GAME LAUNCH: Surf’s up for Cat Tsunami – 4/27/17

Surf’s up for Cat Tsunami

By Timothy Loew, executive director, MassDiGI

Cat Tsunami, a free and fun endless surfer where you play as Kai the Cat surfing on waves of other cats, is now available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. The mobile game was originally created during the 2014 MassDiGI Summer Innovation Program (SIP) by then students Ryan Canuel from Becker College, Paige Coblentz from RISD, Renzo Heredia from Berklee College of Music, Aislynn Kilgore from Hampshire College, Matt Metzger from UMass Lowell and Lili Sun from MIT.

Working over that summer, the team produced a prototype of the game – watch the much-beloved trailer here. From there, we brought the game into our LiveStudio semester-based program at Becker from fall 2014 through spring 2017. Through LiveStudio, many more students across a range of disciplines had key roles in rebuilding the game, polishing it and getting it ready to launch. For a roster of all the contributors to the game, check out the credit roll. You can download Cat Tsunami today for iOS and Android.

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“Insight into the casino gaming world” by Floyd Barroga, MGC – Franklin M. Loew Lecture Series at Becker College: April 18, 2017 – Worcester, MA

Insight into the casino gaming world

When: Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Becker College, Health Science Building 306/309, 51 Sever St., Worcester, MA

Floyd Barroga is currently responsible for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) Gaming Technology Test Lab, Network Operations Center & Technical Regulations (Electronic Gaming Devices).  Previously he was the Manager of Jurisdictional Engineering & Program Requirements at Scientific Games (SG Interactive), one of the largest casino gaming companies in the world.  With 10+ years’ casino gaming experience, in software/hardware development, online gaming, test engineering & technical compliance.

The Franklin M. Loew Lecture Series at Becker College is free and open to the community. This lecture is sponsored by MassDiGI. RSVP to lectures(at)becker.edu. Seating is limited.

 

 

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SIP17 team selected – 4/14/17

SIP17 team selected

By Tim Loew, executive director, MassDiGI

Applications to our annual Summer Innovation Program (SIP) have grown year over year in terms of quality, quantity, geographic reach and diversity. This year we received applications from 242 undergraduate and graduate students representing 50 colleges and universities from around the world – making it our most competitive year yet.

Choosing only 25 as interns (we added one spot this year) was very challenging. After much discussion, the committee selected a talented group – including a Fulbright Scholar. This summer’s SIP17 team will be made up of interns from 14 institutions including Becker College, Berklee College of Music, Letterkenny Institute of Technology (Ireland), MIT, Mt. Holyoke College, Northeastern University, Pratt Institute, RPI, RISD, RIT, Swarthmore College, Tufts University, Wellesley College and WPI.

SIP17 begins on May 16 and concludes on August 13.  Over those 12+ weeks, with guidance from professional staff and industry mentors, SIP17 teams will be responsible for all the work necessary to successfully launch their games. There is no internship program like it on the planet.

As in previous years, SIP17 students will receive housing courtesy of Becker College as well as a modest stipend. Most importantly they will all receive the greatest game development experience of their lives. Yes, it may be a lot of work – but it’s also a lot of fun. We can’t wait to get started.

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GAME LAUNCH Colosseum Coach: The fight is on – 3/10/17

Colosseum Coach: The fight is on

By Timothy Loew, executive director, MassDiGI

Colosseum Coach, a free, fun, action strategy game where you control a team of gladiators and lead them to victory against the arena’s monstrosities is now available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. The mobile game was created during the 2016 MassDiGI Summer Innovation Program (SIP) by students Grace Barrett-Snyder from Smith College, PJ Keenan and Athony Popp from Becker, Catherine Litvatis from RPI, Sofia Miren Syjuco from Carnegie Mellon, Mariel Rodriguez from RISD and Joe Marchuk from Berklee College of Music.

