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Level Up: U of T and OCAD have created the largest student gaming showcase in Ontario

These Toronto students could be the next big video game designers

Photo of students gaming

(all photos by Nina Haikara)

Television screens, game consoles, motion sensors and virtual reality (VR) goggles took over the Design Exchange in downtown Toronto for the 6th Annual Level Up showcase. 

What began as a small academic collaboration between the University of Toronto’s department of computer science and OCAD University, has grown into the largest showcase for student game design in Ontario. 

Three of this year’s must see games – Plunder, Shadow Tag, and Chrominance – were designed by U of T and OCAD U teams.

Read the Toronto Star 

Fourteen participating colleges and universities demonstrated more than 50 projects, showing industry leaders and gaming fans of all ages what students can create in within an academic term. 

For U of T and OCAD U students, by the time their teams were formed and concepts approved, they had only seven weeks to complete to deliver in time for Level Up. 

Members of Pitfall Planet, last year’s Level Up winner – Emma Burkeitt (OCAD), Adam Robinson-Yu (computer science) and David Czarnowski (OCAD) – returned to the showcase after being shortlisted in the best student game category at the Independent Games Festival in San Francisco. Their game is being released by Steam later this year. 

Read more about Pitfall Planet

Their games features two robot astronauts that have crash-landed on a mysterious planet and must scavenge enough ore to fuel their trip home. 

See the CBC News coverage

This year, Plunder, where players must navigate pirate ships through sea-monster-filled waters, by U of T and OCAD, took home the People’s Choice Award.

See a photo gallery from the event