School of Mathematics and Computer Science (SMCS), Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi in collaboration with Mindstorm Studios, Raptr Games and IGN Pakistan, hosted the two-day ‘IBA Game Fest 2023’, at the IBA Main Campus.
The Game Fest was a resounding success, 90+ students created 22 games without using code, digital art or technology, literally ‘out of thin air’. With the theme ‘Out of Thin Air’, the event was part of IBA and Mindstorm Studios’ mission to emphasize hands-on learning experiences, real-time feedback and mentorship from industry leaders. The winning games were ‘Karachi Tails’, ‘Fools Gambit’ and ‘Space Survival’, all three winning ideas were created by teams from Cedar College, Karachi.
With a focus on understanding the game building process and creating games, the event gathered talented students from across Karachi, studying in O levels, A levels, Matric or FSc, who worked in teams to deliver 22 games. The event aimed to provide students an exposure to design thinking principles, shipping and demonstrating products in less than 36 hours, incorporating real time feedback, and connecting with industry role models and mentors. The event produced an array of diverse games, ranging from educational games that utilised the periodic table to narrative-based fantasy strategy games.
Head of Marketing and Communications, Ms Ayesha Javed delivered the opening remarks.
Dean SMCS, Dr Shakeel Khoja welcomed students and said that it was heartening to see the young students from various reputable schools. He said, “After the success of previous game fests, we decided to engage school and college level students as their ideas are bound to be unique and innovative”. He urged the students to make the most of this opportunity and learn the essentials of game designing from the gurus of the game development industry.
Founder & CEO, Katalyst Labs, Ms Jehan Ara, commended IBA and the event partners for organizing the platform. She encouraged the young gamers to utilize this platform and explore creative boundaries which will help improve their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Highlighting the IBA experience, Chairperson, Department of Computer Science, SMCS, Dr Shahid Hussain shed light on IBA’s Computer Science and Mathematics programs which are some of the best programs offered in the country.
Director Mindstorm Labs, Yaser Awan, emphasized the ability to combine curiosity, creativity and inspiration to deliver game playing experiences that engage players without using technology.
The Game Fest commenced with a quest combining Haikus riddles, student and campus engagement. Titled ‘!Quest’ the activity was designed by IBA students to welcome the participants and to create an opportunity for them to experience the culture and campus of the institution. Participants arrived at the Alumni Students’ Centre to compete in the ‘Out of Thin Air’ game-building competition, introducing them to IBA’s learning environment, conducive for fostering practices of academic and professional growth.
Industry mentors and jury assessed participating teams in two rounds. The final round Jury included Jehan Ara, Habibullah Khan, Imran Azhar, Imran Khan, Irfan Kheiri, Ayesha Javed, Hassan bin Rizwan, Bilal Hameed, Zain Merchant, Sameer Ahmed Khan, Iqbal Ali Khan and Adnan Rizvi. The jury assessed ideas on creativity, design, playability and fun.
The Game Fest culminated with the crowning of three winning teams, Terminators, secured the first place with their game ‘Karachi Tails’, a board game that challenged players to become the city’s next mayor. Team Graphite’s ‘Fools Gambit’ was adjudged second, offering a creative twist on chess. Third place went to Terrific Trio’s ‘Space Survival’, a post-apocalyptic survival game that tasked players with reaching Earth 2.0. Awan delivered the concluding remarks and formally closed the event.