Cal Poly Pomona’s Game Design and Development Club will host Southern California’s first intercollegiate game development conference, the Student Game Developer Alliance Summit, to expose and help students explore the pillars of video game development.

The May 20 conference will convene gaming clubs from eight other universities, each to provide their own workshops about game development methods and technologies.

“It’s educational, but also it’s meant to be inspiring for students, that this is something that they should be pursuing if it’s something that they do actually care about,” said fifth-year computer science student Kyle Turchik, a main organizer of the conference and president of the Game Design and Development Club.

The club will host the first-ever SGDA Summit in Southern California. (Courtesy of Game Design and Development Club)

Speakers from game development professions and companies, ranging from indie and AAA game developers to artists and musicians, will also share their expertise at the conference.

The idea of hosting this conference occurred to Turchik and members of gaming clubs from other universities back in February, as nothing like this has been done before.

He notes the painstaking process of planning such an event but that hosting the conference means a lot to him personally.

According to Turchik, one main motivation behind creating this conference is to educate students about the diversity of career options in the game development industry.

Tony Diaz, a computer science professor and advisor to the Game Design and Development Club, stresses the significance of holding the conference because of that.

“When it comes to game development, it’s not just being a computer programmer,” said Diaz. “Computer programming is a very core aspect of game development, but it’s not the only aspect when it comes to games.”

Additionally, Turchik wants the conference to inform students of the legitimacy of careers in game development.

“They may really love games, but they don’t consider going into game development because they either don’t think they can do it, or they are made to believe that that’s not a legit career,” he said.

Student networking is also a crucial goal of the conference. Students passionate about game development are encouraged to network with those of other universities.

“When you meet other people that are interested in doing what you’re doing, it is really inspiring,” said Turchik.

According to co-organizer Shaina Razon, a fourth-year graphic design student, game development expos like the Game Development Conference prove too costly and unfeasible for some to attend.

She highlights how the SGDA Summit enables students to explore the gaming industry and disregard costs.

“Having a conference like this exclusively for students or people that are really interested and passionate about developing or making video games, it’s a really good opportunity for them to find a more affordable way to just go,” Razon said.

Turchik intends for this conference to become an annual event, and Diaz expresses his support.

“Hopefully this isn’t the last time that it happens here,” said Diaz.

The SGDA Summit will take place from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on May 20 at the College of Business Administration.

Admission is free and open to students, and registration for the event is currently available on its website until May 1.

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