Sheridan students and resident experts shine during gaming week in Toronto

May 3, 2023
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The Sheridan community showcased game design talent and digital media expertise at two highly anticipated industry events last month in Toronto. Honours Bachelor of Game Design students received multiple accolades, including a first-place win, at the Level Up Student Showcase and Screen Industries Research and Training (SIRT) Centre staff presented at the XP Game Developer Summit.

Level Up Student Showcase 2023 

On April 19, fourth-year Sheridan game design students received multiple awards and honourable mentions at the Level Up Student Showcase hosted at The Westin Harbour Castle.
Students accepting an award at the 2023 Level Up Showcase.
Games featured at the event by Sheridan students were the result of capstone projects completed in teams as a project-based studio simulation. Judges and more than 100 attendees play-tested them before awards were announced. 

The Sheridan team, Plate of Meal, claimed the top prize for the Technical Innovation Award with their show-stopping creation, Essentia Omnia. Lich-Cat, by The Hellstew Collective, received an honourable mention for the People's Choice category while securing third place for the Technical Innovation Award. Also, VROOMBA-NATE was awarded an honourable mention for its game, Corpobots, in the Technical Innovation, Artistic Achievement and Overall Game categories. 

"I'm thrilled about the exceptional achievements of our students at this year's Level Up Showcase," said Donna Braggins, Interim Dean, Faculty of Arts, Animation & Design. "Their success is a testament to their skills, ingenuity, and commitment to their craft. The accolades also underscore the unwavering support and guidance from Sheridan’s faculty members, who are all seasoned leaders and experts in the gaming industry.”

With the participation of 17 institutions including Algonquin College, Brock University, OCAD University, Toronto Metropolitan University, the University of Toronto, and York University, the Level Up Student Showcase highlights the next generation of game developers and designers. The competition featured approximately 100 games, and students had the chance to present their creations to judges from industry giants such as Gameloft, Ubisoft, Uken Games, and Zynga. 

"Winning at the Level Up Showcase is an incredible milestone for our team," said Sam Geronimo, a fourth-year Honours Bachelor of Game Design student from team Plate of Meal. "It opens up opportunities for our careers and professional network, helping us to make our mark in the game design industry." 

XP Game Developer Summit 2023 

Meanwhile, at the XP Game Developer Summit, research leaders from SIRT provided their insights and expertise in applied and technical research in the screen-based industries. The event, which was held at The Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto from April 21-23, brought together some of Canada’s top professionals and subject matter experts in the field of game design.  

SIRT Advisory Board member, Lucie Lalumière, President & CEO, Interactive Ontario, presenting at the Level Up Showcase. At the "State of the Canadian Game Industry" session, SIRT Advisory Board member, Lucie Lalumière, President & CEO, Interactive Ontario, was among the participants who provided valuable insights into the industry. The session explored the future of video games and the challenges and opportunities in the Canadian gaming sector. Lalumiere engaged with other attendees to discuss the industry's current state and new opportunities in which developers can leverage emerging technologies.  

Another session during the event, "USD: Future of Virtual Collaboration?"  was moderated by Stephan Kozak, Visual Effects & CG Lead at SIRT. The session explored the potential of Universal Scene Description (USD) – a framework for the interchange of 3D computer graphics data. 

Kozak led a discussion featuring expert panellists from Autodesk, Side FX, and Cream Productions alongside Spencer Idenouye, Virtual Production Lead at SIRT, who shared valuable insights on the USD framework's potential for virtual collaboration. The panel discussed the benefits of USD for game developers as well as the challenges involved in integrating the framework into the game development process.

According to Andrea England, Vice Provost, Research, "SIRT has consistently been a pioneer in innovations for the screen industries. By sharing their knowledge and exchanging ideas with the best in the business, our researchers are helping to shape the future of digital media.”  

“This commitment to innovation and collaboration,” added England, “reinforces the Centre and Sheridan's commitment to staying on top of the latest trends and technology—a tremendous advantage for our students and faculty.” 

Please visit the program page for more information on Sheridan’s Honours Bachelor of Game Design program.

To learn more about the SIRT Centre, please visit their website


Pictured in the top photo are award and honourable mention-receiving fourth-year Sheridan game design students (left to right): Jack Upshall, Lucas Gollan, Erica Mitton, Kyle Brunton, Fred Duffield and Taylor Moffat.

Pictured in the bottom photo is SIRT Advisory Board member and President & CEO of Interactive Ontario, Lucie Lalumière. 

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