Taking place on July 11th in the Hangar at the Centre for Digital Media, the night kicked off with a presentation by MDM student Craig Childe, who showed off his Thereminator, an interactive waveform modulation hack that makes use of a modified Xbox Kinect and a ’67 Fender Black Face Vibro Champ guitar amplifier. Things continued from there, with presentations from a number of individual students and student groups, including a live Pac Man installation.
The majority of the evening, however, was reserved for casual networking time between various industry reps and MDM students, spurred on by a beautiful summer evening. Everyone in attendance seemed to be enjoying themselves, grabbing a quick bite of a burger every now and then in between conversations.
“[It’s] an amazing opportunity to do real networking with real industry people,” notes student representative Ben Bracamonte. “Going into one we always want to show our best and most relevant work to potential employers. It’s very exciting because we each get a few minutes to showcase ourselves to a large number of pros who are interested in our potential in a very real way.”
Although a great amount of work goes into a showcase event, it definitely pays off for students.
“By the end we’re exhausted but at the same time ever more excited than when we started because we usually have a number of promising leads and important follow-ups to conduct,” continued Bracamonte.
Not only was the event a success for students, industry representatives also had a great time.
“Had a good laugh checking out the retro elements; Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator cardboard standee that greeted us as we entered the room, we watched (Faculty member) Kim Voll navigate the 3D space as Pac-Man (they should have had a bow so women could have played Ms. Pac-Man!),” mentions Susannah Skerl, Talent Manager at East Side Games. “It was great to see the positivity and excitement reflected in all the student's faces as they met with the many industry folks in attendance – many of whom, like my studio, are actively hiring at the moment.”
Skerl also noted how the school mirrors many of the changes taking place in the game industry. “The program is definitely reflecting the game industry's move towards diversity. I spoke with several women in the program, and they weren't hard to spot as they were well represented! From UI to coding to production – all were confident and impressed me with their attention to crafting quality experiences, readily discussing the challenges of production and how they wrangled resources to get things done.”
Winding down shortly before dusk, industry reps and students made their way out into the early evening, buzzing with excitement from an amazing networking event.
From both an industry and student perspective, Wednesday night’s event was yet another successful Centre for Digital Media Industry Showcase. If this year and past years are any indication, the next is sure to be a can’t miss event.