Student Game Designers Put You in the Story at TCFF

As kids, our imaginations are limitless. We’re full of ideas and wonder at the world, undeterred by the concept of what is and isn’t possible. Through immersive gaming and virtual reality, The Woz is looking to bring that childlike wonder back to the surface for players of all ages at the Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF). 

The Best and Brightest in Game Development

So what exactly is The Woz? The Woz is an interactive gaming and virtual reality experience at TCFF powered by MSU. It’s just one of the many ways the top-ranked Game Design and Development Program and the Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab is exhibiting their work to audiences across the nation.

Director of the GEL Lab and Department of Media & Information Professor Brian Winn is excited to showcase the entirely MSU-made games at The Woz. The award-winning Plunder Panic, will make a reappearance at the TCFF after its successful launch last year. 

“We gave a sneak peek of Plunder Panic after just two months of development at TCFF 2017,” said Winn. “We have continued to work on it for the last year, set sail to many other festivals, such as IndieCade, SXSW, and PAX East, gathered booty (awards and praise) and now are happy to return to TCFF 2018 with our 12-person swashbuckling arcade game.”

In Plunder Panic, players are immersed in high-seas adventure as they battle for treasure and glory. The arcade-style game will soon be added as a featured game on Nintendo Switch in 2019. 

Games for All

The Woz will host a total of 12 games available for play arcade-style as well as on mobile and virtual reality platforms. While many games are geared toward entertainment, others are also designed for educational fun. In addition to Plunder Panic, available games and experiences will include:

    •    Ragnasok 

    •    Stuffed 

    •    Guitarmageddon 

    •    Nuluma 

    •    Timeless Tale

    •    Rogues Like Us

    •    H2-O-NO!

    •    Wizard’s Siege

    •    Virtual Vineyard

    •    Financial Literacy Games

    •    Quantum 3

The creativity and dedication that goes into the creation of these games is awe-inspiring. Through The Woz, designers, developers and players can come together to celebrate the things that make us smile--sharp minds, a passion for play and a shared community. 

2018 will mark the fifth year of The Woz’s appearance at TCFF, which is set to be held July 31-August 5. Players can strap in and experience The Woz gaming gallery August 1-4 at Central High School in Traverse City. There are games for all ages and admission is free. Trust us, you won’t want to miss the playful wonder of The Woz.

By Kristina Pierson