RI gaming-industry dream alive

Great story in the Providence Business News highlighting the Gaming Industry in Rhode Island. It isn’t all about Curt Shilling and the failed 38 Studios. Hopefully these independent game developers will successfully blossom into a major players in the gaming world.  Effectively changing the local conversations surrounding the gaming business away from 38 Studios.

PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO A NEW GAME: Jacob Brennan created his real-time, multiplayer cooperative role-playing game “Casual Quest” in two weeks with little more than a hobbyist’s knowledge of game design and self-taught programming skills. Brennan counts himself among the small group of independent video game developers in Rhode Island.

From PBN story by Kaylen Auer:

“When 38 Studios joined the mix, it was incredibly exciting for everyone,” said David “DJ” Johnson, assistant professor in the New England Institute of Technology video game design program. “Wherever there’s a large studio, within a couple of years there are more studios. We wanted to make that possible. We wanted to facilitate the expansion of the craft in Providence.”

Johnson was among the earliest members of the Rhode Island chapter of the International Game Developers Association. Founded in 2011 by Geraldo Perez, the Ocean State group looked to advance the games industry in the state and create a social-gathering place where 38 Studios employees who relocated to Providence from out-of-state could meet with other gaming enthusiasts – and recruit people like Perez to work for the company.

“None of us believe that another company would [relocate to the city], nor do we believe the citizens of Rhode Island would be able to have the stomach for that,” he said. “The game industry really took a black eye, so every game company is [perceived as] some kind of flim-flam artist. … I’m reserved about mentioning that I’m in the game-development industry because it will lead to a conversation about 38 Studios.”

Despite the fallout, Johnson does expect to see a “serious game company” emerge from within the state in the next year.

Kevin Murphy, Eric Hall and Aaron James have set out to build that company in downtown Providence. Their joint business venture, Nexperience, bills itself as a cutting-edge, game-development company focused on designing virtual-reality experiences for the Oculus Rift headset.

Hall studied the evolution of the Oculus technology – and the market potential for a company in the virtual-reality arena – for two years before bringing his business idea to Murphy, a fellow Rhode Island attorney and one of the co-founders of Hatch Entrepreneurial Center in Providence. James, a serial entrepreneur who came together with Murphy and Hall to launch the venture a few months ago, said Nexperience plans to piggyback on the momentum that Facebook’s recent $2 billion acquisition of Oculus will drive for virtual-reality development.

To read the entire article visit: R.I. gaming-industry dream alive – Providence Business News.

Girl Code: How Teens Are Breaking Barriers in the Tech World | TeenVogue.com

What can we do to help increase the number of girls that enter career paths that involve STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers? Being a ‘techie’ doesn’t have to be for boys only.

From Teenvogue.com:

Photo: Getty Images; Art: Ashley Minette

These days, most everyone is tech-savvy—from being up to date on the coolest gadgets to hopping around on social media, it’s hard not to be. But as much as these things are an integral part of daily life, women are still woefully underrepresented in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—fields.

Only one-quarter of all computer science jobs are held by women, and the statistics aren’t improving: According to research, only 14 percent of all comp sci graduates last year were female. While the numbers can be discouraging, there’s a new crop of girl coders making themselves known in the tech world.

Jackie, 22, is one of them. She believes there’s a cultural stigma about girls in tech and admits to being a “secret coder” for years because she didn’t see herself in a profession dominated by “greasy dudes in old hoodies, crowded around a computer screen in a dark room.” Casey, a high school junior, says it’s a hard-to-break cycle. “Girls aren’t brought up to aspire to be in STEM, and we don’t have many role models,” she explains. “It’s hard to spark widespread interest: Not a lot of girls are in coding because not a lot of girls are in coding.”

Jackie’s desire to code began when she wanted to start a blog but was unsatisfied by the template designs available. She decided to customize her own by following tutorials online, and though she found the step-by-step instructions tedious at first, she learned to write her own code—and love it. “It’s like creating high-concept art,” she says.

LaTorria, an engineer at Microsoft, agrees that creativity is key. “Coding is similar to learning a new language,” she explains. In fact, when you code, you’re often writing in what are called programming languages. “Once you learn the language, you can speak it, or in this case, tell the code what task you would like the computer to perform. The interesting part about coding is discovering how truly creative you can be when you get over the initial challenges.”

