RIT a big winner in first-ever New York State Game Development Challenge

May 8, 2017
Originally published on May 8, 2017 5:10 pm

State and local officials were at the Strong Museum of Play Monday to hand out monetary awards to the video game developers of the future.

Rochester Institute of Technology's Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity, or MAGIC Center, announced the winners in the student and independent category in first New York State Game Development Challenge.

RIT finished first in both, and 2010 graduate, Evan Anthony of Rochester, says winning the award will help him and his independent development partners bring their idea to fruition.

"Both the financial support but the mentorship that would come along with winning this award, is phenomenal," he said.

The challenge began March 10th and ended April 24th, and featured 40 entries.

Winners received a cash award and they'll be included in an on-site incubator at RIT, NYU or RPI for up to a year.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul was on hand for the ceremony.

She says it's critically important the state make kind of investment if the state wants to position itself as a real leader in the 100 billion dollar video game industry.

"There's so many more potential opportunities for young people to be educated at places like RIT where they have a real focus on game development, but also just to stimulate the economy overall," she said.

Hochul says in additional to the $12,000 award for first place winners, these young people will also have mentors and others to help them learnĀ  how to take their product to market.

Here's a list of winners:

In the student category, the winners are:

First place - RIT; Nathan Stevens, Michael Ray and Stephanie Stoner for Kingdom of the Tao.

Second place - New York University; Weiyu "Ivy" Li, Liyang "Lea" Liu and Zijian "Zed" Zhou for Monsterologist.

Third place - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Janice Ho, Diana Nguyen and Neil Clarke for Phony.

In the independent developer category, the winners are:

First place - Evan Anthony (2010 RIT grad), Jeremy Abel and Mercy Lomelin from New York City, for Genesis Noir.

Second place - Matthew Weise and Clara Fernandez-Vara from New York City, for The Myth Machine.

Third place - Waseque Qazi from Buffalo for Shotgun Farmers.

Here's Lt. Gov. Hochul talking about the importance of developing the video game industry: