Animation Game Design Students and Faculty Impacting the Gaming World
Kent State University at Tuscarawas Animation Game Design (AGD) students and faculty successfully participated in the annual GameFest Akron held at the Akron Art Museum Nov. 8 through Nov. 12, 2021. The sold-out event featured an interactive online gallery of indie video games built by Kent State AGD students and faculty, a meet and greet with game designers and opportunities to test new games.
“The Kent State Tuscarawas AGD booth was very popular, and we had the opportunity to speak with potential and incoming students who were very interested in the program,” said Chris Totten, assistant professor of AGD at Kent State Tuscarawas. “The online gallery built by AGD students and faculty was likewise very popular.”
Totten said several students received positive feedback on their game designs, including senior Megan Gyorki. Her artwork was featured in an article by the Museum staff and highlights Gyorki’s avatar creations that were inspired by the Museum and provide an animated and interactive tour of the GameFest Akron Virtual Arcade. The Akron Art Museum article, titled Inspiration Behind the Avatars, states “…designer Megan Gyorki filled the virtual arcade with critters, creatures, and characters that can each trace their parentage to a work from the Museum’s collection. Gamers can select from these avatars to represent them as they navigate the arcade.”
Two alumni games were accepted into the indie festival, including Kovetous Kobolds by Adam Stropkey and Reed the Robotanist by Max Kunze and Sam Hundley, which was created as an AGD senior capstone project. Current students Marissa Gyorki, Daniel Spetz, Jen Ha, and Alexis Reyes were also accepted into the festival with their game Gnome Adventure: Journey to the Market. This project was created during the AGD Game Prototyping course.
Additionally, on Nov. 13, 2021, the Kent State Tuscarawas AGD faculty successfully presented games at the Cleveland Gaming Classic. Turan Koptur, associate lecturer of AGD, and his studio Square Table Games, were awarded the Best Art Award for their game Girbal (www.kickstarter.com/projects/squaretablegames/girbal).
Totten and his studio Team Nemo were awarded Best Platformer for their game Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends (www.LittleNemoGame.com). Kent State students were able to collaborate on this project through an internship in the AGD program.
“We’re so proud of the accomplishments of our Animation Game Design students and faculty,” said Dr. Bradley Bielski, dean and chief administrative officer at Kent State Tuscarawas.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Animation Game Design introduces students to the world of interactive, time-based and digital media through concentrations in Animation and Game Design and is offered at the Tuscarawas, Stark and Kent Campuses. Students gain artistic knowledge and technical skills valued in digital media industries. Required courses include 2D and 3D modeling, digital sculpting, gaming and culture, and a senior capstone project.
The program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
To learn more about the Kent State Tuscarawas Animation Game Design program, visit www.kent.edu/tusc/animation-game-design.