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Game Developers Conference venue in San Francisco.

Continued excellence: Sheridan students showcase talent at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco

Apr 12, 2023
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Sheridan Honours Bachelor of Game Design students showcased their skills at the world’s largest professional industry event, the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, this past March. This marks the ninth year that Sheridan students have placed in the Game Narrative review competition. Sheridan talent continues to impress and make its mark in the industry.

GDC brings together game designers, artists, and business leaders to exchange ideas that help shape the future of the industry. The event provides students with an opportunity to network, learn from industry experts and reflect on their knowledge as they pursue a career as game designers.

Game Developers Conference venue in San Francisco.

This year, students from the Honours Bachelor of Game Design program won positions in the GDC Narrative Review Competition and the alt.ctrl.GDC Showcase.

At the GDC Narrative Review competition, students achieved top prizes for their narrative poster submissions. Sheridan students Juan Alarcon, Jasmin El-Tahry, and Gabe St. Onge received gold, while Asad Ali and Yanfei Chen won platinum. Their success adds to the program's continued excellence in this category. Over the years, Sheridan students have won 10 Platinum and 16 Gold. 

Integrated into the curriculum of the Game Design program at Sheridan, each student conducts a detailed structured analysis of the narrative elements of a game title of their choice. The resulting papers are submitted to the GDC writing board for review, and winning entries are exhibited as synopsis posters at the event.

Game Developers Conference venue in San Francisco.

"The Narrative Review is an opportunity for students to use what they've learned in the classroom and share their knowledge with the greater development community," said Jeffrey Pidsadny, Professor and coordinator of Game Design at Sheridan. "I'm thrilled and proud to see Sheridan students excel in this category year after year."

"Having my work recognized was an exceptional experience, and I'm thankful to Sheridan for helping me get this opportunity," said Alarcon. "It helped me realize the value of my creative ideas, and overall, I feel like I've become more confident in my abilities as a writer."

Elsewhere at GDC, five of the games playable at the alt.ctrl.GDC Showcase were projects created by Sheridan students. The games were originally created as part of the Game Design program’s “Design Week,” where first through third-year students work together within a “game-jam” style weeklong exercise.

Game Developers Conference venue in San Francisco.

One of the featured projects from Sheridan, Cosmic Crew, is a space-piloting team game that uses hammers and metal plates to emulate the operation of a "real" spaceship. The team behind it included second and third-year Game Design students Andrew Qiu, Sarah Chambers and Suowei Sun. With hundreds of submissions each year, being selected to exhibit their work at the Showcase is a significant achievement for students.

"Cosmic Crew came out of a week-long alternate controller game jam at Sheridan College," said Qiu. "The theme of our game was 'miscommunication,' which we wanted to explore through the format of an information game. Taking inspiration from games such as SpaceTeam, Keep Talking, and Nobody Explodes, our game aims to encourage teamwork and cooperation."

“It's amazing to witness the journey our students have taken, from analyzing game narratives and creating one-week games in school to presenting their remarkable work on the global stage of GDC,” said Nicolas Hesler, professor in the Honours Bachelor of Game Design program. “We feel privileged to be a part of their development and excited to see where our students’ skills and creativity will take them in the future.”

Learn more about Sheridan’s Honours Bachelor of Game Design program.

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