Heading to the 11th Game Lab Competition: a sneak peak of the prototypes in the running

Last week, jury members and colleagues from Montreal, Saguenay and Quebec City analyzed and evaluated the prototypes of the 21 teams participating in the Game Lab Competition.

The jury was composed of:

Marie-Ève Danis, Producer and President of the jury
Bio Jade Adam Granger, Editorial Vice President
Klarissa Armada, Marketing Product Lead
Alexandre Audette-Génier, Technical Lead
Laurent Chouinard, Programming Project Lead
Vanessa Filion-Tremblay, Animation Team Lead
Francis Gagnon, Audio Designer
Daniel Lucchesi, Presentation Director

This year’s theme “Apart // Together” reflects the new Covidian reality. Here’s a brief review in pictures and words of what they had fun discovering for the first time.

We went to the source, asking jury members directly for their impressions of the 2021 crop. They were full of praise for this beautiful, 100% virtual cohort. Here’s what they had to say:

Jury President Marie-Ève Danis told us, “We laughed, we had fun, it was a great week full of surprises! Many of the gameplays were original and some games would have deserved – with development support, of course – to be in early access on Steam. There were a couple of times I had to force myself to stop playing so I could continue evaluating and give the same time to each prototype. I’d like to tell them that regardless of the outcome at the gala, we were amazed with the work they did and their games gave us some great moments.”

Equally impressed was Daniel Lucchesi.

It’s really inspiring to see such small teams covering all spheres of development to build a complete game. And they figured out what works: games with an easy-to-grasp, high-intensity gameplay loop!

And Alexandre Audette-Génier was in awe by the way the teams worked with the constraints in the mandate. “The teams made good use of the theme, implementing mechanisms that allowed clear communication between players, whether they were together or apart.” Klarissa Armada added, “For most of the games, they had to work as a team to progress. Many prototypes required player 1 to perform one task while player 2 performed another. This made for a rich and complete game experience.”

Vanessa Fillion-Tremblay and Laurent Chouinard are optimistic about the future. “The prototypes presented really reflect market trends. The theme led to online cooperation, which falls right in line with current hits like Among Us or Agar.io,” commented Vanessa.

Laurent continued,

What we’ve seen in evaluating these prototypes is that there’s a whole new generation on the horizon. Not only did we see some creative and innovative proposals, but also some really high-quality games. I’m not worried about our industry, it’s in good hands.

This bodes well for the grand unveiling of the winners at the gala April 29. Thanks again to our panel of experts! Thank you for your time, dedication and professionalism in analyzing and evaluating the games. All this work is invaluable to our young video game enthusiasts.

The young teams proudly represent l’École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), École NAD-UQAC, Polytechnique Montréal, Université Concordia, Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC), Université Laval, Université McGill, UQAT Montréal and Champlain College of Vermont – Campus MTL.

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