1. Dr. Allan Fowler was recently featured on the KSU web site for his work with the Microsoft HoloLens.

    From the article:

    Peek into Allan Fowler’s office and you might find him surrounded by his high-tech gear, but his latest addition has the Kennesaw State gaming professor smiling.

    Fowler was recently selected as one of the first in the U.S. to receive Microsoft’s HoloLens, a virtual reality system that enables users to interact with high-definition holograms in the physical world.

    It’s the newest technology tool added to Fowler’s ensemble of virtual reality devices. With the $3,000 HoloLens’ developer’s edition, he is experimenting with gaming applications for the new system.

    “I don’t play a lot of games. I spend most of my time making them,” said Fowler, who joined Kennesaw State’s Computer Game Design and Development faculty last year as an assistant professor of game design and software engineering.

    The HoloLens is different from its competition, according to Fowler. The wireless headset, although a bit heavy, is transparent, allowing users to see their physical surroundings and have a peripheral perspective not found in other VR systems. He said the new design could reduce vertigo and motion sickness felt when using a virtual reality system that encloses a user’s vision entirely.

    Fowler has been making games for more than 30 years and is excited about the possibilities that holograms bring to game development. When he dons the headset and pinches the air, he’s actually interacting with the interface by selecting icons.

    “As an educator, what’s exciting is developing educational apps that teach anatomy or anything that requires a detailed explanation, and have it in a virtual environment so students can physically interact with it in a way that has never been possible before,” Fowler said.

    Fowler said that things like basic surgery or structural engineering could benefit from having this virtual reality tool. He said he believes it has more potential as a teaching tool than a gaming tool, citing opportunities for education, libraries, museums or “anywhere you are trying to communicate information that is better communicated in a 3D world.”

    This summer, several senior CGDD students will begin to develop educational games for the HoloLens under Fowler’s guidance.

    “There are lots of advantages to being an early adopter and getting products out to market,” he said. “One thing that will make it successful is having lots of content out there, and that’s why I want our students to be making games for it.”

    Fowler applied for the developer’s edition, which was available by request in the U.S. only, and was selected during phase one of Microsoft’s development rollout. Kennesaw State colleague Rongkai Guo, assistant professor of gaming, has been selected for phase two.

    “I’ve been in the industry a long time, and sometimes the new tech comes about and it’s just mediocre,” said Fowler. “But this? It’s seriously cool.”
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  2. Making the Grade: College course shows lucrative side of gaming

     
    And all that time you thought your kid was just messing around playing video games. In fact, such a pastime might be preparing your student to take on the challenges of an academic program winning accolades at Kennesaw State University. Read more from AJC.
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  3. Congratulations to all of the graduating seniors and capstone students who presented their games during the College of Computing and Software Engineering C-Day event last week.  Top teams include:
    • 1st place: Tactics & Tarrasque, Jonathan Davis
    • 2nd place: My Mom’s Road Rage – Ryan Murray
    • 3rd place: HeartAttack – Lawson Lamb & Oluwakayode Akingbade
    Seventeen teams/games were presented and represent the largest collection of capstone projects in the history of the CGDD program.

    Congrats to all students for their creations!
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  4. KSU's game jam weekends were recently covered in IgniteHQ's blog, showcasing the creativity and collaboration of these great events.  We'll host our next jam in the fall, so watch here for more information in the next few months, and we hope to see you there!

    IgniteHQ can help launch new businesses and is a great resource for KSU students and faculty.

    From the entry:

    "As an entrepreneurial incubator focused on growing the inventor community in North Georgia, IgniteHQ is a perfect partner for the community we’re building and empowering at our game jam weekends. IgniteHQ’s leaders Nancy Whatley and Catherine Pearson helped coach the teams to think big and plan for a place for their creations in the real world beyond Game Jam."


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  5. Amidst the end of semester activities, if you have time, there will be an interesting talk in downtown Atlanta on May 3rd (next Tues) on bio-gaming (combining mobile technology and game design for heart health).  The event is free.

