Archive for the ‘Student Life’ Category

Day of the Devs

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Day of the Devs - Double Fine convention - in San Francisco, California

It was a video game enthusiast’s paradise. Screens and consoles decked every wall of (nearly) every room of the two story Old Mint building in San Francisco, all displaying demos of games to be released within the next year. There was a crowd gathered around each display, each person eager to get a chance at playing the game. I was attending with a few other friends from Cogswell, whose brains I could audibly hear exploding as they took in scenery and games around them.

The turnout of indie game developers was amazing. Day of the Devs was hosted by Double Fine, so they had a room full of their own soon-to-be-released games such as Costume Quest 2 and even a remastered version of Grim Fandango, but the rest of the building was filled with small studio games like Night In The Woods and Knight Squad (my personal favorites), Classroom Aquatic, Push Me Pull You, Spy Party, Ikarus, and Please Don’t, Spacedog. A few of the games were played with an Oculus Rift headset. There was even a swag shop full of t-shirts and books related to the games. Outside in the courtyard was a bar and a stage where live DJ’s played music, and games were actively played on a large screen by their developers.

It was enough to make any self-declared nerd hyperventilate. Being as there were a thousand in attendance, the excitement in the air was palpable. Within the first ten minutes, I was thrown a controller and fighting in an arena with five or six other well-seasoned game players. My first thought was along the line of panic, as I was sure I was going to get my butt kicked by people who definitely played more often than I did, but by the first game I was hooked and throwing other players to their deaths.

In the game Classroom Aquatic, one player wore Oculus Rift headgear and was plunged into an underwater school for dolphins. The character they played was a student diver who hadn’t studied for a test. As a result, the player is forced to cheat off of the neighboring students in the room. The trick was to avoid being caught by the teacher. The game effectively gave the player knots in their stomach, and was especially nerve-wracking when players were caught and scolded by the teacher.

Day of the Devs was amazing for one huge reason; EVERYONE there was in love with games, whether they were fans or developers. As a result, there was a feeling of common purpose and enthusiasm. We were all there for the same thing, and it was exciting to be in a place where people from inside the industry and out of it mixed together in a gaming paradise.

During the course of the evening, we got to talk to Double Fine creators, several other indie game makers, and even managed some networking with other people in the game industry! It was absolutely a beneficial experience, and it made the prospect of graduation and getting to work in the industry more tangible. I’m looking forward to next year with Day of the Devs!

Inventor and Hacker Collide in the Person of Pablos Holman

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Pablos Holman at Cogswell College

On February 13, 2014, renowned futurist, inventor and hacker, Pablos Holman spoke to students, faculty and staff at a noontime gathering. If you missed his insightful and thought-provoking presentation, this video of his talk is your chance to see what you missed or to relive the moment.

Pablos has informed and entertained audiences at world-renowned technology summits including United Nations, the World Economic Forum at Davos, The CIA, TEDx and DEFCON on invention, innovation, cyber security and the future of technology.

Do you have a favorite moment in the video?

Global Game Jam Recap and link to Games

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Cogswell hosted 28 jammers from January 24 to 26 during Global Game Jam 2014. Here’s a recap of what happened over that 48 hour period. We hope you will take a few minutes to check out the games our teams developed.

  • We were one of 487 jam sites around the world with 23,452 participants making video games.
  • At Cogswell, we made 7 games/playable prototypes.  We made more than the folks at Stanford!!!!
  • We had a mix of people ranging from Cogswell students to Google engineers.

3 largest single jam sites in the world:

  • Tel Aviv, Israel = 485
  • Curitiba, Brazil = 410
  • Giza, Egypt = 400

Many thanks to the Cogswell faculty and staff and the Global Game Jam 2014 volunteer organizers who made this experience possible!

Here’s the link to all our games

Check out photos from GGJ 2014 at Cogswell College

More Photos

Easy Recipes for that Leftover Turkey

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

You’ve pushed away from the dinner table, helped with the cleanup and know that tomorrow you can look forward to reliving the feast thanks to all the leftovers now crammed in every corner of your refrigerator. But what about the days to follow? Do you crave something other than reheated leftovers?

Here is a collection of recipes from famed-cook, Rachael Ray.

Let us know if you tried any of these.

Absorb Inspiration from Bay Area Museum Exhibits

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

With both a Thanksgiving and a Holiday break coming up, here are some outstanding art exhibits in the Bay area to help you recharge your creative juices after the grind of getting through finals.

