KCAI student takes international honors in game design competition

16 February 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Feb. 16, 2012) — Ian Snyder, a junior majoring in printmaking and creative writing at the Kansas City Art Institute, is one of eight students from around the world to be named a Student Showcase winner for the 2012 Independent Games Festival. According to the IGF website, the awards celebrate “the brightest and most innovative creations to come out of universities and games programs from around the world in the past year.” There were 300 game entries in the student competition this year, encompassing all platforms from PC to console and mobile. The Student IGF is one of the world’s largest showcases of student talent.

All of the Student Showcase winners’ games will be playable on the expo show floor during the 26th Game Developers Conference, which will be held March 5-9 in San Francisco. Each entrant (team or individual) receives a $500 prize for being selected for the showcase, and each becomes a finalist for an additional $3,000 prize for Best Student Game. The winner will be announced March 7.
“Game design is something I’ve done since high school,” Snyder said. “It is dear to me, and I was never able to let myself give it up for the sake of my schoolwork.”
He said doing game design in addition to double-majoring in printmaking and creative writing “is not an impossible task if you’re driven enough.” He noted that while game design sometimes requires more than one person to be involved, it is now something that can be done as a solo artist.
 “The barrier of entry to game design is lower today than it ever has been in the past,” he said. “I wouldn’t always have been able to work alone on these games.”
 Snyder said he has watched IGF for a few years and entered a game called “Feign” in last year’s competition. That entry received an honorable mention in the Nuovo category.
 “I can’t express how much I am looking forward to finally attending and walking among so many other game developers I respect and admire,” he said.
About the Kansas City Art Institute
The Kansas City Art Institute is a private, independent four-year college of art and design awarding the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with majors in animation, art history, ceramics, digital filmmaking, digital media, fiber, graphic design, illustration, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and studio art with an emphasis on creative writing. The college also offers certificate programs in Community Arts and Service Learning and in Asian Studies for students enrolled in the B.F.A. program. KCAI hosts “Current Perspectives,” a free public lecture series; free exhibitions at the H&R Block Artspace gallery; and evening, weekend and summer classes in art, design, multimedia studies and desktop publishing for children, youth and adults. Founded in 1885, KCAI is Kansas City’s oldest arts organization. For more information, visit KCAI on the Web at www.kcai.edu.
Contact: Anne Canfield, 816-802-3426 or acanfield@kcai.edu.
Pictured: "Jelly Screen," a still from "The Floor is Jelly," the winning game design by Ian Snyder.