term: spring | date: 15th march, 2021


The Fall 20201 Schedule of Classes has just been released. You will find exciting USC Games classes all over, but take the time in particular to explore CTIN, CSCI, CTAN and ITP for a particularly vibrant selection of options.

Registration begins for priority populations at 9am on March 29th. All IMGD/ CS Games/ Games Minor students should begin receiving their d-clearance this week; students who are not in those populations will begin getting d-clearance on April 8th.

The link for the CTIN d-clearance request form is here.


Congratulations to MFA students Francesca Palamara and Joanna Shen’s thesis projects will be featured in Tokyo University of the Arts 2nd Annual Game Expo. They created games with Geidai students during the exchange program between the two schools last year and continued their collaboration on their thesis projects!

Check out the Events section for a link to RSVP to the event.


Founded by USC Games Alum Yuting Su, Thinker-Tinker, the game startup that created the award-winning plush robot companion Octobo, is launching their new game – Trolls Music Stars! It is an integrated musical play experience featuring the beloved DreamWorks Trolls IP. The game included an innovative line of plush characters with a beat-bouncing music rhythm mobile game where players bring their favorite Trolls characters to life by scanning unique AR markers on their collectible plush. If you love Trolls, love collecting items, and fun music games, this is for you!

*USC Games family gets 45% off with the Trio Band deal with EVERYTHING in the game unlocked. Learn more and get one for yourself.

Facebook || Twitter || Instagram @MusicStarsGame


Hello Students, it’s Collin here, once again talking to you about advisement schedules.

With the increased number of students, advisement will be functioning slightly differently this year; IMGD students, please look for an email from me directly, but ALL STUDENTS, please take note of the following events:

Wednesday 3/17, 4pm – 5pm: USC GAMES FALL 2021 Course Walkthrough Webinar. For students unable to attend live, this will be recorded. Here is the link to the webinar.

Wednesday 3/31 & 4/7, 2pm – 4pm: ALL STUDENT GROUP ADVISEMENT, all students invited.

To schedule appointments or for questions, please contact the front desk.


Dear friends,

We need your help to playtest a group of great games being designed by the excellent graduate students from Richard Lemarchand’s intermediate design and production class!

We will be playtesting via Zoom! The playtests will take place FRIDAY 26TH MARCH 2021 from 2:00PM to 4:20PM!

If you can join us, please sign up here! And please tell your friends! All are welcome!

Last Week


The AGP Detour Bus has received a grant from Oculus Launch Pad and been featured in the latest Oculus Developer Spotlight. It is a casual construction-comedy game, designed to bring accessibility to the VR space. Players build winding highways around themselves to take the Flowers family on a psychedelic road trip across post-infrastructure America. Read the interview to learn about the game’s inspirations, early development process at USC Games, and commitment to accessibility. Detour Bus launches this summer!

Our heartfelt congratulations to the team of Detour Bus! To learn more about Detour Bus and its development, check out their spotlight over at Oculus.


USC Trojan Esports Hearthstone Varsity Team is holding rolling tryouts for both Battlegrounds and Standard Modes!

TES is looking for new players to join. They do not have a minimum MMR or Constructed rank, so feel free to reach out to Jason Jiang on Discord and fill out their interest form!

Interest Form || Jason Jiang: jjxtx#2093


IndieCade is inviting game creators from around the world to make games that explore solutions to address a rapidly changing planet. Together we can make a difference!

We believe this generation of creators cares deeply about the environment and has the power to inspire action through games. The theme of this jam is: Clean Energy solutions.

IndieCade hopes to see games that include:

  • Climate justice
  • Clean energy jobs
  • Capturing the wind
  • Solar panels on every rooftop
  • Transportation
  • Green manufacturing & building
  • Climate policy
  • Solarpunk/speculative design

Join the Jam

March 15th, 17th, & 19th, 6:00PM – 8:00PM

Interested in learning about streaming? We have a Spring bootcamp series with professional esports technical production masters with past work seen in leagues for Nerd St Gamers teaching YOU how to broadcast competitive tournaments. For casters, producers, directors, observers and the like!

Zoom URL: https://usc.zoom.us/j/8659703305

Wednesday, March 17th, 7:00PM – 9:30PM

Formerly of Square Enix royalty (lead game designer on Final Fantasy XV), Wan Hazmer left Japan in 2017 to co-found Metronomik in his home country of Malaysia. Together with 19 other employees, Hazmer led Metronomik to a 2019 release of the music-based action-adventure game No Straight Roads. From AAA to indie, Wan hasn’t traveled the straightest road to success, but has always found it – come hear from a great designer and leader in CTIN-463 on Wednesday at 7pm PST!

*Students & Faculty, look out for more information in our USC Games Weekly Access Guide

Wednesday, March 17th, 4:00PM – 5:00PM

Join Collin Kelly as he gives a comprehensive breakdown of USC Games’ course offering for Fall 2021. This webinar is open to everyone on campus (please sign in to your usc.edu account for access).