De Young, San Francisco, website

  • Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond, until 02/17/14
  • David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition, until 01/20/14

Legion of Honor, San Francisco, website

  • David Waterston: A Compedium of Creatures, until 12/29/13
  • Matisse from SFMOMA, until 09/07/14
  • Anders Zorn: Sweden’s Master Painter, until 02/02/14

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, website

  • In the Grand Style: Celebrations in Korean Art During the Joseon Dynasty, until 01/12/14
  • The Carved Brush: Calligraphy, Painting & Seal Carving by QIBAISHI, until 07/13/14

Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco, website

  • Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus, until 02/03/14
  • Bruno Bozzetto: Animation Maestro, until 03/17/14

Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco, website

  • Sam & Max – Swift & Mirthful Justice: The Art of Steve Purcell, until 04/20/14
  • Grains of Sand: 25 Years of the Sandman, until 03/16/14

Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose, website

  • Star Wars, until 02/23/14

San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, website

  • Hidden Heroes: The Genius of Everyday Things, until 02/02/14

Which exhibits would you like to visit?

Famed Game Designer, Brenda Romero, Visited Cogswell College

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Yesterday award-winning game designer, artist, writer & creative director, Brenda Romero,  gave her IndieTalk, “Jiro Dreams of Game Design.” The talked was inspired by the movie, “Jiro Dreams of Shushi.”

If you ever wondered what a 3 star Michelin Chef can teach you about game design, well Brenda Romero has an answer. Even if you never wondered – Brenda’s talk was well worth listening to.

Brenda had been making games for Facebook where the mentality was to create minimum viable products. This approach meant that you expected to fix bugs and then add features as you discovered what players really wanted. You did not expect to ship, or strive for, a great game. In the real-world producers don’t say, “let’s make this game great so take all the time you want.” In the real-world the goal is to deliver games on time and on budget.

One of her personal projects was “Trains” – where every single decision mattered as she labored to make a game that was as good as she could make it. She had the luxury of time and never put in something to just to make the game work. She could wait until the right decision appeared.

She wondered what made some things great and others not. Then she came across asparagus – one perfectly prepared, perfectly decorated and perfectly presented plate of asparagus. She realized that a fully designed experience is the foundation of greatness.

Following are some of the things she learned from studying this 3 star group of chefs:

  • Great ideas – you can never rest on your laurels.
  • Great Ingredients – start with the best you can get. You will spend more time managing failures than successes.
  • Think in terms of shipping constantly – great chefs ‘ship’ 10,000 items during their lifetime while a game designer may only ship 100. Polish and perfect every step of the way.
  • Consistency – a chef must deliver every night.

Brenda will be presenting her talk at the upcoming GDC next spring.

Fond Memories from Casino Night 2013

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

In case you missed last Friday’s event – well, here’s a sampling of the fun you didn’t have. Great food, amazing costumes, a few hot hands at the craps table – and best of all – the chance to share an evening with some of the most intriguing people you will ever meet!

Animation Show of Shows Comes to Cogswell

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Cogswell College will have the distinct privilege of hosting “The Animation Show of Shows” right here on campus on September 24, 2013. This exclusive evening of short animated films brings together a collection of the best the film festival world has to offer. Many of these films have only been available on a limited basis – making this rare opportunity even more special.

DATE:  Tuesday, September 24, 2013

TIME:  7:00 to 9:00PM

PLACE:  Dragon’s Den

SEATING IS LIMITED

RSVP:  Sign up in the Pulse Office and pick up your ticket

Since 1998, The Animation Show of Shows has selected the best in animated short films from the world’s most renowned animation festivals and presented them at the major animation studios to inspire their animators and directors. The screenings at major studios such as DreamWorks, Pixar, Disney and many others throughout North America have served to inspire and enrich the many professionals who have been lucky enough to see them.

The techniques range from hand-drawn, paint on glass and stop-motion, to the latest computer-generated imagery, with its ability to conjure entire worlds with astonishing verisimilitude. Together these films capture, in the words of Andrew Stanton, director of Finding Nemo, “all the wit, cleverness, integrity, warmth and humor that humanity is capable of,” and have a universal appeal that makes them ideal for sharing with family and friends.

Join us in the Dragon’s Den on Tuesday, September 24, to enjoy the art, talent and creativity of some of the best animators in the world.

Try These Tips to Feel Like a Brand New Person

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Do you ever feel like you are stuck in a rut and just can’t quite get those creative juices churning? From switching it up, to laughing out loud, to accomplishing tasks, here are ten quick tips to help you change your outlook.

What do you do when you feel like you are spinning your wheels and going nowhere?

The Gangs all Here Again!

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

While the temperature outside doesn’t feel like Fall, it’s definitely Fall here at Cogswell. We’d like to say welcome back to all our new and returning students. It’s so great to see the classrooms and halls filled again after the two week break!