Working over the summer, the team produced a beta/near-release version of the game – watch the trailer here. From there, we brought the game into our LiveStudio program at Becker during the fall ’16 and spring ’17 semesters. Through LiveStudio, more students across a range of disciplines had roles in polishing the game and getting it ready to launch. For a roster of all the contributors to the game, check out the credit roll. Colosseum Coach was launched at PAX East. You can download Colosseum Coach today for iOS and Android.

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May’s Journey takes grand prize in sixth annual MassDiGI Game Challenge pitch contest – 2/27/16

May’s Journey takes grand prize in sixth annual MassDiGI Game Challenge pitch contest

Chaima Jemmali, Small Squares with Monty Sharma, MassDiGI

Cambridge, MA – February 27, 2017 – May’s Journey by Small Squares won the grand prize in the sixth annual MassDiGI Game Challenge pitch contest this weekend.

In May’s Journey, an educational game that teaches programming through puzzle solving and storytelling, the hero, a girl named May, finds herself trapped in a broken game world. She wants to escape but in order to do so she must find her friend. There is only one way to get out; coding. May’s Journey aims to interest middle and high school aged old girls in computer science by teaching them the basics of programming through play.

Representing Small Squares at the contest was Chaima Jemmali, the game’s programmer and designer.

The game, which also won the Serious Category at the contest, will be released on PC later this year. Jemmali, a native of Tunisia and former Fulbright scholar, began working on the game in 2015 with her colleague Jonathan Yang as part of their interactive media and game development master’s degree program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Yang currently works in Shanghai, China.

“We are thrilled May’s Journey won the Game Challenge,” said Jemmali, now a Ph.D. student in computer science at Northeastern University.  “Everyone with a passion for making games should go. You learn so much from the judges and other competitors.”

The MassDiGI Game Challenge helps indie, startup and student game developers and entrepreneurs shape their ideas and products for launch. This year 33 teams from across the northeast competed in front of a packed room at the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center in Kendall Square.

“MassDiGI’s focus on fostering new, creative, business-savvy talent is exactly what the New England game industry needs. Game Challenge alumni have opened their own studios or found jobs at larger studios,” said contest judge Rick Cody, a past Game Challenge winner. “MassDiGIhas helped my own company, Team Future, better understand the business of game development. They’re a tremendous and evolving asset.”

Since the MassDiGI Game Challenge began six years ago, over 200 different teams from around New England and beyond have pitched games and taken home prizes valued at over $100,000. Top past winners include titles such as Intern Astronaut, PWN, Catlateral Damage, Depression Quest, Wobbles and Starlot Derby.

The annual event is a showcase for the expanding game development cluster in the region. Over the event’s two days, dozens of game industry veterans served as mentors and judges.

As the Grand Prize and Serious Game Category winners, the Small Squares team won cash and other prizes valued at about $5,000.

“This year’s contest was the closer than ever before,” said Monty Sharma, managing director of MassDiGI, “We were very impressed by all the teams.  Their creativity and skills improve every year as do their games.”

Other top winners include Lawrence, MA-based BareHand which won the People’s Choice Award for its game Cede as well as the Indie Demo/Alpha Category, Best Technical Plan and Best Business Plan.

“Winning not only our category but the People’s Choice Award is amazing,” said Edwin Jack, BareHand’s founder. “We’ve come to the Game Challenge before and each time we get better and this year we hit it right with Cede.”

Cede is a 3D Action-RPG combining the best experiences of Diablo and Harvest Moon with a unique new mechanic called “combat farming”.

Cede screenshot

Salad Hunt, an arcade-shooter in a casual mobile setting, earned Best Art, Best Audio and was the runner-up in Indie Demo/Alpha Category. In the game, you play as a chef that is surprised to find that the salad ingredients have come alive as cute but mischievous characters that are ruining the kitchen.

The other top Indie winner was Kill the Old Gods by Weeping Witch Studios which won the Beta/Near Release Category.

