Pictured: One group created a puzzle game, where the player is shown a safe path to a goal and then is challenged to complete the course in a certain amount of time without the path highlighted.
New York Tech hosted its second annual Unity Game Design Workshop as part of its Voya Foundation-funded initiative Diversifying STEAM Leadership. Led by Digital Art and Design Assistant Professor Kevin Park and Adjunct Assistant Professor John Benton, students interested in learning about technology were able to create fully functioning games in just a week. During the remote four-day workshop, hosted on the weekends of June 4 and 11, students were introduced to the Unity game engine and taught how to create their own games.
Seven students attended and successfully completed the workshop. Participants included students and professors from SUNY Westchester Community College, CUNY Kingsborough Community College, and Guttman Community College.
New York Tech graduate assistants majoring in UX/UI design and development worked with the students to provide coding and troubleshooting assistance. Many of the participants had little to no previous coding, but with the help of the graduate assistants, they were able to create games. “Coding was something almost no one had experience with. However, with the resources we shared, it was easier to get through the learning curve,” said New York Tech graduate student Lavin Amarnani. The workshop also gave the New York Tech students the opportunity to teach what they learn in their lectures.
In the virtual hangman game, the player is given a hint and is challenged to guess a word letter by letter. Each wrong choice leads to another piece of the “hangman” appearing.
“This workshop was very well put together with great professors and mentors,” said Nicky Romano, a senior at Westchester Community College. “I was able to learn a lot in Unity and will continue to pursue my education in both game design and Unity.”
The students were split into two teams and collaborated to create two different games. The first was a puzzle running game in which the player is shown a safe path to a goal and then is challenged to complete the course in a certain amount of time without the path highlighted. The second was a virtual hangman game in which the player is given a hint and is challenged to guess a word letter by letter. Each wrong choice leads to another piece of the “hangman” appearing.
Both games were then presented on the last day to the instructors, who provided feedback.
Two community college instructors who participated in the workshop will join New York Tech faculty to plan the next Game Design Workshop.
“This offered an opportunity for ITECH SUNY Westchester Community College graduates and existing students to better understand the value of continuing their game design learning experiences at the New York Tech program,” said Deborah Krikun, curriculum chair of Interactive Technologies (ITECH).
New York Tech Graduate Assistant Coaches:
- Lavin Amarnani
- Avarna Agarwal
- Kyle Diaz-Castro
- Mohammed Irfan Shaik
- Krishna Repalle
- Labdhi Turakhia
This article was contributed by Muhammad Tanveer, project management assistant in the Office of Career Success and Experiential Education.