Kent State University at Tuscarawas faculty and students from the Computer Design, Animation and Game Design (CDAG) program recently attended GDEX – the Midwest’s largest conference for representatives from the game development industry. Two student game-making teams and CDAG faculty members, Turan Koptur and Tim Fritz, managed Kent State’s booth at the conference and exhibited student-made games.
CDAG Assistant Professor Christopher Totten presented a talk titled "Building Games Inspired by the Arts", which revealed findings from his research of game-making and museum exhibition projects. Totten also attended the Strategic Leaders Dinner, where he discussed the momentum of Ohio’s game industry with state and international-level industry representatives and explored the role Kent State Tuscarawas can play in the industry’s expansion. Kent State Tuscarawas students received valuable feedback on their game projects from industry veterans, while attending talks and networking with professionals in the field to learn about industry trends and increase their skills.
Totten was recently awarded a Bronze Medal for Excellence in the International Serious Play Board Game Awards. The award honors educational games for a wide range of topics including STEM and corporate training. Through his game development studio and game advocacy organization Pie For Breakfast Studios, Totten created La Mancha, a literature-themed card game aimed at high school students. Game players use quotes from medieval novels to tell stories in response to situations from Don Quixote. Seeing the potential of the game as both a commercial product and an educational game, Totten continued developing the game and created teachers' guides based on grades 9-12 Literary Arts standards.
Coming from the Cleveland Art Institute, Totten recently taught as an adjunct instructor for Kent State Tuscarawas and has joined the CDAG program as a tenure track faculty member this fall. He holds a Master’s Degree from the Catholic University of America in Architecture with a Digital Media Concentration.
More information about the Computer Design, Animation and Game Design program at Kent State Tuscarawas can be found at https://www.kent.edu/tusc/computer-design-animation-and-game-design.
To see a demonstration of La Mancha the Card Game, visit https://youtu.be/F1Q-sOqiVPk.