A team of Becker College and Emerson College students won the College Beta/Near Release Category with OBIO, a game in which you guide your bots through cyberspace, solve puzzles, eliminate viruses and save the internet. OBIO will be released for iOS, Android, PC and Mac in April.

Bounce.wav, an arcade-style mobile game set to synthwave beats made by a team of WPI graduate students, won the College Demo/Alpha Category.

Winning the High School Category was Green Ninja, a team of two students from Millbury (MA) Memorial Jr./Sr. High School.

Other Category Runner-Up honors went to:

  • Serious: MadUnd3ad Studios from Northeastern with Monsters and Memories.
  • Indie Beta/Near Release: Witching Hour with Connexi.
  • College Demo/Alpha:  Sound Lemmings Studio from Northeastern and Tufts University with Node and Dog Squad from Smith College and Hampshire College with Pickup Pup.
  • College Beta/Near Release: Blue Drop Games from Northeastern with Before Common Era (B.C.E.) and Jaderain Studios from Becker with Don’t Shoot Us.

Sound Lemmings Studio also earned Best Design and Balls, another game by WPI graduate students, earned Best Paper Prototype.

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May’s Journey takes grand prize in sixth annual MassDiGI Game Challenge pitch contest

May’s Journey takes grand prize in sixth annual MassDiGI Game Challenge pitch contest

Chaima Jemmali, Small Squares with Monty Sharma, MassDiGI

Cambridge, MA – February 27, 2017 – May’s Journey by Small Squares won the grand prize in the sixth annual MassDiGI Game Challenge pitch contest this weekend.

In May’s Journey, an educational game that teaches programming through puzzle solving and storytelling, the hero, a girl named May, finds herself trapped in a broken game world. She wants to escape but in order to do so she must find her friend. There is only one way to get out; coding. May’s Journey aims to interest middle and high school aged old girls in computer science by teaching them the basics of programming through play.

Representing Small Squares at the contest was Chaima Jemmali, the game’s programmer and designer.

The game, which also won the Serious Category at the contest, will be released on PC later this year. Jemmali, a native of Tunisia and former Fulbright scholar, began working on the game in 2015 with her colleague Jonathan Yang as part of their interactive media and game development master’s degree program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Yang currently works in Shanghai, China.

“We are thrilled May’s Journey won the Game Challenge,” said Jemmali, now a Ph.D. student in computer science at Northeastern University.  “Everyone with a passion for making games should go. You learn so much from the judges and other competitors.”

The MassDiGI Game Challenge helps indie, startup and student game developers and entrepreneurs shape their ideas and products for launch. This year 33 teams from across the northeast competed in front of a packed room at the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center in Kendall Square.

“MassDiGI’s focus on fostering new, creative, business-savvy talent is exactly what the New England game industry needs. Game Challenge alumni have opened their own studios or found jobs at larger studios,” said contest judge Rick Cody, a past Game Challenge winner. “MassDiGIhas helped my own company, Team Future, better understand the business of game development. They’re a tremendous and evolving asset.”

Since the MassDiGI Game Challenge began six years ago, over 200 different teams from around New England and beyond have pitched games and taken home prizes valued at over $100,000. Top past winners include titles such as Intern Astronaut, PWN, Catlateral Damage, Depression Quest, Wobbles and Starlot Derby.

The annual event is a showcase for the expanding game development cluster in the region. Over the event’s two days, dozens of game industry veterans served as mentors and judges.

As the Grand Prize and Serious Game Category winners, the Small Squares team won cash and other prizes valued at about $5,000.

“This year’s contest was the closer than ever before,” said Monty Sharma, managing director of MassDiGI, “We were very impressed by all the teams.  Their creativity and skills improve every year as do their games.”

Other top winners include Lawrence, MA-based BareHand which won the People’s Choice Award for its game Cede as well as the Indie Demo/Alpha Category, Best Technical Plan and Best Business Plan.

