term: spring | date: 5th april, 2021


Congratulations to MFA student Francesca Palamara and her team! Her thesis project, Alma, is a finalist for the 2021 BIG Festival for Best Diversity Game, Best Social Matters Game, and Best Student Game.

The BIG Festival (Brazil’s Independent Games Festival) is the largest festival and market for independent games in Latin America! The festival was established in 2012 and continues to be the most important independent games festival and business forum in Latin America.

To learn more about all the finalists, check them out HERE.


USC Bridge is a high-level game team accelerator program designed to cultivate interdisciplinary professional excellence and development.

Its purpose is to give some of USC’s best and brightest students leadership opportunity on a professional-quality game project, direct individual exposure to and quality insight from our industry’s leading professionals and preparation for their career ahead.

USC Bridge will be available to a small number of USC undergraduate and graduate students, or recent USC graduates from any program or school.

If you have a team and project, have your lead apply, and mention the project and team members attached. Have other team members apply, if able, and also mention the project. Please note any positions you are looking to fill.

If you do not already have a team, please apply and know you will be considered for selected projects that need team members, or possibly selected for a Bridge project.

The USC Bridge program will run from late May until early August at USC.

Students will:

Collaborate on a game prototype with the individual mentorship of our industry’s best and brightest and the support of USC Games faculty.

Over the course of the summer they will be giving team presentations on specific facets of their prototype to panels of game industry leaders specializing in those crafts.

For more details or to ask questions about the program, please email USC_Interactive@cinema.usc.edu with the Subject “USC Bridge 2021”

Sign up HEREDeadline is April 16th, 2021.


USC Career Launchpad is an online job-readiness program designed to enhance the skillsets that today’s employers are seeking. The program provides you with the practical tools needed to apply for your dream job and succeed in the workplace. Created specifically for USC students who are preparing to transition to the workplace, you will find professional career resources and ways to connect with the vast Trojan Network for alumni mentorship and more.

Register now!


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:

Thursday 4/8, 11am – 12:30pm: ALL STUDENT GROUP ADVISEMENT, all students invited.

If you have further questions, please contact the front desk (usc_interactive@cinema.usc.edu).


Class of 2021: Tell Us Your Post-Graduation Plans & Earn a $5 Amazon Gift Card*: As you plan for life after USC, we want to celebrate your success and help you navigate the rapidly changing marketplace. USC is here for you and will continue to support you in your job search or other post-graduation endeavors, even after you graduate. If you are graduating in May from an undergraduate, graduate, or PhD program, take a few minutes to share your post-graduation plans. Whether you are not certain of your plans yet, have secured a job or fellowship, or will attend graduate school, we need to hear from everyone! Visit 12twenty, and click the button “Sign up with your USC SSO” (Current Students Only).

*Gift card codes will be emailed to the first 3,000 undergrads who complete the survey.

Last Week


A product of last year’s AGP cycle, OUR AMERICA is an autobiographical VR project created by alumni Bryant Young, exploring the harrowing experience of driving while black. A recipient of Unity’s development grant, we are proud of the hard work that Bryant and his team have done to create this impactful project.

You can check out USA Today’s coverage of Our America HERE.


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 3/31 & 4/7, 3pm – 4:30pm: ALL STUDENT GROUP ADVISEMENT, all students invited.

If you have further questions, please contact the front desk (usc_interactive@cinema.usc.edu).


If you’ve been working on something (in class or on your own) the SCA community wants to celebrate our own creative power. CATV is a new student-run-and-operated “pirate” channel that wants to be a platform for exhibiting the work of our own peers. Submit your films, games, music, podcasts, comics, writing, and the VeeJays of CATV will spin it, stage it, play it, or otherwise highlight it.

If you want some practice talking about your work, come on the show as a featured guest. The program starts airing weekly on Twitch this spring, summer and beyond and and is accepting any and all submissions here.


Congratulations to Jasmine Persephone Jupiter, Abby Sherlock, and Kathryn Yu, all second year MFA IMGD students, on their inclusion as finalists in USC’s WCA Feminist Media Festival. The festival will take place on April 3rd. You can check out Operator and Heirloom on their itch.io sites.


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 9TH APRIL 2021 from 2:00PM to 4:20PM!

In a change from last year, if you already came to our first playtest on 26th March, you can come to this one too, and see some of the other games!

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

Tuesday, April 6th, 12:00PM – 1:00PM

Join USC Annenberg Career Development as we explore the world of video games. Founder/CEO of Grab Games, member of USC Annenberg’s Board of Councilors, and USC Marshall faculty member, Anthony Borquez, will lead a panel of professionals in exploring the gaming field. This is a great opportunity to learn from professionals in the world of gaming.

Panelists:

  • Dmitri Williams, advisor at Azarus, associate professor of communications
  • Eunice Lee, COO senior vice president, Call of Duty development, Activision
  • Hans Vancol, COO, Grab Games
  • Nicola Piggott, Co-Founder of the Story Mob

RSVP

Thursday, April 8th, 11:00AM – 12:30PM

On Thursday, 4/8 from 11:00AM – 12:30PM, join Collin Kelly for an open advising session where all are welcome. This session is primarily for quick questions regarding advising for next year’s courses, but Collin will do his best to help anyone with anything they need. No reservation required; please see the link below:

Zoom URL: https://usc.zoom.us/j/5536635422

Friday, April 9th, 5:00PM – 6:30PM

This Friday, Steven Harmon will be giving an introduction to liminal space mechanics, fourth-wall-breaking tricks that blur the lines between game and virus. Learn how to scrape data, write to files that take control of your players’ computers, and communicate using more than what appears in-game!

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

Monday, April 12th, 10:00AM – 11:00AM

USC SMART-VR will be hosting a fireside chat on “VR Therapeutics”! Join us for a talk with industry leaders in VR therapeutics for pain and anxiety, followed by a Q&A session to engage with our guests and co-hosts.

Speakers will include Josh Sackman (co-founder & president of AppliedVR) and Aaron Gani (founder & CEO of BehaVR)! Our co-hosts will be SMART-VR co-director/USC Creative Media & Behavioral Health Center director Marientina Gotsis, alongside USC Viterbi School of Engineering adjunct faculty Vangelis Lympouridis.

RSVP

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

Wednesday, April 7th, 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’ll be playing Bullet[Heart], a brand new just-Kickstarted board game about anime-style heroines fighting to save the world. It’s a fast-paced “Shoot-Em-Up Puzzle Action” game that borrows a lot of its aesthetics and sensibilities from video games and uses timed rounds to keep things moving quickly. If you feel like trying out a new game on your Wellness Day, join us on Wednesday at 7:00 PM PDT for some bullet matching with 2021’s Bullet[Heart].

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

Friday, April 9th, 2:00PM – 4:20PM

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 9TH APRIL 2021 from 2:00PM to 4:20PM!

In a change from last year, if you already came to our first playtest on 26th March, you can come to this one too, and see some of the other games!

RSVP

Saturday, April 4th, 1:00PM – 2:30PM

Have a good time and flex your game design muscles modifying classic games like duck duck goose, hide and go seek, and mafia at lightning speed with changing design constraints on Saturday afternoon with Open Alpha! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain in this fast and fun competition.

About the length of a soccer match. Practice on the fly design skills for games AND you might win a prize!

Signups in teams of 3 or as an individual participant HERE.