LSU Students Win Awards at World’s Largest Student-Led Game Design Competition

BATON ROUGE - Nearly two dozen LSU students participated in the world’s largest student-led game design competition last month. The event, called Chillennium, is hosted by Texas A&M University. According to the event’s website, the weekend event asks competitors to plan, design and develop a video game within 48 hours, while also being mentored by members of the gaming industry.

LSU students pose with their awards following their win at the world's largest student-led game design competition

LSU students won awards at the world's largest student-led game design competition in October.

"It was a really great opportunity to get hands-on experience with the production of a game. There was plenty of opportunities to network with people in the field who were all very enthusiastic to share their experiences,“ said Cameron Courtois, an undergraduate student from Prairieville, Louisiana, majoring in digital art.

“You’re surrounded by artists and creators, all just as passionate about what they’re making as you are. It really encourages you to push the envelope and create something you’re proud of, which I feel we did,” said Kathryn Nastasi, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, an undergraduate student majoring in information systems and decision sciences.

This was the second time a group from LSU competed. This year, students took home two awards.

“But the entire group won by participating in an exciting event, stretching their creative and technical abilities, and taking part in a unique opportunity that allows you to feel what it is like to work in the video game industry - even if just for 48 hours,” said Marc Aubanael, director of LSU’s Digital Media Arts and Engineering. “We demonstrated that our Louisianan teams can compete on an international level.”

For many students, it was their first time competing in this kind of event.

“Students had to create the art, audio and graphics for a game in a very short amount of time and learn to work with students they knew well, or have never worked with before. Most teams were multidisciplinary with students from various programs,” Aubanel said.

The LSU student group included undergraduate and graduate students, with majors in digital art, computer science and engineering. Aubanel said LSU’s computer science department, digital media arts & engineering, and the Center for Computation and Technology gave their support through funding and organizing the event.

“LSU went from no awards in 2018 to winning to prizes this year,” Aubanel said. “Team Chillennials won for best UX/UI for their entry, ‘A Number’s Game.’ Team Headspace won for best art.  Over 350 students competed in the tournament with teams coming as far as China to compete.”

“I would have never thought of winning at the nation’s largest student run game jam as being a possibility, until it happened. When I heard ‘Best in art goes to Ghost,’ my heart stopped. It was one of the best feelings knowing your team’s hard work was being noticed, especially after having a group cry session immediately after submitting. Game jam can be stressful but it is rewarding, and I plan to go to several more and work with my team, Ghost Garden Studios, again,” said Julia Grammes, a computer science major from Slidell, Louisiana.
The LSU student team included:

Elizabeth Alvarado - Computer Science major from Destrehan, Louisiana
Austin Beck - Digital Art major from Walker, Louisiana
Bryan Cary - Computer Science major from Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Ian Chen - Computer Science major from Pflugerville, Texas
Cameron Courtois – Digital Art major from Prairieville, Louisiana
Harrison Cunningham - DMAE master’s candidate from Montgomery, Alabama
Diamonick Dunn - Computer Science major from Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Samatha Durfee - Digital Art major from Deridder, Louisiana
Ashley Elliott - Computer Science major from Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Trace Farrell - Digital Art major from Slidell, Louisiana
Zane Farrell - Digital Art major from Slidell, Louisiana
Logan Finnell - Digital Art major from Walker, Louisiana
Julia Grammes - Computer Science major from Slidell, Louisiana
Gabriel Hardy – Engineering major from Madison, Mississippi
Jalon Jackson – DMAE master’s candidate from Houston, Texas
Milad Khanlou - DMAE master’s candidate from Tehran, Iran
Michael Kirschner - Digital Art major from Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Kayvan Korani - DMAE master’s candidate from Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Audrey Lejeune - Digital Art major from Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Mishawn Lolis - Computer Science major from, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Kathryn Nastasi - Information Systems and Decision Sciences from Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Victoria Surman - Computer Science major from Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Angele Thompson - Digital Art major from Mandeville, Louisiana




Contact Rachel Holland
LSU Media Relations