Game Developers Conference 2016

Posted by steven on Wednesday March 16th 2016 at 23:09

Klara Smits, Nele Custers and Samantha Fernandez have won the Belgian Game Development Championship and their prize is a trip to the GDC 2016 conference, which takes place March 14-18 at the Moscone conference centre in San Fransico, CA. Robby and Steven, the teachers who are accompanying them, write down their impressions.

Monday and Tuesday: Preconference summits

To say that the GDC is huge would be an understatement. Even at the preconference, which took place on Monday and Tuesday the lineup of speakers was impressive. Literally hundreds of sessions take place, by all sorts of people, including big names next to young and promising developers, all providing inspiring thoughts and a wealth of practice examples. And of course lots of demos to be played!
Highlights of what we saw in the past days are without a doubt very personal and subjective. This short overview gives a summary of the different sessions we attended. 


  • People are in awe when they see us coming, mostly because they think LUCA School of Arts is a division of LucasArts.
  • Attended many sessions in the Game Education Summit. Nice talks about the importance of teaching students to pitch game ideas in the right way (Paul Killduff-Taylor), creative ways of teaching game programming (Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris) or the value subversive play exercises (Paolo Pedercini).
  • Sessions in the Independent Games summit are always inspiring, as they are given by people who have lots of industry experience. it is very cool to hear the stories behind such games as Framed and Alphabear!
  • The sessions in the Audio summit gave me good ideas of things to use in my crossover courses with music composition students.
  • Cool games I have played: In the Shadows | | sU and the Quest for Meaning | Longstory
  • Robby

    I switched mainly between the narrative and education summit. This meant that the first 2 days consisted of me running from talk to talk without any time to spare! It is very inspiring to see colleagues from all around the world, sharing their knowledge, research and practices. Especially the narrative innovation showcase, which showed projects that push the borders of interactive narrative and the game design talk by Eric Zimmerman about using games to teach games, gave me new insights on how to improve my own courses.

    GDC also facilitates engaging in a dialogue with the speakers, which means one easily starts talking to them afterwards and invite them for a guest lecture. Networking is therefore my main activity at the moment! Although jetlag and a combination of high intensity days and short nights is starting to show, the pure adrenaline and beauty of having so many people in one place who all share the same passion for videogames is awe-inspiring and will keep us going far beyond this week alone. We will be singing the game-gospel that’s being preached here when we get home, be prepared!

    The game designers

    Klara, Nele and Samantha are having a good time and at the end of every day we find them exhausted from all the sessions they have done and the people they have been talking to. They have mainly attended workshops in the Animation, Artificial Intelligence and Design summits, and from what we have heard, they have learned tons of new techniques and new practices.

    Next up

    On Wednesday the conference starts for real!

    JamToday Gamejam, Genk – 18-20 september

    Posted by veerle on Thursday August 27th 2015 at 21:11

    EAPRIL 2014 Conference: Seeing Sound

    Posted by steven on Friday December 5th 2014 at 21:14

    Our arrival at the EAPRIL conference on November 26th did not go unnoticed, though this was exclusively due to the fact that the Barcelona football team, who played their Champions League game against Apoel Nicosia that evening, was staying in the conference hotel. Excitement!

    Needless to say, this degree of sensation would not be equaled in the days that followed, even though many conference presenters (including myself) did the best they could to turn their sessions into interactive and audioviosual experiences. Most presentations we attended were highly academic: solidly rooted in educational theory and with presentation of sound research methodology. This contributed to a high overall quality of the conference, and I returned home with tons of fresh ideas for teaching techniques I can use in my classes.

    Initially I was a bit concerned that the predominantly academic crowd would be only moderately interested in the practical workshop I was organising, which was based on the creative workshop format used in the Seeing Sound course module (and research project). Luckily a good number of very motivated participants attended the workshop, and this produced some cool results!

    The goal of the workshop was simple: participants had to create a moodboard for a short movie, just like our students have to do in the Seeing Sound course. We suspected this would be the best way to make our audience experience what it means to adopt a truly interdisciplinary approach in a course module. All participants, mostly educators and literature scientists, admitted that having to think in terms of music and images entailed a huge step away from their confort zone. As such they were literally confronted with the challenges our students face in the Seeing Sound module: composers are asked to think in terms of visuals and animation film makers are asked to think in terms of audio. This enabled us to demonstrate the educational techniques we use in the Seeing Sound module, and to explain that a creative workshop is a very useful format to integrate different teaching strategies.

    All in all this was a very insightful experience. The storyboard/score documents our participants created can further be used as research material in our search for a jargon-neutral language to describe the flow of a movie in the conceptual stage.

    JamToday Game Jam – 3-4-5 oktober 2014

    Posted by veerle on Tuesday August 26th 2014 at 14:33

    The JamToday gamejam, Belgium of this year is organised by MAD Faculty, Genk ( It will take place from October 3rd till October 5th 2014 at the newly renovated C-Mine Crib, Genk.

    The theme for this year is learning ICT skills through games. The participants will design and prototype a game that tackles one specific aspect of ICT learning.

    Registration is open

    More info on the JamToday project:


    Global Game Jam @ C-Mine: 24-25-26 januari 2014

    Posted by veerle on Tuesday November 12th 2013 at 10:09

    Elk jaar gaan duizenden mensen over heel de wereld samen 48 uur lang games maken. Dit jaar kan dat ook in Cmine Crib in Genk. De volgende Global Game Jam gaat door op 24-26 januari 2014. Iedereen is welkom om deel te nemen aan het grootste game creatie event in de wereld!

    Voorafgaand aan de Global Game Jam organiseren we in Genk ook een exclusieve GGJ Workshop met een aantal interessante sprekers! (Let op: apart inschrijven!)

    Cmine Crib (Cmine 12, 3600 Genk).

    Vrijdag 24 januari:
    - Welkom Workshop 9.00u (einde voorzien rond 17.00u)
    - Welkom GGJ Weekend 15.00u
    - Start GGJ Weekend 17.00u
    Zondag 26 januari
    - Pitch projecten + prijsuitreiking 17.00u
    - Einde GGJ Weekend 18.00u

    Een gedetailleerde planning van beide events zal binnenkort beschikbaar gemaakt worden.

    Wij voorzien een werkruimte en slaapplaatsen voor 50 deelnemers. Er zijn geen kosten verbonden aan de deelname. Wil jij deel uitmaken van de eerste Limburgse Global Game Jam, schrijf je dan snel in via deze link:
    Inschrijven workshop:
    Inschrijven GGJ Weekend:

    Ontbijt en middagmaal zullen voorzien worden door de organisatie. Avondeten kan goedkoop via horeca in de buurt (Vennestraat), die het event ondersteunen. Een lijst van horeca-zaken zal voorzien worden tijdens het event. De douches van de Cmine Crib zullen tijdens het event gratis te gebruiken zijn, zodat iedereen 48 uur fris aan het werk kan blijven.
    Deelnemers voorzien zelf een PC, laptop of ander werkmateriaal om mee te werken tijdens het event en doen dat op eigen verantwoordelijkheid.
    Binnenkort meer info op onze Facebook pagina.

    Deze eerste Limburgse Global Game Jam wordt mede mogelijk gemaakt door Cmine Crib, Microsoft Innovation Center, Groovy Dino, LuGus Studios en Stad Genk.

    Wil jij dit event mee ondersteunen en partner worden van Global Game Jam Genk, neem dan contact op met Jochen Derwae via

    Binnenkort meer informatie!

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