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.

OCAD U and U of T students team up to win prizes at Level Up 2019

OCAD U/U of T team at Level Up 2019
Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 3:45pm

A team made up of OCAD University and University of Toronto students won two awards at the 9th Annual Level Up Showcase, which took place at the Design Exchange. Their Fangs and Friends game received the Distinction in Art and the Best Overall Game awards. The group also came in second place in the People’s Choice Award category.

The first event of its kind in the country, Level Up Showcase gathers the most talented students in computer science, animation and game design programs from Ontario universities and colleges. The event provides the students with an opportunity to demonstrate their creations and the attendees a chance to see the latest technology.

This year’s event included four categories: Best Tech, Best Art, Best Game and People’s Choice (chosen by the public).

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9th Annual Level Up Showcase

9th Annual Level Up
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 4:00pm to 10:00pm

The ​annual Level Up Showcase returns to the Design Exchange for its ninth edition, putting the spotlight on Ontario’s most talented post-secondary students in game development who use the latest technology and platforms to make video games - including Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), motion sensing, and more.

Level Up Showcase is the first event of its kind in Canada that showcases the most talented students in game design, animation and computer science programs from colleges and universities across Ontario. This event has become synonymous with new creative talent, and provides a once-in-a-lifetime chance for students to show off their creations to the world. Previous years have featured record-breaking counts of team projects across various academic institutions. This showcase exhibits outstanding work in game design, animation and computer graphics. Attendees can expect games that use the most current technology and gaming platforms, from motion sensors to VR devices, and more.

Although Level Up Showcase is primarily about showcasing game dev talent, there is a competition aspect. There are several categories that are judged during the event, with the winners announced in the Awards Presentation. For more information, visit ​www.levelupshowcase.com​, follow ​@levelupTO​ on Twitter and @leveluptostudentshowcase on Instagram for updates and join the Level Up Showcase event on Facebook and register to attend on Eventbrite.

In 2019, the Level Up Showcase is co-hosted and organized by Algonquin College, Brock University, Sheridan College, the University of Toronto and the Digital Futures Program at OCAD University in partnership with Ubisoft Toronto. This year’s event is made possible with generous corporate sponsorship from: ​Ubisoft Toronto, AMD, Gameloft, Uken Games, Unity, Xbox Canada, and Zynga.
 

Venue & Address: 
Design Exchange 234 Bay Street Toronto, ON M5K 1B2
Website: 
https://levelupshowcase.com/
Cost: 
FREE
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Level Up 2018: Digital Futures student Ryan Mason wins Best Artistic Achievement!

bearded young man, Ryan Mason, holding a trophy
Friday, April 13, 2018

On Wednesday April 4th 2018, the 8th annual Level Up Showcase took place at the Design Exchange in Toronto. More than 75 games from over 14 schools were showcased to the public for free! This popular annual event brings together the best games made by post-secondary students each yea,r to be judged by top industry experts from AMD, Ubisoft, Uken Games, Unity, ID@Xbox and Zynga.

This year’s winners are:

Best Technical Innovation

  • 1st Place - Prime Ops from UOIT
  • 2nd Place - That Night from OCADU
  • 3rd Place - M.E.C.C. from Humber

Best Artistic Achievement

  • 1st Place - That Night from OCADU
  • 2nd Place - Zephyr from OCADU/UofT
  • 3rd Place - Super Random Heroes from Sheridan

People’s Choice

  • 1st Place - Stop Running from Brock
  • 2nd Place - Zephyr from OCADU/UofT
  • 3rd Place - Super Random Heroes from Sheridan

Best Overall Game

  • 1st Place - Super Random Heroes from Sheridan
  • 2nd Place - Radio Violence from George Brown
  • 3rd Place - Zephyr from OCADU/UofT

Digital Futures faculty are thrilled that our very own fourth-year undergrad stuent Ryan Mason won best Artistic Achievement for his game “That Night”. Ryan’s thesis game is a narrative-driven puzzle adventure set in a forgotten home on the outskirts of a small, unremarkable town. Enter into a place left untouched for over thirty five years, whose story has been left untold and secrets remain to be discovered. Play as Evelyn Young, a high school sophomore who just moved to yet another painfully mundane town in middle America. At least... that’s what she thought.

We are very proud of our ongoing collaboration with Computer Science at the University of Toronto that brings our students together to make 12 games, including the multi-nominated student game Zephyr this term.

From Fall 2018 OCAD University will be offering a Games and Play Minor offered across all faculties for students interested in game design and development, email ewestecott@faculty.ocadu.ca for more information.

Watch a video of they event by Andrew McAllister an see more photos on instagram at DFundergrad.

 

 

Poster: 
people gathered around a game controller
Group photo of about 25 people
a man and a woman playing a video game

Come play at the 8th annual Level Up Showcase!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 5:00pm to 10:00pm

The 8th annual free public event puts the spotlight on Ontario’s most talented post-secondary students in game development who use the latest technology and platforms to make video games - including Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), motion sensing, and more. Participants include more than 15  post-secondary institutions across Ontario that teach interactive media development. With over 75 games, it is the biggest not-for-profit event for players, developers, and recruiters, to get the inside scoop on the future leaders of the game industry.

The Level Up Showcase is the main event for industry, institutions, and students to network, recruit, and learn about new techniques and technologies. Canada boasts the third largest game industry in the world, with Ontario having the second highest number of game companies in the country. The Level Up Showcase is the top destination for emerging talent in this growing industry.

The Level Up Showcase 2018 is co-hosted and organized by Algonquin College, Brock University, the University of Toronto and the Digital Futures Program at OCAD University in partnership with AMD and Ubisoft Toronto.

