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Gamers Test Cornell Students' Best Efforts in Game Design Showcase

Some of the best games college developers can come up with will be tested May 15 when the Game Design Initiative at Cornell (GDIAC) holds its annual Game Design Showcase.

That's when students in GDIAC game design courses take their final exams — which means allowing members of the public to try out their PC and mobile games and then vote for their favorites.

The GDIAC at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, was launched in 2001 offering minor degree programs in game design. At the end of each school year, it invites the public to play the games students have created in their classes. The showcase will take place 4-7 p.m. Friday, May 15, in the ACCEL Lab in Carpenter Hall on the Cornell campus.

Participants will be able to vote on their favorites and an awards ceremony will take place shortly before the end of the event, at 6:45 p.m.

A 2013 award winner, "Gathering Sky" (formerly known as "Apsis"), won the 2014 "Most Promising Indie" Award at the Casual Connect conference of gaming professionals and is now being prepared for commercial release. The 2014 GDIAC Showcase winner, "Beam," is available from the Google App Store and another 2014 winner, "Dash," is being prepared for commercial release.

Among this year's entries that gamers can try out are:

  • "Brutus, Break," in which a sidekick tries to keep your clumsy hero alive;
  • "Zombeats," where you have to follow the beat of the music to sneak past hordes of hungry zombies;
  • "Iridescence" uses lights and lanterns to guide a moth to safety; and
  • "Ersatz" turns you into a thief with the power of time travel trying to pull off the greatest heist in history.

GDIAC, which also has an outreach program for middle and high school students in the Ithaca area, was one of the first United States undergraduate programs in game design and a number of alumni now work at major game companies.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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