Students to wow again this year at Level Up Gaming Showcase

Poster of Level Up Showcase with date listed as April 6 from 5 to 10 p.m.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016 - 8:45pm

More than 2,000 gamers, developers and industry recruiters are expected at the sixth annual Level Up Showcase on Wednesday, April 6. Held at the Design Exchange in Toronto, it features 80 projects from 16 different institutions across Ontario, including students from OCAD University’s Digital Futures program. The event spotlights the most talented students in design, animation and computer science programs from colleges and universities across Ontario. The games incorporate the latest technology and gaming platforms, from motion sensors to virtual reality devices and beyond.

Level Up has become the biggest event in Toronto for gamers, recruiters and media to get the inside scoop on emerging talent in game development. The evening is cohosted and organized by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), University of Toronto, OCAD University and Algonquin College in partnership with AMD, George Brown College, Sheridan College and Ubisoft Toronto. The OCAD U community typically fares very well at Level Up, with Pitfall Planet, a game designed by Digital Futures students, named Best Overall Game at last year’s showcase.

CyberConnect2 | Employer Info Session + Portfolio Reviews

Cyberconnect2 text at hope. Image of two Dragonball Z characters and event details on bottom
Monday, November 25, 2019 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

CyberConnect2  | Employer Info Session + Portfolio Reviews
Monday, November 25
4:00 – 6:00 PM (75 min presentation + Q&A Session)
Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers, Level 3, 115 McCaul St.

Future game creators and enthusiasts!
Join Vice President Taichiro Miyazaki for an employment information session providing insights to the game development scene in Japan.
Bonus: Find out about CyberConnect2’s support for those interested in working in Japan!

CyberConnect2 Co.
CyberConnect2 is known for developing the .hack seriesNaruto Ultimate Ninja and Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm series, as well as JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven, and Asura's Wrath.
With over 20 years of experience in the industry, CyberConnect2 has expanded drastically, and currently carries out the development of its projects simultaneously in 3 studios: Fukuoka and Tokyo offices in Japan, and Montreal studio in Canada. It has launched a Worldwide Recruitment plan calling for experienced and prospective game creators internationally to join in the development of its future titles. Join us at the presentation to find out more!

Limited portfolio review spots available!
Aspiring OCAD U game creators, send your creative portfolios to by 11:59pm on Thursday, November 14 for a chance to be selected. CyberConnect2 representatives will conduct an initial review of submitted portfolios and selected students will be contacted prior to the event.

CyberConnect2 is interested in meeting students aiming for the following positions:
Game Designer / Level Designer / Environment Modeler / VFX Artist / Character Modeler / Character Animator / Cinematic Animator /Interface Designer Technical Artist / Game Programmer / Technical Programmer



Venue & Address: 
Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers, Level 3, 115 McCaul St.

Wednesday: LEVEL UP 2017 Showcase

Detail from poster
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 5:00pm to 10:00pm

The 7th annual Level Up Showcase puts the spotlight on Ontario's most talented post-secondary students in game development, using the latest platforms and tech, including VR, motion sensing and more.

This year featuring over 14 institutions, the Level Up Showcase is the biggest Toronto event for players, developers and recruiters, to get the inside scoop on the future leaders of the game industry. 

Participating schools:

  • Algonquin College
  • Brock University
  • Centennial College
  • George Brown College
  • Humber 
  • Laurentian University
  • Niagara College Canada
  • OCAD University
  • UOIT
  • University of Toronto
  • York University
Venue & Address: 
Design Exchange 234 Bay St., Toronto

Faculty of Design Speaker Series: Rafael Fajardo: Reflective Play

Rafael Fajardo
Wednesday, February 6, 2008 - 11:30pm

The Faculty of Design is pleased to present a free public talk by Rafael Fajardo, founder of SWEAT, as part of its annual speaker series.

Rafael Fajardo: 'Reflective Play: Exploring the Creation of Games and Toys to Raise Consciousness and Stimulate Thinking'

Rafael Fajardo is the founder of SWEAT, a loose collaborative that makes socially conscious video games. SWEAT has published two video games, Crosser and La Migra, that comment on the game-like nature of (il)legal human traffic at the US/Mexico border. SWEAT is currently working on a game, set in Colombia, which explores the effects of the culture of drug agriculture. This game, Juan & the Beanstalk, has been released as playable fragments. SWEAT's games have been exhibited internationally. Fajardo also teaches at the University of Denver where he is an associate professor of Electronic Media Arts Design and the Director of Digital Media Studies. With his colleague Scott Leutenegger he has overseen the creation of Squeezed, a videogame, co-sponsored by mtvU that comments on the lives of (im)migrant farm workers in the US. With Dr. Leutenegger and with Dr. Debra Austin he has received a multi-year grant from the National Science Foundation to explore the teaching of videogames as a holistic pedagogy in high schools.

Presented with the generous support of M.C. McCain.

On February 27, the Faculty of Design Speaker Series presents Tali Krakowsky, Director of Experience Design for Imaginary Forces.

All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Presentations take place in the OCAD Auditorium at 100 McCaul Street, Toronto. Limited seating available; guests are advised to arrive early.

Venue & Address: 
Auditorium 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario


STUDIOInteractive is dedicated to creating groundbreaking interactive properties in the convergent media space and is expanding to work with the game sector. With the help of OCADU's expertise in game design in partnership with visionary game designer Hannah Epstein the project leverages team expertise in innovative design to deliver a 'made-for-the-media' game experience.

