On-Campus Event

Leveling up at the Rensselaer Games Showcase

Students in Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences shone in the 2023 Game Development Showcase held in the McNeil Room. The showcase, which is hosted annually by Rensselaer’s Game Development Club, allows students in this program to show off the games they have built, either inside or outside of class. In many courses in the GSAS program, students are given anywhere from one week to nearly an entire semester to come up with an idea and fully develop a fun, interesting game. The showcase aims to provide students with a chance to present their work to other members of the community.

One game in particular, named Avarisia, was a board game created by members Anisha Biswas ’27, Max Knudsen ’27, Nickolas Ho ’25, Bryan Diep ’27 and Alexandria Genchev ’27. The game delved deep into the theme of greed, with a main player named the “Dungeon” dictating other players’ moves as they work together to go through a series of rooms. The main player symbolizes a land overtaken by greed, and the other players experience many different roadblocks as they attempt to learn from their mistakes stemming from greed. At the end of the game, players have to defeat the final “boss.” Additionally, the game was not made up of one board, but many that would eventually come together as players would beat each room. The game’s theme was a unique and creative idea that was presented in an artistic way. Members mentioned that their project took around three to four weeks to complete and all characters in the game were hand-drawn.

Another game named Task Force was a space-themed game. Using the keyboard, the player navigates throughout the small spaceship and completes tasks as a black hole threatens to destroy the ship. The mini astronaut character would complete a series of five tasks throughout the spaceship, each of which were timed. Tasks included turning pipes to fit together, moving slides, spamming a button, counting numbers and shooting aliens. Team member Nyssa Gandhi ’27 worked alongside three other team members to complete the game in 4-5 days as part of a previous Game Jam. The game was an entertaining experience to complete the various tasks as a timer ticked down for each one.

A game entitled Goodbye was a zombie apocalypse game where a player represented a person bitten by a zombie. Created by members Ethan Dubner ’26, Tyler Majewski ’26, Michael Konefal ’26 and Margaret Hons ’26, the slow-moving game has the player travel back through a camp and say “goodbye” to loved ones before the time runs out. This creative take on the ending side of a zombie apocalypse moves slowly as the player travels through the camp, using a map to identify where various people are in the game. As the game continues and the clock ticks down, the player must say “goodbye” and exit the camp before they die. The underlying emotions and slowness of the game was moving in itself and provided a very different game experience than the average game. The character moves even slower as time continues, signifying that the end is near. This game provided a new take on the usual zombie apocalypse game and possessed an overall somber theme.

All games at the showcase exhibited lots of creativity and represented lots of time and effort from Rensselaer students.