2021 Showcase

My goal for this semester is to have a traditional Showcase. This means in-person and open to the public. We are going to do this even if it means we have to be outside under a tent and everyone runs their batteries dry. But given the new normal, we can be fully certain of what we are doing until we get close to showcase. Regardless of the format, Showcase will be held Saturday May 21, 2022 at 1pm. It will last until 4pm, when we will hold the awards ceremony.

Classes are still having finals on that day, so you are excused if you have a conflict. But barring that (or some other excuse), we expect everyone in your group to attend Showcase. This event is – for all intents and purposes – your final exam.

Registering for Showcase

We need for each group to officially “register” for showcase so that we can prepare the a space for you on the floor. This year, that registration will take place in an (ungraded) CMS entry due Friday, May 13. You do not need a game submitted by then. But you do need to submit the game information and promotional materials.

Final Game Information

We need to finalize your game information so that we can assign you a space and print out an official tent card for you. You should submit a text file with the following information:

  • The official name of your project, as you want it to appear on the tent card.
  • The official name of your “game studio”, as you want it to appear on the tent card.
  • The names of all team members, as you want them to appear on the tent card.
  • A ONE sentence description of your game (last line of your concept document).
  • A larger, but still only one paragraph description of your game.

Promotional Materials

In addition to the text file, we want you to provide us the following promotional material (which will be used to prominently display your game on the soon to be new and improved website).

  • A 600x600 “cover picture” representing your game (think title screen)
  • A 400x400 pixel picture for your group logo.
  • Four to five screenshots taken at 720p resolution.
  • A 160x90 pixel thumbnails for each screenshot.
  • A 1090x440 “banner picture” for your game.

To give you some idea of what we are asking for, here are the cover picture and group logo for the game Astrobeat.

Cover Picture Group Logo

Similarly, here is the banner picture for Astrobeat. Notice how the banner is used to promote the game; it is not a screenshot.

All of this information should be zipped together into a folder called promotional.zip and submitted to CMS. If we do not receive this information by 11:59 pm Friday, May 13th, your final grade will be penalized.

Game Trailers (OPTIONAL)

Historically, game trailers have been optional, and that is true again this year. With that said, we love to have them. These are flashy ways to promote your game that we can put on the Facebook page. They help sell your game when people are figuring out what to download. In the past these trailers were shown on the room projectors. While we are still working on the details, we hope to do this again.

To give you an idea what makes a good trailer, her are the trailer reels for the past few years.

Preparing for Showcase

For students in CS/INFO 3152, showcase is where you will turn in the final version of your game for evaluation. As such you should bring the following materials to showcase, which we will collect at the end:

A USB Stick with a Release Snapshot

This copy will be the one put in the GDIAC archives. This is considered the final version of your project for grading purposes. If we do not get this the day of the showcase, your group will receive no credit for your project (which is very, very bad).

The USB should contain essentially a release. If you are graded on Android, we want an APK. If you are graded on iOS, we want the macOS/iOS project with instructions on how to access the TestFlight release. You should be familiar with this process by now. We just want the USB so that we have a guaranteed version that we do not need to download.

A Display Poster

Every group is required to create a poster, which will stand above the computers assigned to your group. This will give the attendees something to look at when browsing for a project to investigate, and something to read while waiting for their chance to play. The guidelines for your poster are as follows:

  • Make the poster roughly 32x40in in size
  • Display the name of your project at the top, in a large, readable font.
  • List everyone that contributed to your project, including external members
  • Keep the poster colorful and visual; keep text at a minimum.
  • Keep the poster interesting. Think back-of-the-box.

In the past, we have mandated that the posters be double-sided. But the mobile games are going to be along a hallway, and you will be hanging them from the wall. So this is not necessary.

If you want some examples of posters, it is fine to have a minimal poster with simple instructions, like Out-of-Sync.

With that said, we often like the poster to include a quick start guide. Typically these can be taken directly out of your manual and do not need any extra art. Here are some quick start examples from previous semesters:

Setting up for Showcase

You need to set up early on the day of the showcase. At least one member of your group must be at the lab at noon, and check in with the staff that your project is set up. We need to verify that you are in the right space and that you have enough devices to run your game.

In the past, we have been able to give out speakers for students that wanted audio. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these speakers are now broken and so we are not much help there. This means you should bring your own speakers or headphones. We do ask that you not share ear buds, as that is unhygienic. It is okay if a player wants to user his or her ear buds, but headphones should properly cover the ear.

You are allowed to bring whatever extra peripherals you want. For example, if you want to bring a projector or an external monitor you are welcome to do so (though space is limited).

Once the showcase starts, at 4pm, we expect everyone in your group to be there. Furthermore, unless you have an emergency or extenuating circumstances, everyone in your group must stay for the entire showcase, 4-7 pm. You may wander around and check out the other projects, but at least one person from your group must be manning your assigned computers at all times.

Finally, we ask that everyone remained masked at all times during Showcase. I have no idea how many people will show, but it is indoors and it will make the audience more comfortable if they do not have to wory about it being a super-spreader event.