“Winning not only our category but the People’s Choice Award is amazing,” said Edwin Jack, BareHand’s founder. “We’ve come to the Game Challenge before and each time we get better and this year we hit it right with Cede.”

Cede is a 3D Action-RPG combining the best experiences of Diablo and Harvest Moon with a unique new mechanic called “combat farming”.

Cede screenshot

Salad Hunt, an arcade-shooter in a casual mobile setting, earned Best Art, Best Audio and was the runner-up in Indie Demo/Alpha Category. In the game, you play as a chef that is surprised to find that the salad ingredients have come alive as cute but mischievous characters that are ruining the kitchen.

The other top Indie winner was Kill the Old Gods by Weeping Witch Studios which won the Beta/Near Release Category.

A team of Becker College and Emerson College students won the College Beta/Near Release Category with OBIO, a game in which you guide your bots through cyberspace, solve puzzles, eliminate viruses and save the internet. OBIO will be released for iOS, Android, PC and Mac in April.

Bounce.wav, an arcade-style mobile game set to synthwave beats made by a team of WPI graduate students, won the College Demo/Alpha Category.

Winning the High School Category was Green Ninja, a team of two students from Millbury (MA) Memorial Jr./Sr. High School.

Other Category Runner-Up honors went to:

  • Serious: MadUnd3ad Studios from Northeastern with Monsters and Memories.
  • Indie Beta/Near Release: Witching Hour with Connexi.
  • College Demo/Alpha:  Sound Lemmings Studio from Northeastern and Tufts University with Node and Dog Squad from Smith College and Hampshire College with Pickup Pup.
  • College Beta/Near Release: Blue Drop Games from Northeastern with Before Common Era (B.C.E.) and Jaderain Studios from Becker with Don’t Shoot Us.

Sound Lemmings Studio also earned Best Design and Balls, another game by WPI graduate students, earned Best Paper Prototype.

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2017 MassDiGI Game Challenge – Results – 2/25/17

Quick post, more to follow soon.

GC17 – Winners!

  • GRAND PRIZE WINNER – May’s Journey
  • High school – Green Ninja – Winner
  • College/Univ Alpha – Bounce.wav – Winner, Node – Runner-Up, Pickup Pup – 2nd Runner-Up
  • College/Univ Beta – OBIO – Winner, B.C.E. – Runner-Up, Don’t Shoot Us – 2nd Runner-Up
  • Indie Alpha – Cede – Winner, Salad Hunt – Runner-Up
  • Indie Beta – Kill the Old Gods – Winner, Connexi – Runner-Up
  • Serious – May’s Journey – Winner, Monsters and Memories – Runner-Up
  • Best Art – Salad Hunt
  • Best Audio – Salad Hunt
  • Best Design – Node
  • Best Tech – Cede
  • Best Business Model – Cede
  • <Bonus award> Best Paper Prototype – Balls

GC17 – Finalists!

Game Team Category
May’s Journey WPI/NU Small Squares Serious
Monsters and Memories NU MadUnd3ad Studios Serious
LangQuest Desert Fathers Serious
Kill the Old Gods Weeping Witch Studios Indie Beta
Connexi Witching Hour Indie Beta
Cede BareHand Indie Alpha
Salad Hunt Salad Hunters Indie Alpha
Trianglism Cat the Coolest Indie Alpha
Green Ninja Millbury HS Banzai Games High School
OBIO Becker, Emerson Team TATR College/Univ Beta
Before Common Era (B.C.E.) NU Blue Drop Games College/Univ Beta
Don’t Shoot Us Becker Jaderain Studios College/Univ Beta
Node NU, Tufts Sound Lemmings Studios College/Univ Alpha
Bounce.wav WPI Team Bounce.wav College/Univ Alpha
Pickup Pup Smith, Hampshire Dog Squad College/Univ Alpha
Rune Run Becker Cosmic Salt College/Univ Alpha

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