Zoom URL: https://usc.zoom.us/s/98591917081

Friday, March 19th, 12:00PM – 1:00PM

What are the fundamental ways that games work? And how can games be about something? In How Pac-Man Eats, Noah Wardrip-Fruin argues that the two issues are related. Bridging formalist and culturally engaged approaches, he shows how the tools and concepts for making games are connected to what games can and do mean.

Noah Wardrip-Fruin is professor of computational media at the University of California Santa Cruz, where he codirects the Expressive Intelligence Studio, a technical and cultural research group. He is the author of How Pac-Man Eats (2020) and co-editor of The New Media Reader (2003), among others. Computational media projects on which he has collaborated have appeared in venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art and the IndieCade festival.

More Information || RSVP

Friday, March 19th, 2:00PM – 3:00PM

We want to help you get jobs! Join our Diversity and Inclusion faculty Gordon Bellamy for a casual chat regarding career development, what you’d like to see in the program, and how USC Games can best support your interests. This will help us diversify the companies we bring in and how to support you better, regardless of where you are in your college and job search journey. This week’s chat will be for MFA 3rd years, with next week’s for undergrad Juniors! You do not need to be a Games major to attend. For Zoom information, please contact gooi@usc.edu

We also want to best support your interests! Help us help you by giving us your thoughts. We’ll also be having meetings with each class throughout the semester to further the conversation and inform how we can provide you exactly what you need.

*Students & Faculty, look out for more information in our USC Games Weekly Access Guide

Friday, March 19th, 5:00PM – 7:00PM

Are you a student in the games industry and want to learn more about unionization? This Friday, Jasmine Persephone Jupiter will be explaining the basics of labor organizing as well as giving a brief overview of the history of the movement for a games union. The unionization effort aims to protect workers in the game industry and push for better working conditions. Jasmine will be presenting alongside Robin Trach, a fellow organizer with Game Workers of Southern California, former head of MEGA, and a representative from Code-CWA (the initiative that recently organized the union at Google!).

*Students & Faculty, look out for more information in our USC Games Weekly Access Guide

Wednesday, March 17th, 11:00AM – 12:30PM

Streamers, heads up! CTIN-499 welcomes Monica Loya-Clarke, VP of Developer Partnerships at Loaded – a company that manages top gaming influencers focused on creating and improving gaming content, as well as driving audiences to products and experiences. Loaded partners with developers, working closely to build strategies that best highlight and increase views – so if you’re a streamer or streaming enthusiast, you might want to tune in Wednesday at 11am PST!

*Students & Faculty, look out for more information in our USC Games Weekly Access Guide

Wednesday, March 17th, 7:00PM – 9:00PM

Game Tasting is a weekly event featuring curated tabletop games (in Tabletop Simulator) with USC Games students and faculty. Come, have fun, and learn a new tabletop game every week!

This week we’re going to play The Quacks of Quedlinburg, a set collection game about charlatan alchemists mixing up potions for points and profits. This game uses a variant of a deck building mechanism involving the ingredient tokens you draw from your bag. Push your luck to maximize the effectiveness of your medicine, but don’t let it blow up in your face or you’ll lose out on sales. Join us Wednesday at 7:00 PM PST to brew up trouble with 2018’s The Quacks of Quedlinburg.

*Students & Faculty, look out for more information in our USC Games Weekly Access Guide

Thursday, March 18th, 6:00PM*

We invite you to support IMGD MFAs Joanna Shen and Francesca Palamara, whose thesis work done in collaboration with Tokyo University of the Arts students, will be featured at Geidai Games 02.

More information || RSVP

*Time converted from Japan time (Friday, March 19th, 10:00AM)

Friday, March 19th, 5:00PM – 7:00PM

Jason is a 20 year video game industry veteran and has been a production leader at Activision working on the Call of Duty franchise for the past 11 years.  Most recently, he was the Senior Publishing Producer of the franchise record setting Call of Duty Warzone (released March 2020) and Modern Warfare (October 2019).  He was involved with both titles from concept, through release and throughout the first full year of live operations.  Before joining the Call of Duty Franchise, Jason Produced a wide variety of games based on both owned and licensed IP including DJ Hero 2, Transformers, DreamWorks Animation titles Kung Fu Panda and Shrek, DC Comics/Warner Bros. titles Batman Begins, Teen Titans and Justice League Heroes as well as titles for Harry Potter, The Matrix and Looney Tunes.

*Students & Faculty, look out for more information in our USC Games Weekly Access Guide

Friday, March 19th, 3:00PM – 5:00PM

Calling all streamers! Want to know the behind-the-scenes of the Partner program or how to grow as a streamer? An influencer and marketing professional with more than 7 years of experience at Twitch, Erin leads implementation of campaigns to help creators grow and provide global entertainment experiences through “Community First” principles.  Come chat with Erin aka Aureylian, Senior Director of Community and Creative Marketing at Twitch, THIS FRIDAY at 3PM PST!

*Students & Faculty, look out for more information in our USC Games Weekly Access Guide

Saturday, March 20th, 9:00AM – 11:00AM

The Brains and Games Public Showcase will feature pitches from the twelve winning teams of the Brains and Games International Design Fiction Competition. Attend on March 20th, 2021 and glimpse into the future of neurotechnology with us!

More information || RSVP