Becker team takes grand prize in MassDiGI Game Challenge
Published on: February 11, 2020
A team of Becker College students won the grand prize in the ninth annual MassDiGI Game Challenge pitch contest. Their game, Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion, was created by designer/programmer/artist Yukon Wainczak, designer/artist Jennifer Kindl, and marketer Jordan Kegler.
Turnip Boy is an adventure game where you play as an adorable turnip that just so happens to be an absolute menace to society. The game features music from Flowerblvck. As the Grand Prize, People’s Choice Award, and a College & University Group Category winner, the Turnip Boy team won cash and other prizes valued at more than $2,500. The game will be released later this year.
“All our hopes for Turnip Boy were realized when we won the Game Challenge,” said Wainczak.
Other winning teams from Becker College included Shattered Journal Games with their game Last Slice, a brawler where there’s one slice of pizza left so you have to fight for it with whatever you can find—but but the longer you play, the weirder it gets, and Geometrick Games, with their game Grayland, a stress-free platformer where the player must bring color back into the world.
The MassDiGI Game Challenge helps indie and student game developers and entrepreneurs sharpen their business focus and shape their ideas and products for launch. This year, 22 teams from across New England registered to compete in front of a crowded house at the Colleen C. Barrett Center on the College’s Worcester Campus.
“If you have a passion for making games, then this is a required event,” Wainczak said. “You learn so much from the all the other competitors and, of course, the judges too.”
The annual event is a showcase for the expanding game development community in the area. Over the event’s two days, dozens of game industry veterans served as judges and mentors.
“The feedback we received at the Game Challenge was amazing,” said Kindl. “We have a much better idea of the direction we need to go to produce the game we want to make and how to make it successful.”
Turnip Boy edged entries from independent game developers as well as other student game development teams representing institutions such as WPI, Lesley University, and Northeastern University. Mazu took the top prize in the Indie Category. The game, created by Greater Boston-based Oxhead Studios, was inspired by Asian folklore and lets players explore a fresh,vibrant world and fight mythic monsters.
Since the MassDiGI Game Challenge began, over 300 different teams from around Northeast and beyond have pitched games and taken home prizes valued at over $100,000. Top past winners include titles such as Feral Frontier, Salad Hunt, PWN, Catlateral Damage, Depression Quest, and Starlot Derby.
“This year’s contest was as competitive as I’ve seen,” said Monty Sharma, managing director of MassDiGI. “Each and every team was really impressive, and the creativity and skills on display improve every year as do the games.”
Runner-up awards went to:
Group – Crullers – College & University Category
Net King’s Call (Greystone Games) – Category Runner-up – Includes students from Becker College, Baruch College, Berklee College of Music, Nova Southeastern University
Mailfolk (Jusiv) – Category Second Runner-up – WPI
Group – Fritters – College & University Category
The Call of Karen (Trumbus) – Category Runner-up – WPI
Seahorse Saga (Abysso Games) – Category Second Runner-up – Becker College
Group – Bear Claws – College & University Category
WitchWorks (Sunburst Studio) – Category Runner-up – WPI
Weapons Inc. (Greystone Games) – Category Second Runner-up – Nova Southeastern Univ.
Group – Cookies – Indie Category
Don’t take it personally (DontTakeItTeam) – Category Runner-up – Becker College
GigaSword (Hybrid Games) – Category Second Runner-up – Framingham State
To learn more about MassDiGi, visit their website at MassDiGI. To learn more about Becker College’s Interactive Media Design program, which includes concentrations in Game Arts, Game Audio, Game Design, Game Development and Programming, and Game Production and Management, go to Interactive Game Design