Be Here Now: GameFest 2011 @ RPI, 5/6-7/11

It’s the art form of the 21st century – video games now outsell both DVDs and recorded music. If you want to get an inkling of where the industry is headed, or you just want to check out some new games, GameFest 2011 will be held Friday (tomorrow) and Saturday at RPI in Troy.

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Kicking off Friday at the Alumni Sports and Recreation Center from 5-9pm, more than 30 student-designed games will be on display, including applications for Kinect, social media and an augmented reality game for Android, as development teams compete for cash prizes to be awarded by a panel of judges from local sponsor Vicarious Visions.

Saturday is dedicated to a day-long symposium at the BioTech Auditorium, with Brian Reynolds, chief game designer at Zynga, creators of FarmVille and FrontierVille, delivering the keynote presentation at 10am. Entry and participation is free but registration is requested.

Here’s just some of the games that await your perusal:

Tic, a game poised for release on the XBox Live Indie Marketplace. Gamers take the role of an industrial robot (a “unicycling, wall-drilling, helicoptering” robot at that, according to Chang) on a valiant quest to save its kind from the plans of Evilcorp. The game’s intricate graphics draw users through a fantasy landscape of swirling shapes and marvelous creatures.

Feast – a mobile phone-based for the Android Operating System that employs augmented reality, a new horizon in gaming that combines the physical world with the virtual world. The game is layered onto video captured through the phone’s on-board camera.

A Night in Twistwyck Manor – A puzzle-solving game, now available at UnPossible Games, revolving around a boy who is dared to spend the night in a haunted house.

Yamada Box Legend – explores the universe on the nanoscale. The game takes users through the concentric worlds inside a nesting series of magical cardboard boxes and explores how the actions in one box – and on one scale – affect those in the others.

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