More than 70 game industry reps joined 200 spectators, faculty, students, reporters and friends in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center Forum on the USC campus for the 11th semiannual GamePipe Lab "Demo Day," seeing the future of the field -- and to offer internships, and jobs -- as student teams showcased their projects.
Companies included Disney Interactive, Sony, LucasArts, MTV Networks, Electronic Arts, Activision, Nokia Research, Zynga, Intel, Mozaic, Applied Minds, Naughtydog, THQ, Aielo, Creative Artists Agency, Blizzard, Zynga, and Happynin Games.
Greg Lieberman helped build "The Bridge" (All photos by Victor Leung)
Participants include students from the School of Cinematic Arts Interactive Media Division (B.A. Interactive Entertainment, M.F.A. Interactive Media) and students from the Viterbi School of Engineering’s Computer Science Department (B.S. in Computer Science (Games), M.S. in Computer Science (Game Development), Ph.D. in Computer Science (Games)).
Collaborative schools involved this year included the Laguna College of Art & Design and Atlantic College in Puerto Rico: students from those programs have been providing concept art, 3D models, animation and rigging for games.
Blade Olsen, creative lead for the "DancePad"
“I am so excited about the turnout for this event," said Mike Zyda, GamePipe executive director and USC professor of engineering practice in the Viterbi School Department of Computer Science. "Every seat at the Forum was filled, and we had students sitting in the aisles. I couldn’t be happier with level of innovation displayed with the student projects, and the amount of positive feedback I received from industry execs.”
Demo Day started with the team presenting Mother Nature, led by Creative Director Diane Tucker, a game that brings the fundamental components of nature into one place and uses the players' own body to make the verbs of nature—sprout, fall, grow, hunt, blow, eat, dodge, repel, bloom– into the tools of play. The game's objects and those objects' interactions are based on the logic of real-world ecosystems.
GamePipe Lab Executive Director Mike Zyda
Other projects included Cosmopolis (XNA) -an online game for behavioral model testing, Pyengine Tech Demo - a new engine & tool suite for PC & Xbox-360 game development - and the following iPhone game applications: Q-Monkey, Hyperspace Smuggler, Blood Moon, Thunder Strike and CombiForm. (See complete Demo Day agenda).
Demo Day concluded with Zyda thanking the industry attendees for their support of our program "and for hiring our students!" Faculty Executive Producers for the USC GamePipe Laboratory and the School of Cinematic Arts Interactive Media were in attendance, beaming at their students’ efforts, who included, besides Zyda, Associate Director Scott Easley, and School of Cinematic Arts Research Professor Chris Swain.
NVIDIA, a oomputer graphics leader announced a CUDA Teaching Center partnership with the GamePipe Lab. The in kind donation of equipment and software will be enable leveraging the immense parallel processing power of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). CUDA is NVIDIA's parallel computing architecture that enables increases in computing performance. CUDA is being used by software developers, scientists and other researchers in applications for image and processing, computational biology, chemistry, fluid dynamics simulation, CT image reconstruction, ray tracing and seismic analysis.
Industry executives gathered on the USC campus at Ronald Tutor Hall for the 11th semiannual "Demo Day," to see student creations and to offer internships, jobs, as student teams showcased their latest video game projects.
Background on the USC GamePipe Laboratory
The USC GamePipe Laboratory’s mission is research, development and education on technologies and design for the future of interactive games and their application - from developing the supporting technologies for increasing the complexity and innovation in produced games, to developing serious and entertainment games for government and corporate sponsors.
GamePipe has developed two degree programs to support this research and development agenda – a B.S. in computer science specializing in games, and an M.S. in computer science specializing in game development. The goal of the B.S. is to educate students so that they are capable of engineering next generation games immediately upon graduation. Students in this program receive a solid grounding in computer science in addition to the art and design required for functioning in the game industry. The goal of the M.S. degree is to graduate professionally educated students capable of engineering next generation games and their required technologies. Students graduated from these degree programs are strong computer scientists, strong programmers, strong system developers, and facile at working in cross-disciplinary collaborative game development teams.
"The future of video gaming was on display Tuesday at the University of Southern California - a vision that looked fun, somewhat scary and pretty creative at every level..." (click on logo to read more)
"For most students, the approach of winter break means stress over finals. But for those studying video game development at USC, the tension is even greater: If they’re successful at what’s called Demo Day, they could get their game into stores or land a big job..." (click on logo to read more)
The USC GamePipe Laboratory has 2,000 square feet of laboratory space, with 30 development pods outfitted with the latest PCs, graphics displays, game development software, and a laboratory of Sony Playstation-3, Xbox-360, and graphics GPUs for the study and development of parallel programming on game consoles
The 12th Demo Day will take place Tuesday, May 10, 2011.