SCAD’s GamingFest explores how games get made and what’s next



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We all know what it’s like to game and how fun it is to explore other worlds or try out new gameplay mechanics. But, if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like being on the other side, designing those very games, you’ll want to check out SCAD’s GamingFest.

SCAD’s GamingFest explores just about every aspect of gaming with industry experts and SCAD alumni, and there will even be a bit of active gaming as SCAD students go head-to-head in esports competitions during the event. We have 10 free passes to this amazing digital event to give away to PC Gamer readers. Keep reading for info and to enter for your chance to win! 

SCAD competitive esports

(Image credit: SCAD)

SCAD’s GamingFest, brought to us by SCADFILM, will take place virtually on April 9 and 10. The event will include a number of keynote speakers from major companies. And, for the first time, all of the keynote speakers will be SCAD alumni, highlighting the universities track record in the gaming field. The guests include Jeff White of Industrial Light & Magic (VFX supervisor and creative director), Jolie Menzel of The Coalition (lead narrative designer), Matt Ward of Bungie (cinematic director), and Seth Smith of Riot Games (senior game designer). 

“As we gathered the best speakers for GamingFest, SCAD alumni fit the bill. This year over a dozen alumni are returning to SCAD to participate in our festival. Recent alumni will give insight about entering the exploding game industry and we’ll have keynotes from alumni in senior positions at different companies who will speak to everything from player dynamics to narrative game design,” SCADFILM Senior Executive Director Leigh Seaman said of the keynote speakers and event guests.

There are events scheduled every hour on the hour during GamingFest. By attending, you’ll be able to hear about the latest gaming technologies, like Quixel, or explore how artificial intelligence is changing game development. There will even be a discussion on narrative design. 

The event also marks the launch of SCAD Game Studio, which will make a number of student-made projects available to download and play. The event will also include a special, first-look at a student-developed game in “The Making of Zoelie” presentation on April 10. “Zoelie is a testament of the talented students at SCAD who will not only become leading creative professionals but also pioneering problem solvers in industry,” states SuAnne Fu, SCAD Chair of Interactive Design and Game Development. “The project had students from an array of top ranked degree programs including interactive design and game development, animation, visual effects, sequential art, sound design, and UX design all collaborating to create the magical gaming world of Zoelie.”

SCAD student-made game Zoelie

(Image credit: SCAD)

Students don’t just make games, though, they also play them. During day two of GamingFest, SCAD will have a Twitch takeover with Skillshot Media that will include a SCAD vs. SCAD Rocket League competition along with an Alumni Voices panel and a live Q+A with the university’s School of Digital Media faculty. 

Since SCAD was founded by current university president Paula Wallace in 1978, the university has grown into an extensive resource for art and design students in over 75 disciplines. SCAD offers facilities for students to go hands on with professional equipment with everything from 3D printers and laser cutters to motion-capture studios and AR/VR labs.  The university offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and it has over 40 majors and minors. SCAD alumni largely go on to put their degrees to work, with 92% working in a creative field. 

SCAD VR lab

(Image credit: SCAD)

SCAD interactive design and game development alumni have landed at large companies like Google and Microsoft as well as game studios and publishers like Gearbox, Blizzard, Bethesda, and more. They also go on to contribute to the region, as over 2,800 students and alumni have found creative work in Georgia’s booming entertainment industry alone.

Those interested in GamingFest can register to attend the event here. SCAD has also given PC Gamer 10 free passes for the all virtual GameFest 2021! If you’re interested in trying to win one of those passes, use the widget below to get your entries in before April 8th. You can also follow the action on social media @scaddotedu and @scadfilm.

For more information about SCAD’s academic opportunities, be sure to head over to SCAD’s website.

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