Sixteen-year-old Ming taught herself to code in first grade using the MIT program Scratch, going on to learn languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. “For me, the most interesting part is the logic,” she says. “I love solving puzzles. That’s pretty much all coding is, detangling the different elements, getting them to line up, and then having them all work together.”

via Girl Code: How Teens Are Breaking Barriers in the Tech World | TeenVogue.com.

Surgeon Simulator for Playstation 4 announced

Simulators have been used in military training and by airlines in pilot training for some time now but could this be the beginning of a future requirement for surgeons in training? What other fields could game designers and developers help with a similar simulator?

From TheTechGets.com

Gamers are pretty desensitized to blood and guts — after all, you can only blow off so many zombie heads or impale so many bandits before you just aren’t squeamish anymore. However, it’s one thing to have blood and random goo splatter everywhere, but it’s quite another to see actual organs taken out of people’s bodies and examined up close. Enter Surgeon Simulator, the game that lets you tear open a very unlucky patient and completely obliterate his vital organs with drills, hammers and other implements of destruction.

Surgeon Simulator has been around for a while now as a PC game and an iOS app but now it’s coming to your living room TV with a new port for the PlayStation 4. On the official PlayStation blog, developer Bossa Studios explains the challenges that the company faced in bringing its controls for the game over to the PS4‘s DualShock4 controllers.

“The first and most obvious step to take was to map hand movement and hand rotation to the left and right thumb sticks, as this is what players tend to expect on a console game,” the studio explains. “The finger controls were less obvious. We had a lot of ideas which turned out to be a bit too clumsy even for Surgeon Simulator. In the end we decided to lose the one-button-per-finger design used on the PC and instead condense it down into just two of the shoulder buttons.”

via Surgeon Simulator for Playstation 4 announced.

Imagination, diverse skill set bring creative success for RI artist

Fantastic story in the Valley Breeze about New England Tech Graphics instructor, William “Bill” Culbertson. Bill has had a very creative and eclectic career.  Congratulations! Bill on winning start up funds through Direct Capital’s national “Small Biz, Big Success” award competition. We are very fortunate to have such a diverse faculty member.

William Culbertson holds “Derb” a character he created for a childrens television program. Behind him are the other puppets that he created for the show. Culbertson’s media entertainment company, “Whooplah,” recently won a national competition for a video he produced explaining his program. (Valley Breeze photo by David Wuerth)

NORTH SMITHFIELD – Call it an occupational hazard.

In William Culbertson’s century-old home on Warren Avenue in North Smithfield, you’ll find a complete room dedicated to his collection of Disney paraphernalia, with his favorite characters lined up along shelves, sitting on the television stand, and even painted on the walls.

In the basement, four 3-foot-by-4-foot clay models depict Kermit the Frog and other scenes from Jim Henson’s early work.

Four giant handmade puppets sit upon a piano in the living room, while dozens of Culbertson’s sculptures grace the home’s shelves and ledges.

His back yard, until recently, was filled with Styrofoam and other materials that could come in handy for building a set.

Culbertson has made a lifelong career out of creating and replicating artwork, including both the sculptures and designs that you typically find in parks and town squares, and the more colorful scenes and characters that make up childhood fantasies.

“As a freelancer, you can’t just focus on one area,” Culbertson said. “In order to keep success, keep the phone ringing and keep the money flowing, you have to do several things.”

Click the link to continue reading via Imagination, diverse skill set bring creative success for North Smithfield artist | The Valley Breeze.

PAX East is a Hit

New England Tech students stop by our PAX East booth.

The Penny Arcade Expo known as PAX was the setting on April 11-13, 2014, for 90,000 gaming enthusiasts in search of the latest and greatest in gaming technology. PAX East, one of five international tradeshows, was held in Boston with NEIT faculty and students making their debut at this event as they showcased what was deemed as the hit of the show, the Virtusphere.Virtusphere

This show-stopping 10-foot hollow sphere gave all who stepped inside the ultimate virtual gaming experience. The Virtusphere rotates in any direction based on the user’s motion while he/she is wearing a head mounted display known as the Oculus Rift. Sensors collect and send data to a computer in real time and the user’s movement is replicated within the virtual environment. Not only is the Virtusphere a gamer’s delight, the sphere may be programmed for applications that include military, counter-terrorism, police, and firefighter training in a safe environment. Many industry experts agree that virtual reality is the future of gaming.

