Brock’s gaming prowess impressed high-profile industry judges during a recent provincial gaming event.The University sent its largest ever contingent — more than 40 students in five teams — to present their games at the 2019 Level Up Showcase April 17.Held at Toronto’s Design Exchange, the annual game design showcase brings together hundreds of aspiring game developers from post-secondary schools across the province to have their work judged by industry professionals and the public.Five Brock teams presented their games to industry professionals and the general public at this year’s Level Up Showcase on April 17.A team of 10 third-year students in the joint Brock/Niagara College GAME program caught the attention of the judging panel, earning a first-place win for Social/Mobile Gaming and second place for Artistic Achievement for their game Bad Manors.The accolades are no small feat, given judges include representatives from UbiSoft, Game Loft, Microsoft, Xbox, Uken, Zinga, AMD and Unity.The students spent eight months developing Bad Manors, a two-on-two game that has one team play as ghosts haunting a mansion and the other team as teenagers trying to steal treasure found within.“Watching people enjoy our game during Level Up made all the time we put into this project worthwhile,” said Chris Rosati, the game’s technical artist and co-lead designer with Nathan Lantz.This was the first time students in the GAME program competed in the event, although Brock has previously attended with Interactive Arts and Science (IASC) students, who also continue to participate.“Our GAME specialists are in their third year and they’ve already reached such a high level,” said Justin Howe, Project Co-ordinator and Technical Assistant for Brock’s Centre for Digital Humanities, and instructor for the IASC capstone course 4L00. “That’s in addition to our Interactive Arts and Science generalists who can easily hold their own in game development.”Howe said he’s “very proud of the exceptional, quality work that was put forward by all our students who made a great array of content for judges and the public alike.”He anticipates Brock will send twice as many students to the provincial showcase in 2020.Level Up gives GAME and IASC students an opportunity to hone key industry skills, such as working with and managing large teams, and creating and maintaining a project schedule, said fourth-year IASC student Ellen Thornton.Fourth-year Interactive Arts and Science students took their espionage-themed puzzle game, Spy2K, to Toronto’s Design Exchange for the ninth annual Level Up Showcase. The team spent the past eight months developing their game from initial concept to playable product.“It’s the ultimate test to see what we’ve learned in the IASC program,” said Thornton, who was the producer for IASC 4L00’s game Spy2K. “As someone who doesn’t see themselves making video games in the future, there are still so many things that I learned throughout the year that I can apply to any career path.”The three other games developed by GAME students were Dreamscaper, a 3D navigational challenge; Heist, a criminally-themed co-opetition game; and Magehem, a virtual reality wizard game featuring gestural recognition technology to cast spells.Awards were given for Technical Innovation, Artistic Achievement and Overall Game Design. The public also votes for the event’s People’s Choice Award, which was won last year by Brock’s fourth-year IASC students for the game Stop Running.Level Up is organized by Algonquin College, Brock University, Sheridan College, Ontario College of Art and Design and the University of Toronto.