director, MassDiGI

One of the events I look forward to most each year is our big MassDiGI Game Challenge pitch competition. There really is nothing like it. Come experience it for yourself – team registration and general admission for the 2015 edition is now open.

Game Challenge '14 - Grand Prize winner Jenna Hoffstein, founder, Little Worlds Interactive

Game Challenge ’14 – Grand Prize winner Jenna Hoffstein, Little Worlds Interactive, The Counting Kingdom

Since the Game Challenge began in 2012, over 120 teams have entered some pretty amazing games including titles like The Counting Kingdom, Catlateral Damage, PWN, Wobbles, Depression Quest and  Pathogen – just to name a few of the winners from past years. In addition, over 700 competitors – be they indies, students or hobbyists –  had the chance to meet with industry mentors, hear from experts, share knowledge, split $50,000 in prize value, have fun, play and celebrate games.

This year, we made a couple of changes worth pointing out – 1.) moving the event from early March to early February and  2.) redefining Concept and Prototype to Demo/Alpha and Beta/Near Release.

In addition to those changes, we are also pleased to note that this year’s event t-shirt design will come from the winner of, you guessed it, the Game Challenge t-shirt design contest. Give it shot.

Other than that, thanks to the sponsors, mentors, judges and volunteers, it should be as exciting as always.

Of course, we couldn’t pull any of this off without such great teams and their games – the competition is the show. I look forward to seeing you there.

 

 

 

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WBJ: Mass. video game industry growing

“As the video game industry enjoys growth across the United States, Massachusetts is reaping some of those benefits, according to a national trade group, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).” Read the full story from the Worcester Business Journal here.

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Ready, set, launch! Many Mini Things coming soon to the Leap Motion App Store – 10/29/14

Ready, set, launch! Many Mini Things coming soon to the Leap Motion App Store

By Pat Roughan, senior, WPI

photo

Many Mini Things is a fun motion-control party game for the Leap Motion controller that combines many mini-games with mini capsule toys. The mini-games challenge you to win as many as possible before losing four times. You preform actions, like spinning a DJ disc or kicking a hacky sack into space, by moving your hand over the Leap Motion. Each victory is rewarded with a virtual collectible toy, and high scores for each difficulty are saved to an in-game score table.

Coming soon, you’ll be able to download Many Mini Things  for free here, invite your friends over and have a blast!

When our team of developers looked into the Leap Motion, we wanted our players to immediately understand the controls for our games without instruction. We decided on motion, grip, and spin as our three controls, and looked at real world activities that used these motions. We then added a level of unexpected wackiness to it, like fireworks going off after petting a rock, to make the activies more engaging than their real world counterparts.

The game, made for players of all ages, was created by a team of six students from WPI, Becker College, Smith College and Berklee College of Music during the 2014 MassDiGI Summer Innovation Program (as well as Becker students from a fall ’14 Live Code course ). Our team of interns worked over the eleven weeks to create a game that would be published for all to enjoy through the Leap Motion app store. With help from game industry mentors and MassDiGI staff, we turned Many Mini Things from a concept into a reality – and we hope you love it as much as we do.

Find us online!

Web –  http://games.massdigi.org/manyminithings/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/manyminithings

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ManyMiniThings

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Making Games 101: Fall/Winter 2014/15 – New England

Join us at one of MassDiGI’s New England-wide Making Games 101 mini-workshop series coming up this fall and winter. Stops will include locations in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut and, of course, Massachusetts. Each mini-workshop, held in partnership with local institutions and organizations, will focus on game development educational content for high school students. This series is underwritten by the ESA Foundation.

Drop us a line for more information!

Locations and dates*:

  • Worcester Youth Leadership Institute, Becker College, Worcester, MA – 8/13/14 – registration closed
  • RISD, Providence, RI – 10/8/14 – registration closed
  • NH TechFest, Nashua North High School, Nashua, NH – 11/1/14 – registration closed
  • UConn, Digital Media & Design, Stamford, CT – 12/10/14  and 12/16/14 – registration closed
  • SNHU, Manchester, NH – 12/6/14 -registration closed; rescheduled.
  • Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, MA – 12/12/14 and 12/17/14 – registration closed
  • Hampshire College, GGJ, Amherst, MA – 1/23/15 – registration closed
  • Champlain College, Burlington, VT – TBD*
  • Maine College of Art, Portland, ME – TBD*
  • Lowell High School, Lowell, MA – TBD*

* Check site for updates.

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