The game utilized in the Virtusphere was created by New England Tech gaming students Naveed Sameja and Harold Ramsay III with guidance from Assistant Professor David “DJ” Johnson. The concept of the game called “A Ghostly Night” was to catch the light-orbs with outstretched hands. Because of its popularity, a lottery was developed with more than 300 show attendees winning the chance to experience the Virtusphere first-hand.

New England Tech was the only Rhode Island college represented at PAX East, and with the overwhelming response of this year’s exhibit, gaming faculty and students are already talking about next year’s show.

If you would like additional information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs, including Game Development and Simulation Programming or Video Game Design.

More Information | Apply Now

Contact the Admissions Office at 800-736-7744 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu 

Nerds with Passports gives NEIT a review

Sang Frais from Nerds with Passports speaks to High School Admissions Representative, Kaila Nicolia about New England Tech’s Game Development and Simulation Programming Technology and Video Game Design degree programs at PAX East 2014.

Nerds With Passports logo

Plus Sang gives her thoughts on the New England Tech student created virtual reality she had the opportunity to experience in the Virtusphere at PAX East.

If you would like additional information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs, including Game Development and Simulation Programming and Video Game Design, please call Admissions at 800-736-7744 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu.

You can follow Nerds with Passports on Twitter @NerdsWPassports.

2014 Chrysler Gaming Competition – A Great Success!

Pictured with the top four winning teams are Chrysler’s John Fox, Director, Dealer Training Shared Services; Kristin Bowler, Dodge and SRT Brand Training Manager; and Keith Yancy, Senior Manager, Creative Direction and Instructional Design from Chrysler Learning Academy. First Place: Kevin Pierre-Louis and Josue Melgar

First Place: Kevin Pierre-Louis and Josue Melgar; Pictured with the winning teams are
Chrysler’s John Fox, Director, Dealer Training
Shared Services; Kristin Bowler, Dodge and SRT
Brand Training Manager; and Keith Yancy, Senior
Manager, Creative Direction and Instructional Design
from Chrysler Learning Academy.

The results are in! The winners of the 2014 Chrysler Gaming Competition were announced on March 13th with faculty, staff, students and Chrysler executives on hand. Students in NEIT’s Associate in Science and Bachelor of Science Video Game Development and Design (VGDD) Technology program were challenged by the Chrysler Learning Academy to develop video game training prototypes for its sales team.

Each of the nine teams consisted of two students who demonstrated their expertise in the development of training game prototypes for the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Chrysler will incorporate the winning prototype(s) into training games for its sales team. This is the first time since the 2009 merger with FIAT that Chrysler has partnered with a college for gaming purposes.

Bill Culbertson, Assistant Professor, VGDD program stated, “This was an incredible opportunity for our students. It provided them with their first real-world game development experience. It is our hope that this competition is just the beginning of a long relationship with Chrysler.”

Second Place: Dylan Beck and Aaron Beck; Pictured with the winning teams are Chrysler’s John Fox, Director, Dealer Training Shared Services; Kristin Bowler, Dodge and SRT Brand Training Manager; and Keith Yancy, Senior Manager, Creative Direction and Instructional Design from Chrysler Learning Academy.

Second Place: Dylan Beck and Aaron Beck; Pictured with the winning teams are Chrysler’s John Fox, Director, Dealer Training Shared Services; Kristin Bowler, Dodge and SRT Brand Training Manager; and Keith Yancy, Senior Manager, Creative Direction and Instructional Design from Chrysler Learning Academy.

Third Place: Jeremy Simons and Kathryn Smith;  Pictured with the winning teams are Chrysler’s John Fox, Director, Dealer Training Shared Services; Kristin Bowler, Dodge and SRT Brand Training Manager; and Keith Yancy, Senior Manager, Creative Direction and Instructional Design from Chrysler Learning Academy.

Third
Place: Jeremy Simons and Kathryn Smith; Pictured with the winning teams are
Chrysler’s John Fox, Director, Dealer Training
Shared Services; Kristin Bowler, Dodge and SRT
Brand Training Manager; and Keith Yancy, Senior
Manager, Creative Direction and Instructional Design
from Chrysler Learning Academy.