Level Up Showcase would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors who provide their expertise, support and equipment to help our students succeed. Thank you! This year, ID@Xbox joins and will host an exclusive workshop with over 50 students interested in developing independent games for the Xbox platform. Level Up Showcase also welcomes Zynga who have recently expanded their downtown Toronto studio and are rapidly growing! Visit their booth to find out more. This year’s event is made possible with generous corporate sponsorship from: AMD, Ubisoft Toronto, Uken Games, Unity, Xbox Canada and Zynga with catering provided by Nando’s. Featured schools include: Algonquin College, Brock University, Centennial College, Fanshawe College, George Brown College, Humber College, McMaster University, Niagara College, OCAD University, Ryerson University, Sheridan College, St. Lawrence College, UOIT, University of Toronto and York University.

Venue & Address: 
Design Exchange 234 Bay St, Toronto
Website: 
www.levelupshowcase.com
Cost: 
FREE
Level Up poster with game characters

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
Cost: 
FREE

Playtesting at Ubisoft

OCAD U student Oscar Fletcher takes us to Ubisoft in Toronto to playtest video games created by game development students in advance of Level Up, the biggest showcase of student video games in Ontario. The free event is April 5 at Design Exchange.

 

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OCAD U team wins People’s Choice Award at Level Up Showcase

Player using 3-D goggles to play game
Three people looking at video game monitor
Crowd of people at Level Up Showcase
Friday, April 8, 2016 - 4:00am

Students from OCAD U’s Digital Futures program joined 17 other Ontario colleges and universities taking part in the sixth annual Level Up Student Games Showcase on April 6. Close to 2,000 people filled the main floor of the Design Exchange as student teams demonstrated their games and met with industry representatives and talent scouts.

Three awards were given out:

  • People’s Choice Award – Plunder! OCAD University/University of Toronto
  • Technical Innovation Award – Ominous Games from UOIT
  • Best Overall Game Award and Best Artistic Achievement – Arrow Heads from Sheridan

Level Up began when OCAD U Assistant Professor Emma Westecott teamed up with the University of Toronto’s Steve Engels to collaborate on a small student project. Now it’s the biggest event of its kind in Ontario.

The evening was organized and co-hosted 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.

To find out more, see media coverage in the Toronto Star, CBC News and the Financial Post. Ryan Mason, third-year Digital Futures student, was interviewed on CBC’s Metro Morning.

 

 

Level Up Showcase puts Ontario's top student game designers in the spotlight

Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 4:00am

Fifth annual event is an interactive gaming playground

Over 2,000 gamers, developers and industry recruiters are expected at the fifth annual Level Up Showcase. Held at the Design Exchange, 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.

Last year, OCAD U teams won the Artistic Achievement and People’s Choice awards.

The showcase 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.

Level Up was founded in 2011 by Emma Westecott, assistant professor, Game Design, at OCAD U, together with Steve Engels, senior lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Toronto.

Level Up Showcase

Thursday, April 2, 2015  

5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Media preview: 4 p.m.)

Design Exchange, 234 Bay St., Toronto

This year’s event is sponsored by Autodesk, Microsoft, Unity, Big Blue Bubble, Uken Games, Seneca College, Niagara College and Humber College.

Level Up Showcase

Based in Toronto, Ontario, Level Up Showcase provides a one-stop shop for industry, institutions, and students to network, recruit, and learn about new techniques and technologies in the video game industry. Canada boasts the third largest video game industry in the world, with Ontario boasting the second highest number of video companies in the country (Essential Facts, 2013, The Entertainment Software Association of Canada).

For more information:

www.levelupshowcase.com

Twitter: @levelupTO

RSVP via Level Up Showcase on Facebook

STUDENTS SHOW GAMES AT LEVEL UP 2014

Gameplay at last year's Level Up event. Image courtesy University of Toronto.

Students from 17 different post-secondary institutions from across Ontario, including OCAD U, demonstrated more than 60 games at the fourth annual Level Up Showcase on Friday, April 4. Held at the Design Exchange, the popular event continues to grow, with more institutions, partners, sponsors and gamers participating than ever before.

Level Up was first initiated in 2011 by Emma Westecott, Assistant Professor, Game Design and Director, game:play Lab at OCAD U, together with Steve Engels, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Toronto, as a collaborative teaching event bringing together art, design and computer science students to make games.

As the event evolved Westecott and Engels began inviting more members of the closely-knit Toronto gaming community to participate, along with students from other post-secondary institutions. The event is garnering international interest — the Level Up team presented at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), the world’s largest industry event, in San Francisco in March, and was also featured in the GDC 2014 Education Summit.

“We are proud of how we have grown in the past four years,” said Westecott. “I think it’s important. Showcases like Level Up enable students to see how their work fits to the wider context of other student games and motivates everyone to excel—showing your work to an audience of 800 people is very different than a regular end-of-term critique.”

Connecting with industry and community

With a wide range of gaming companies and industry organizations participating, the event also provides students with the opportunity to interact with future potential employers. “More than one game company has picked up new employees at the event,” said Westecott.

It’s also a good way for students to connect with Toronto’s thriving independent gaming community in Toronto, including organizations such as Bento Misothe Hand Eye Society and Dames Making Games.

“Toronto is home to a wealth of independent game makers, not to mention the plethora of individuals whose ongoing generosity remains an inspiration, and resource, for all our students,” said Westecott. “Connecting to and supporting this community is central to my work at OCAD U. I believe that we can build virtuous circles to benefit all and help us reach beyond our boundaries.”

 

Learn more:

Level Up Showcase 2014

Level Up on Facebook 

Attend Level Up

OCAD U’s game:play lab

Level Up 2013. Image courtesy University of Toronto.

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