USC GamePipe Laboratory Fall 2016 Showcase

The USC Viterbi School of Engineering celebrates the GamePipe Laboratory’s Fall Showcase on Wednesday the 7th of December 2016, 11am to 2pm Shown at that event will be games & technologies built in classes held in the GamePipe Laboratory Fall semester, including work from the mobile, networked games, immersive, engines & advanced games courses.


Parking & Directions
Directions to the USC GamePipe Laboratory are here. We have reserved 40 spaces in Lot 29B, which is enterable from W 27th St at the bend with University Avenue. We have reserved an additional 40 spaces in the John Tracy Clinic immediately next door to the USC GamePipe Laboratory. The John Tracy Clinic parking lot entrance is 806 West Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007. The JTC Gate code is 5242 ENTER. Please park in the spaces immediately next to the USC GamePipe Laboratory, 746 West Adams Blvd. Please consider taking the Metro or Uber to our event!

Showcase Agenda

Advanced Games
The USC GamePipe Laboratory begins its eleventh year of CSCI-529 Advanced Games, the year-long game design & development course founded by the GamePipe Laboratory's Director, Michael Zyda, in Fall 2005. This year's games include students from multiple curricula throughout USC and outside universities such as the prestigious Game Art & Design Program at the Laguna College of Art & Design. The games chosen in the Spring 2016 contest for development over the next two semesters are the following:

  • BoltCraft: A cooperative, wave-based, third-person action game where you customize your robot's abilities and appearance and deploy helpful minions to defend yourself and your team against an onslaught of enemies. Web site is here.
  • Threshold: A VR escape room experience in a computer generated environment. Web site is here.
  • Polyminis: A sci­fi sandbox game about evolution; the player takes the role of a god­like entity that travels across the universe and guides evolution of species in diverse planets. Web site is here.
  • Sub-Earth: An underwater first-person virtual reality adventure game, where players experience an immersive subterranean world and use their wits to navigate a series of challenges to achieve their goals. Web site is here.
  • Ready or Not: A hide and seek game that brings the excitement of shooters to a non violent scenario. Web site is here.
  • Arkology - a virtual reality RTS game. Web site is here.
  • SpyTeam 3030: a spy-themed card game. Web site is here.
Mobile Games
  • BooBoo - an endless runner for Google cardboard. Web site is here.
  • SpaceMan - VR adventures in space. Web site is here.
  • Trojans Revival - 3D puzzle game on the USC campus. Web site is here.
  • Prison Escape - a VR locked room adventure. Web site is here.
  • Ink Fighter - fighting game with a unique artistic style. Web site is here.
  • Clash of Rhythm - is a strategy game with music game elements on mobile platforms. The player must conduct tactical movements of characters (units) across grid-based game maps and kill all the enemy units. Web site is here.
  • AR Mobile Strike - is an augmented reality tower defense game. The goal of the game is to protect the player's fortress from incoming waves of enemies. Web site is here.
  • Hulu King - is 3D ball rolling game, where the player tries to maneuver around, while avoiding obstacles and other hazards, by changing the ball size. Web site is here.
Networked Games
  • iStar VR - an online VR community. Web site is here.
  • Surrender - a networked FPS using Unreal with Counterstrike mechanics. Web site is here.
  • Tiny Bob - a cute racing platformer game. Web site is here.
Game Development
  • Spark - is a 2.5D space based survival game in which the player must navigate a ship through a series of levels using skill and ingenuity to bypass various types of obstacles and puzzles. Web site is here.
  • Struggle - is a 3D, first-person exploration game with a dark yet surreal art style. The adventure takes place within the dark, forest-like strands of a filthy carpet. Web site is here.
  • Spatial Billionaire - is a location-based game, in which, players grow rich by creating businesses and/or working for others in real world locations. Spatial Billionaire is a massively multiplayer online game in a cartoonish art style, with trending features such as virtual economy, users generated contents, idle progress, and social interaction. Web site is here.
  • Survival - is about how you survive a disaster, and the character will have the ability to foresee the danger and slow the time. Web site is here.
  • Tech demos from the CS-522 Game Engine Development course. Web site is here.

USC GamePipe Laboratory Seminar Series

Title: Introduction to Online Services & Backend infrastructure for Call of Duty
Tuesday, 29 November 2016, 10:00am
Speaker: Amit Bhura & Jon Albaugh, Online Team, Activision Treyarch
Location: USC GamePipe Laboratory, EGG-108
When we discuss about game development, we come across disciplines like gameplay, graphics, AI, etc., but a robust online infrastructure is now an almost ubiquitous requirement for a successful title. With the growing demand of networked AAA games, performance and reliability of Online services is as important as any other aspect of the game engine, and these services go far beyond gameplay networking - covering many aspects of backend systems interaction from Social to Big Data. As representatives from the Online team at Treyarch, we will be covering details of some of our services and backend infrastructure. We will be talking about what it takes to keep these Online services running and millions of Call of Duty players connected 24/7.


Amit Bhura is a Senior Engineer with Online Team at Treyarch. He has been credited for titles like Black Ops, Black Ops 2 and Black Ops 3. He has worked on many different aspects of Black Ops games, focusing mostly on core online and UI. Over these years he was responsible for shipping In-Game Store and various user content creation systems like Paintshop, Emblem Editor and Gunsmith. He received his MS in Computer Science from USC in 2009 as part of the USC GamePipe Laboratory.

Jon Albaugh is a Software Engineer with the Online Services team at Treyarch. Over his four years at Treyarch he has worked on various systems including tools, gameplay prototypes, UI, and eSports initiatives. Before Treyarch, he worked at Activision and Infinity Ward developing tools to connect systems between studio and publisher. He received a Film Production degree at Loyola Marymount University in 2012, and is a self-taught software engineer.

USC GamePipe Laboratory Seminar Series

Anshul Dhawan
Title: Game Analytics for Data Driven Game Development
Monday, 14 November 2016, 2:00pm
Speaker: Anshul Dhawan, Product Lead for Growth Team, Zynga
Location: USC GamePipe Laboratory, EGG-108
With advancements in data technologies, the speed of getting feedback has increased many folds that allows for rapid iteration process. Game development process has shifted from “design, develop, release” to “design, develop, release, and fine tune forever”. In the game industry today, analytics is used heavily to develop strategies for monetization and long term player retention. To create successful games, great game design with high production quality is not enough to can keep millions different kind of players engaged. Game developers have to ensure that they are collecting all the data as the player interacts with each aspect of the game. Very granular game data enables diving deeper into analyzing player behaviors that can be used to predict their tenure and spend in the game. As games are a piece of art, data can best inform you on how to make a game better by highlighting the issues, it can’t create the game for you. So maintaining the balance between the science and art is key for creating highly addictive games. Data, psychology, and qualitative player feedback working together can best inform developers. Using data can get you there faster, provide unbiased feedback (depending on who is analyzing it...this isn't perfect) and help ask the right questions.
Anshul Dhawan is a Product lead for the Growth team at Zynga focusing on new game platforms. He recently oversaw the launch of Words with Friends on the new iMessage App Store. Prior to that he was a product lead in the analytics organization at Zynga where he led the development of an experimentation platform and player segmentation/user targeting tool that allows game developers to personalize player journeys inside the game. He joined Zynga as software engineer on Zynga Poker before switching to a product management. He graduated from USC’s GamePipe Laboratory in 2010.

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