Jonathan Blow (Super Meat Boy, Braid), Chris Hecker (Spy Party, Spore) and Alex Neuse (Bit. Trip Beat, Bit. Trip Runner) touch down May 26 in the UC Santa Cruz Media Theater. The three indie designers will hold an open panel discussion for the college’s Foundations of Interactive Game Design course, or in college speak, CMPS 80K.
The special thing about this panel is that it’s open to the public and free. Aspiring designers and general gamers alike, if you ever wanted to attend a GDC panel but don’t have $200+ to spend, now is your chance to learn the nuts and bolts of meaningful and entertaining game design from tried and true designers.
“We’re excited to have Chris, Alex and Jonathan come and talk with our students about what it’s like to be an independent game designer. This class is many students’ first exposure to what it takes to make a video game and having three such original thinkers come and talk about life beyond the mainstream brings depth to their newly found knowledge” says Jennifer Mahal of UCSC’s Center for Games and Playable Media (G+PM).
The panel will be hosted Noah Wardrip-Fruin, associate professor and director of the G+PM group, UCSC’s proving ground for aspiring designers. The first of its kind in the UC system, G+PM delivers hands on experience to students; while the course in particular founds their game making skills with “technical, play-oriented, narrative, and artistic underpinnings”. In other words if this panel so inspires you, and you find your day trip to Santa Cruz extended for four years, you’ll be making the most of it by developing a game of your own.