At the 2019 Game Studio Senior Show, students came together to present, celebrate, network, and PLAY GAMES!
Now in its 12th year, Champlain College’s annual Game Studio Senior Show and Reception attracts more than 50 recruiters from the game industry to vet the work of Champlain’s graduating game students and select the best to join their firms. Some of the firms that attended this year are Vicarious Visions, Velan Studios, Ubisoft Montreal, Sledgehammer, Ironbelly, and WB Boston.
The Game Studio Senior Show is the culminating event of an intense, year-long competition between 16 teams made up of students from each of Champlain’s four game majors: Game Art, Game Design, Game Production Management, and Game Programming. Midway through the year, game faculty determined the six finalist games that presented at the Senior Show. All the members of the teams that were not selected had to join forces with the six remaining teams.
“It’s a rigorous and competitive process by design,” says Amanda Crispel, Assistant Dean of Game Development and Associate Professor of Game Design. “Just as it is in the game industry, only the best concepts and most differentiated work will ever see the light of day. In the Game Studio, our students learn essential professional, social and communication skills as they master the latest game development practices, processes, and techniques. Sometimes that will mean switching teams, and throwing themselves wholeheartedly into a new project.”
During the Senior Show the teams got up on stage and presented a sizzle reel of their game—which is fully playable. Each student on the team demonstrated their work on the game along with samples of their portfolio.
“It’s an amazing opportunity,” said Brennan Howell, a Class of 2019 Game Art & Animation major who has already been hired as an Environment Artist by Velan Studios. “It’s exciting to see the work of my peers being shown off to game recruiters. I can’t wait to hear about everyone’s interviews—people are bound to get noticed.”
The keynote speaker at this year’s show was Karthik Bala, CEO of Velan Studios, as well as co-founder of Vicarious Visions. Karthik shared his thoughts on trends in the video game industry and how new professionals in the field can do right by themselves and their work.
Following the Senior Show, attendees gathered in the Champlain Art Gallery to try the games and meet the creators. By the end of the evening, the recruiters had determined which of the talented Game students they wanted to interview on campus the following day.
A high percentage of these students will be employed in a career-relevant job within six months of graduating. “Our career outcomes are excellent for our Game Studio Graduates,” said Daphne Walker, Assistant Director of Career Collaborative who provides career coaching for Game Studio students. “For example, in 2018, 100 percent of our Game Production Management students were employed in the game industry within six months after graduating. Overall, 85 percent of our Game Studio graduates were working within six months of graduation, and 91 percent of those were working in a career-relevant position.”