Level Up Showcase Returns in Person, Ontario Students to Show Their Passion Projects
The 10th annual Level Up Showcase returns to the heart of Toronto today. This intimate event runs throughout the evening, from 5 to 11 PM on Wednesday, April 19th, 2023. It features over 100 games all designed and developed by students across 20 post-secondary schools in Ontario.
Level Up Showcase is being held onsite at the Westin Harbour Castle. It’s once again designed to highlight and coming talent of students and provides a chance to show their creations to the world. According to the company, the showcase “exhibits outstanding work in game design, animation, and computer graphics.” Furthermore, attendees can expect to see games runnings on “current technology and gaming platforms, from motion sensors to VR devices, and more.”
Doors open to Level Up Showcase at 5 PM and then run until 11 PM. A large portion of the showcase is dedicated to highlighting the many games on the showroom floor.
OCAD U Associate Professor and co-organizer Dr. Emma Westcott and Steve Engels set up Level Up Showcase over a decade ago. The event started as a more intimate event, located at the Toronto International Film Festival Lightbox. However, as other institutions became interested in supporting the event, Level Up Showcase grew. Other venues included the Design Exchange.
Due to COVID-19 Level Up Showcase was forced to cancel in 2020. It returned in 2022, albeit in a virtual form. With COVID-19’s impact on Level Up Showcase, this year’s event is aiming to bring students back into a showroom floor and kickstart the community endeavour once more. Thanks to its collaboration with XP Game Dev Summit, Level Up Showcase will be held in the sizeable Westin Harbour Castle this year.
This year, Level Up Showcase features notable Ontario schools such as Brock University, Toronto Metropolitan University, York University, George Brown College, McMaster University, and more.
In the past, Level Up Showcase has featured a number of games that have benefited from the event. In 2015, Pitfall Planet was the showcase winner. The game went on to release commercially on Steam as well as Nintendo Switch.
This year, Level Up Showcase will feature a number of games including Meep Morp Mania, a turn-based RPG. Moon Man is a VR title that will be on the showroom floor, where players embark on a journey. Also, Beekeeper Simulator is well, a beekeeper simulator. Players will learn the ins and outs of taking care of bees in their garden.
Ubisoft Toronto will also be in attendance as an official partner. The studio will be bringing several of its Ubisoft Indie Series winners to showcase their games. As announced by the studio, Rocket Adrift will show off Psychroma, a narrative-driven side-scroller. Additionally, Thousand Stars Studio will show off their VR game Milkyway.+
During the latter portion of the event, the Level Up Showcase award ceremony begins at 9 PM. It’s at this time that judges present awards for ‘Best Overall Game’, ‘Technical Innovation’, ‘Artistic Achievement’ and more. This year’s judges include members of Ubisoft, Gameloft, Zynga, Uken Games, and more. Additionally, Level Up Showcase presents the ‘People’s Choice’ award as well where attendees can test the available games and cast their vote on their favourite.
If you’d like to attend Level Up Showcase, you can RSVP for a free ticket here.