4thPlace

Fourth Place: Kelsey Emmett and Candon Needham; Pictured with the winning teams are
Chrysler’s John Fox, Director, Dealer Training
Shared Services; Kristin Bowler, Dodge and SRT
Brand Training Manager; and Keith Yancy, Senior
Manager, Creative Direction and Instructional Design
from Chrysler Learning Academy.

 

PAX East 2014

Undergrad-SealWe are just 4 DAYS away from PAX East 2014New England Tech will be there, will you?

On display at our booth (#182) for the ENTIRE weekend (April 11, 12 & 13th) will be the Virtusphere, a 10-foot hollow sphere that rotates in any direction based on the user’s motion while he/she is wearing a head mounted display. Sensors collect and send data to a computer in real time and the user’s movement is replicated within the virtual environment. Vitrusphere applications include training military, counter-terrorism units, police, and firefighters in a safe setting.

8-Power Game Day

For more information on NEIT’s Game Development and Simulation Programming Technology or Video Game Design Technology  as well as the over 40 Associate, Bachelor and Master’s degree programs offered at the college, call the Admissions Office at 1-800-736-7744, 401-467-7744, or visit www.neit.edu.

Once again – New England Tech named on prestigious Princeton Review list

NEW ENGLAND INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY NAMED ONE OF THE “TOP UNDERGRADUATE SCHOOLS TO STUDY VIDEO GAME DESIGN FOR 2014″ BY THE PRESTIGIOUS PRINCETON REVIEW

Undergrad-SealEAST GREENWICH, RI – Douglas H. Sherman, Senior Vice President and Provost at New England Institute of Technology, announced that the college has earned a prominent position on The Princeton Review’s just published-list saluting the best undergraduate schools to study video game design for 2014.   

Compiled by The Princeton Review, one of America’s best-known education services companies, New England Institute of Technology was named as one of the “Top 25 Undergraduate Schools to Study Game Design For 2014.” The Princeton Review chose the schools based on a survey it conducted in 2013 of 150 game design programs at institutions in the United States, Canada, and abroad.  A companion list of “Top 25 Graduate Schools to Study Game Design for 2014″ was also compiled.  The criteria used by The Princeton Review to make its selections included the school curriculum, faculty, facilities, and infrastructure, as well as career services, student scholarships, and financial aid. 

As Sherman stated, “We are thrilled to have earned this distinction from The Princeton Review.  Our gaming faculty works tirelessly with students enrolled in our Associate in Science and Bachelor of Science degree programs in Video Game Development and Design Technology.  Our hands-on approach to learning coupled with a dynamic curriculum plus exciting gaming events and workshops prepare our students for this competitive industry.”

Princeton Review Senior Vice President/Publisher Robert Franek explained, “It has long been our mission to help students find – and get into – the schools best for them.  For students aspiring to become game designers, we highly recommend New England Institute of Technology as one of the best institutions to study and to launch a career in this exciting field.  We also salute the faculty and staff at New England Tech and the other schools on our 2014 lists for their exceptional academic and professional contributions to their students and to the industry of game design.” 

The Princeton Review developed its “Top Schools to Study Video Game Design” project in 2009-2010 with assistance from a national advisory board that helped design the survey instrument and methodology. Board members include administrators and faculty from respected game design programs and professionals from some of the top gaming companies.  

The full report is accessible at www.princetonreview.com/game-design. 

Under the leadership of President Richard I. Gouse, New England Institute of Technology is a private, non-profit, technical college with an enrollment of approximately 3,000 students in over 40 associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.  Visit our website at www.neit.edu and follow news of the college on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Tumblr and the New England Tech blog.

Congratulations Game-On Winners!

The winners of the 2014 Chrysler Game-On competition have been announced. We’d like to thank everyone that worked hard on their Game-On Game Design.

Fifteen competing teams, comprised of New England Institute of Technology students currently enrolled in the college’s Associate in Science or Bachelor of Science Video Game Development and Design Technology programs, formed to compete in the 2014 Chrysler Gaming Competition.

Special thanks to Chrysler representatives, Keith Yancy, Senior Manager, Creative Direction and Instructional Design from Chrysler Learning Academy, Kristin Bowler, Dodge and SRT Brand Training Manager and John Fox, Director, Dealer Training Shared Services for coming to the New England Tech campus to announce the winners.

The first prize is a $2,000 gift card per team; second prize is a $1,000 gift card per team; and the third and fourth place prizes are a $500 gift card per team.

CongratulationsChrysler