    Best wishes on a great end of semester and summer!
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  6. See the rankings below:

    http://www.animationcareerreview.com/articles/top-10-game-design-schools-and-colleges-south-%E2%80%93-2016-rankings
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  7. Please join us for a GDC Postmortem & Crunch Roundtable April 9, 2016, 1-3 pm in Room J-161. Please sign up on the following link so we can organize the catering.


    This will be attended by other Georgia Game Developers and students, so it will be a great networking opportunity.

    I hope to see you then.

    Allan

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  8. Kennesaw State ranked among top 50 schools for game design

    2015 Game Jam dc 1.jpg
    Unique Computer Game Design and Development program cited for strong academics, facilities
    MARIETTA, Ga. (March 25, 2016) — The Princeton Review has ranked Kennesaw State University as one of the top 50 schools worldwide to study game design. KSU is one of only 20 public universities named in the annual ranking.
    The Computer Game Design and Development (CGDD) program in Kennesaw State’s College of Computing and Software Engineering is the first – and only – academic program of its kind to earn accreditation from ABET, the accrediting body for college and university programs in the disciplines of applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. The CGDD program focuses on the design and production of digital media for entertainment, education and research.
    “It is an honor to be named among the world’s best for game design,” said E.K. Park, dean of the College of Computing and Software Engineering. “Our one-of-a-kind program attracts students who are inspired to work in the interactive entertainment industry, and our graduates are successfully serving in both the educational and entertainment gaming sectors.”
    As a specialization within the field of computing, game design and development offers interdisciplinary collaborations with engineering, the creative arts and the humanities. The program has grown tremendously since its inception in 2008. More than 300 students are currently enrolled.
    Kennesaw State is one of only a few universities in the U.S. that are outfitted with a Sony PlayStation 4 laboratory, which gives students access to technology for PS4 development. KSU has also opened a new lab for motion tracking and virtual reality.
    With well-equipped facilities, the CGDD program has hosted some of the largest game development gatherings in the nation and has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services to develop programs focused on smoking cessation, food-borne illnesses and HIV awareness. The CGDD program also works with the Georgia Game Developers Association to promote STEM and game development studies among high school students.
    For the ranking, college and universities were chosen based on The Princeton Review’s 2015 survey of 150 institutions in the U.S., Canada and abroad that offer game design degree programs or courses. The survey gathered data on academic offerings and lab facilities, as well as graduates’ starting salaries and career achievements.
    According to the survey results, more than 85 percent of game design students created actionable plans to launch games while working on their undergraduate degrees. At Kennesaw State, students gain competitive insight during the program’s sponsored Game Jam and Global Game Jam competitions, where programmers, designers, musicians and artists gather to develop video games in less than 48 hours.
    The ranking will be published in PC Gamer magazine in its March 29 issue.
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  9. KSU CCSE is happy to host guest speakers from Marxent Labs who will be talking about virtual reality and is hiring computing students.  Students taking capstone/senior computing courses at KSU and would particularly benefit from this talk.

    There will be two talks; 3:30pm is intended for current students, 5pm is indented for alumni; but you can attend either depending upon your schedule.

    FREE drinks/snacks will be provided.
    • What: VR talk hosted by KSU's CAGMA
    • Who: Marxent Labs
    • When: Next week - Tuesday, 3/22 at 3:30pm
    • Where: M133 (3:30pm) and J202 (5pm) on the KSU Marietta campus
    • Why: Gain insight into VR and optionally bring a resume/portfolio (since Marxent is hiring)

    This is a FREE event, but we need to know who will attend (to have enough food), so please register and reserve your spot ASAP.  

    Please visit the registration Eventbrite page for this event to sign up.  No ticket is required.

    Hope to see you there!
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  10. Check out The Rookies for an opportunity to showcase your work and land an internship at Epic and other game companies.  Be sure to have an amazing portfolio for this (and all experience competitions).
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