Club’s Initiative Connects Students to Game Developers

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Game Development Club recently hosted a virtual visit from Andrew Schneider, creator of “Nocked! True Tales of Robin Hood,” who was among the game designers that members met while attending last month’s Music and Gaming Festival in National Harbor, Maryland.

The award-winning guest speaker was the first of many, with one planned every other Friday as part of the club’s industry-connections initiative.

Fittingly clad in Sherwood Forest green, developer Andrew Schneider pays a virtual visit this month to a gaming lab in the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center.

“As president of this club, it’s my belief that connections are key in the game development industry. Jobs are heavily sought after, and much less likely to fall into your lap in, say, a career fair or a job session,” said James C. Temoshenko,  an information technology sciences-gaming and simulation major from Kane. “It quickly becomes necessary for you to learn how to tread your own path. My hope with this initiative is to help students break that barrier and get talking, get an understanding of what their ‘real world’ will be like, and possibly even find developers that will someday be willing to take our students onto a professional team.”

Thomas M. Czaus II, an information technology sciences-gaming and simulation major from Morgantown, lends an intently listening ear.

The club’s next planned guest is Jordan Null, developer of Virtual Wave – an arena-based, horde-mode, first-person-shooter game. The students will discuss such topics as marketability of their games, making their way into a crowded market, creation of a unique aesthetic and the amount of world-building needed to make a world immersive.

Also in the audience is club adviser Anita R. Wood (left), associate professor of computer information technology, whose courses include Game Programming and Advanced Topics in Computer Simulation and Gaming.

The Game Development Club plans to host at least four or five more developers before the end of the semester, Temoshenko said, with possible guest appearances being developers of successful Kickstarter-funded board games, virtual reality applications and games, studios with multiple games under their name, and many more. The independent developers in this initiative were all discovered by members of the Game Development Club’s Executive Board at MagFest, where they collectively met more than 30 developers interested in collaborating with the student organization.

The Game Development Club meets every Thursday at 3:30 p.m. for its General Meetings, and every other Friday for its Developer Meetings, the next of which falls on Feb. 16. All Penn College students are welcome to attend, regardless of major.

Photos by Rachel A. Eirmann, student photographer

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