2017 may have felt like it flew by, but DigiPen’s students, alumni, and faculty have certainly made the most of it. Between award-winning projects, the launch of new indie games and studios, and even the invention of a new musical instrument, DigiPen has been a hub of innovation and creativity all year long. Here’s a quick look back at some highlights from 2017.
As of this year, DigiPen student games have been downloaded more than 5.8 million times, and scores of hard-working student teams from the Redmond, Bilbao, and Singapore campuses have continued to add to the growing catalogue.
DigiPen was well represented at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. Our submission for the E3 College Game Competition, 3D platformer Guardian of the Gears, was chosen as one of five finalists among games submitted by over 400 invited schools. Guardian of the Gears marks the third year in a row that a DigiPen student submission has been named as a finalist for this highly competitive award.
Meaning, a poetic expression game developed at the DigiPen Institute of Technology Singapore campus, was nominated in the first-ever “Best Student Game” category at The Game Awards show. The game’s developer, BS in Computer Science and Game Design student Hariz Yet, was up against five other nominees for the award.
Two short films, Adija and Arpeggio, added to DigiPen’s growing list of acclaimed student-made animations, having been selected by the 2017 Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) to appear in “The Family Picture Show,” a curated presentation of 12 films depicting family life. The selections were a validation not only of the technical skills of DigiPen digital arts students, but also of their capability to tell nuanced, emotional stories.
DigiPen students continued to earn recognition at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) Student Narrative Analysis competition. For the third year running, a DigiPen student placed in the Platinum category, with BA in Game Design student John C. Myres bringing home the top distinction for his paper on the indie puzzle game Inside. Analyses by students Stav Hinenzon, Samson Jinks, Kaleb Nekumanesh, Andrea Rieck, and Shiloh Roberts were also recognized in the Gold category of the annual competition.
In the recent tradition of DigiPen alumni who have gone on to found their own game studios, 2017 saw the release of some awesome indie experiences. PolyKid, a studio consisting of DigiPen graduates Paul Ewers and Ben Gable, launched its first game this year, the acclaimed 3D platformer Poi. Not to be outdone, a group of alumni from DigiPen Institute of Technology Europe-Bilbao joined the indie scene with Kaia Studios, which launched its first commercial game, Dynasty Feud, on Steam after a successful Steam Greenlight campaign.