term: spring | date: 19th april, 2021

You are invited to the FREE USC Games Expo 2021!

The event is FREE and streaming online; RSVPing allows us to provide you with updates, adds you to our mailing list (we don’t spam!) and enters you into winning prizes/giveaways during the stream itself!

USC Games, North America’s No. 1 game design program for eleven years according to the Princeton Review, is collaborating with long-term partner, Jam City—to feature the game designers and developers of tomorrow at their annual USC Games Expo. Building on last year’s highly successfully livestreamed event, the show will premiere on May 15th, 2021 at 12PM PST, with a “Jr. High/High School Student Sneak Peek” the day prior on May 14th, 2021 at 10AM PST. The show will feature over 60 games made entirely via distributed development by students and teams spread around the globe.

Virtually all of the games shown will be downloadable and all streaming content can be viewed at www.uscgamesexpo.com.

This is the fifth Expo for the program—a joint initiative between the Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC School of Cinematic Arts—continuing their legacy of making it the largest University-sponsored gaming and esports event in the world. As it has historically, the Expo will also feature the first hands-on for the 10 projects being developed in its capstone course, the Advanced Games Program (AGP).


Congratulations to Beasts of Maravilla Island for its feature in Nintendo’s IndieWorld direct! This project started as an AGP in 2019, and it’s exciting to see how far they’ve come. Give them a follow and wishlist their game on Steam.

The 2021-2022 MEGA E-board applications are finally open! Apply to join the MEGA E-board, the team of students behind all of your favorite MEGA events and newsletters. Everyone is encouraged to apply regardless of major or experience level! The deadline to apply is Friday, April 30 at 11:59 PM PST.

Last Week

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.

On April 19th, from 11:30AM – 1:20PM, CTIN 503 Interactive Entertainment, Science & Healthcare is hosting a playtest for The Brain Architecture GameThe Brain Architecture Game is a tabletop game experience that builds understanding of the powerful role of experiences on early brain development – what promotes it, what derails it, with what consequences for society.

Since 2009, thousands of people in groups around the world have played The Brain Architecture Game, gaining a memorable, compelling perspective on the lifelong impact of early childhood experiences.

The game is a 75-90 minute experience optimized for groups of 4-6 people per table. It can be played in small workshops, conferences, and large events, with as few as 8, or as many as 300 participants.

You can sign up for this playtest by contacting the SA, Awu Chen, at szeyuche@usc.edu

Are you a member of the USC Games family with big news or events to share? Let us know at uscgsoc@usc.edu, our Social Media Support center, or fill out THIS FORM!

Wednesday, April 21st, 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 Clank!, a deckbuilding game about burglars, er, adventurers trying to stealthily acquire treasures from deep within a dragon’s horde. Clank! is an extension of modern deckbuilding games like Ascension that introduces a new mechanic: movement. In addition to building up a deck of more and more powerful cards, you will have to move your thief through the catacombs and delve deeper to find more valuable treasure, while still being able to race back to the surface if the dragon wakes up. Join us Wednesday at 7:00 PM PDT for a fantasy heist with 2016’s Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure.

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

Thursday, April 22nd, 7:30PM – 8:30PM

The Happy Little Trees Fest has a Minecraft gallery! Come see the work of talented USC artists, and participate in our Race Through the Trees for a shot at $50 and a 3D model NFT of the gallery. Also, be sure to tune in for all the other panels going on throughout the day! Creatives around the USC community will be hosting interactive activities, and sharing their artistic process on our Twitch stream. (If you’re into the convergence of Hyperpop, 100 Gecs and Minecraft, we’ve got a great event for you)

Join the Discord

Friday, April 23rd, 2:00PM – 4:00PM

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 Freshmen! You do not need to be a Games major to attend. 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.

Thursday, April 22nd, 7:00PM – 10:00PM

Warner Brothers is hosting a free, virtual screening for their new theatrical release, Mortal Kombat, and an invite has been extended to the Interactive Media and Games Division at SCA!

To RSVP for the exclusive screening, students and faculty input their first/last name + email address on the google form and WM Screeners will send an email 24 hours prior with event login instructions.

The screening will take place on Thursday, April 22 and will be available for 24 hours.



IndieCade is inviting game creators from around the world to make games that explore solutions to address a rapidly changing planet. Together, they believe that 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.

We hope 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 Jam || Join Discord

April 24th – 25th, 10:00AM – 5:00PMThe Esports Case Competition is similar to a business case competition, where you and your team will be presented with a challenge prompt based around problems in gaming and esports. You will have the opportunity to develop a meaningful solution and present your solution to a panel of industry professionals who will judge it and provide feedback! This is a great opportunity to work on a project to build your resume and network with other students.

There will be prizes for 1st, 2nd and participants pick for the solutions! All teams will have 7 minutes to present to judges during the first round. The top 7 teams will advance to the second round to present to any set of judges. Winners will be determined by the combined scores of round 1 & round 2. All solutions will be available for voting! (oh did I mention there’s prizing provided by CORSAIR??)

Don’t have a team? No worries! Sign up as an individual and we’ll pair you up with some people & if you have any questions feel free to reach out to Emilly Maahs (emaahs@usc.edu).

RSVP || More Info || Discord