Let’s Play PA Conference Recap!

In early October of 2015, the Pennsylvania Consortium on Video Games held the first annual game developers conference, Let’s Play PA, at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. In collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University, the Department of Community and Economic let's play photoDevelopment, Drexel, Harrisburg University, and the Entertainment Software Association, COVG hosted almost 150 game enthusiasts who were playing games developed by local game studios or learning about different aspects of the game development industry from professionals within different facets of the industry.

Session Panels

Throughout the day, attendees sat in on informational sessions covering topics like Psychology in Gaming, Funding Sources, Virtual Reality, and Transformative Games. These panels included professionals from 343 Studios (the Halo series), Amazon, Ben Franklin Partners, Elsevier, Fun to 11, Games for Change, The Founders Institute, Microsoft, Schell Games, Skyless Game Studios, and Ubisoft, as well as independent game developer Lisa Brown.

 

Expo

In parallel with the sessions, the Expo Hall hosted 15 PA exhibitors comprised of universities, tabletop game companies, and video game studios. A complete list of exhibitors can be seen on the website, http://letsplaypa.org/?p=307.

 

Awards Show

Concluding the first day of the event was an Awards Show, where attendees’ votes were tallied and the winners of several categories revealed:

  • Best of Expo
    • Finalist: Hope City by Dux Nova
    • Winner: Slaughterville by Rubio Games
  • Best Tabletop Game
    • Finalist: Hope City by Dux Nova
    • Winner: Slaughterville by Rubio Games
  • Best Digital Game
    • Finalist: A Tofu Tail by Alchemedium
    • Winner: Punch A Pickle by Fish Potato Games
  • Best Student Game
    • Finalist: S0urce C0de by Gabe Hicks
    • Winner: Starbright by Lunar Rabbit Studios
  • Best Gameplay
    • Finalist: A Tofu Tail by Alchemedium
    • Winner: Qbots by Qbots, LLC

 

Hands on UE4 Demo

The second day of Let’s Play PA was a hands on demo of the Unreal 4 game engine, led by Luis Cataldi of Epic Games. Luis, who is Epic’s Educational Evangelist, spent four hours showing local college students how to create a simple game using an interactive workshop where students provided input while Luis created the game live.

All of the Session Panels are free to view on the Let’s Play PA Livestream page.

The Pennsylvania Consortium on Video Games was created as part of Governor Corbett’s JOBS1st PA initiative with funding from a Discovered in PA – Developed in PA grant. The mission of the organization is to build a community of higher education partners and interactive development firms to focus on the cultural, scientific, and economic importance of video game development, as well as, digital media across the state.

Our Mission is to expand Pennsylvania’s video game industry presence by growing the pool of talented individuals and organizations, supporting entrepreneurship, and enabling business expansion and relocation within the Commonwealth. The key to this endeavor is building a robust network of educators, business owners, independent contractors, and state representatives to help nurture, incubate, and empower the gaming community.

This program is funded [in part] by the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development’s Discovered in PA, Developed in PA program.