This game design research project will design and develop a duo-screen innovative game experience that is mindful of upcoming technological advances such as the Wii-U and Sony's Playbook. The project will address issues of diversity in both game making and opportunities provided by developments in the convergent media industry. Much game design lags behind technology and this project prioritizes game design for a new generation of play interfaces. Playing across multiple screens affords significant new design and business opportunities that this project will actualize via a game delivered on both PC/Mac and iPad. As a feminist project this applied research engages with feminist themes in both content and structure.


Materials and publications reviewed and created over the course of this project will be collected in the library of a group on the academic social bookmarking service zotero.

Reflections on research will be gathered on Tumblr for easy access, populated with links of interest and lengthier reflections on the design of compelling information interfaces.

Project Deliverable Downloads:

In development.

PsXXYborg banner
Monday, August 20, 2012 - 7:15pm

Math Game Prototyping Project

Digital game forms are increasingly used in educational contexts, and the potential of digital games to create significant learning impact is a huge growth area internationally. This project seeks to broker relationships in building game-driven learning tools to support math curricula in a network of interest across academic and private sector partners. As an approach for design research the design and development of games is recognized as offering a constructionist approach to creating new models for learning.

The objectives of this project are to formalize an existing relationship into a more closely framed collaboration and grant submission between project partners. The Math Games Project supports the start of an ongoing and larger research project. In interdisciplinary design teams, the students from OCAD U’s Game Design class were presented with the challenge of conceiving and developing a complete growth plan for virtual math games. The games would be built for mobile consoles (iPhone, Java-based phones) and for young students. The games considered the growing presence of technology in the educational environment and the potential to foster young students’ positive reception of math.

Project partners have committed resources in kind to this project e.g. JumpMath to provide subject expertise, content and context and pedagogic and cognitive expertise coming from The Hospital for Sick Kids (see below).


  • Build on existing expertise at OCAD for development of games and of mobile applications (iPhone, Java-based phones) through the collaboration between GamePlay Lab (Westecott)and Mobile Lab (Davila) at OCAD
  • Collaborate with University of Waterloo in researching user interaction with various game platforms, game play, and/or theming.
  • Engage broader base of partners in detailed scoping exercise.
  • The creation of an online resource of both relevant research and design material to seed future projects


  • Prototypes developed will be introduced to various elementary school classes.
  • Foster a working relationship with industry partners.
  • Feedback from the classes will be tracked by the Human Factors researchers at University of Waterloo.
  • Engage existing OCAD students in design process.

Background & Context

This funding will help the OCAD team collaborate and contribute to an interactive math pedagogy research initiative being developed with JumpMath (John Mighton).

This initiative seeks to find ways of creating engaging courses for students struggling with math in elementary school, high school and college as well as users outside of an educational context who wish to improve math skills. It involves a two-pronged approach that will translate existing curriculum, exercises, and workbooks developed by JumpMath as well as create new game modules that further a student's math learning outside of class time.

The project received early funding from the Corus Seed Grant, and will seek for continued funding from a variety of sources including SSHRC, NSERC and OCE.

Prototype Math Games

Images from OCAD U’s Game Design class
Image from OCAD U’s Game Design class
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 8:15pm


EXTEND is a research study that examined Marblemedia's internal structure and recommended strategic action to develop original game IP. The team has studied design processes and team structure within the company and facilitated the development of original IP through a series of workshops. The emphasis here has been to build on existing in-house skills to create new market opportunities for the company. 

With the help of OCADU’s expertise in game design thinking and independent game development this study looked at the internal environment at Marblemedia, both structural and behavioral. This facilitated the creation of a detailed blueprint for changes to strengthen Marblemedia’s position as a creative industries market leader. The team has developed a series of findings, recommendations and tools to help Marblemedia put systems in place to support this evolution. These have been delivered via a final report and a series of workshops.

Research Approaches and Methods

This Fed Dev funded research afforded an opportunity to "live with" the project over a period of time. Accordingly the project was phased in line with de Bono's (1982) framework of Preparation, Incubation, Illumination, and Verification. Each phase of the project was linked to these phases of creative thought. Broadly the phases were planned to gather intelligence on internal processes, external possibilities and business pragmatics. Knowledge gathered from the first two phases fed into subsequent stages of the project informing workshop design and final report recommendations. 

The workshop developed two concepts collaboratively that remain ready for future development. The final stage presented the synthesized opportunities with specific recommendations to the management team. Each of these project phases demanded different approaches that ranged from formal research processes of interview and subsequent analysis to action-research techniques in which participants actively engage with specific creativity exercises. 

More traditional business techniques were then used to synthesize knowledge generated in the earlier stages of the project into a series of recommendations.

This project adopted a multiple method approach, leveraging techniques from business ethnography, creative elicitation and design research. We used both primary and secondary sources to conduct our research. Our primary research included interviews, evaluations and workshops. Our secondary research included academic sources including books & journals, industry reports, creative methods books & websites. 

The project drew on several research paradigms, including:

  1. Ethnographic methods, used to understand the interaction between management, creative and work-for-hire cultures at Marblemedia.
  2. Participatory action research, used to involve stakeholders (specifically, the employees of Marblemedia) in the broader effort to develop the company’s creative culture.
  3. Design research, used to evaluate and refine the models for creative participation and design that may inform the development of Marblemedia’s creative culture.

Resources available on request.

Image of post it notes scattered on a table.
Image of post it notes scattered on a table.
Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 7:15pm


game:play lab has moved to a new site. For recent updates, please visit:


game:play lab has moved to a new site. For recent updates, please visit: