Attendance was up this year at the Heartland Gaming Expo along with a greater variety of booths, including Digico. Photos by Conner Maggio

Heartland Gaming Expo improves on past iterations

This year’s Expo predominantly featured VR setups and video games in development.

Heartland Gaming Expo continued to gather game developers from local communities and those who are equally as passionate about gaming for remarkable presentations. Heartland had a more impressive showing than in previous years, as well as more to show than ever before, with attendance and content. What was good about Heartland continued, and all that was bad got improved.

Branching out from previous years, there was increased diversity among booths, inviting artists and researchers. They still held competitions, as they do every year, separated into traditional games, elementary games, code jam, VR and the gallery show. A variety of local artists and gamers served as judges.

One of the coolest things about Heartland this year was the number of virtual reality games available There were about six setups in total for people to try out, each blocked off with black tape to avoid any accidents. It was cool seeing a new trend in gaming taken up by new developers almost immediately — and with successful results. These were among the busiest showcases because people were interested to see what VR is capable of in the hands of these developers.

Additionally, several booths detailed future ideas for board games, video games and sound design. Although most were incomplete, some had proof of concepts. Others just had the idea of what they wanted the concept to be, but all had art in some form for what visual style they wanted for their game.

Brian Kwiecinski, the announcer for the expo, said “the Heartland Gaming Expo is a great opportunity for aspiring developers to network and test out their latest games. The potential benefits to these programmers and designers from interacting with such a diverse group of individuals is a wonderful way the university is giving back to the community.”

The improvement and growth of Heartland is important for those interested in game development because it supports our local programmers and developers on their creative endeavors.

Those who wish to show off their skills are provided the means to do so, and those who want to gain new ideas also have their place at the expo. With the University of Tulsa’s growing computer simulation and gaming major, the need for this conference is apparent. It inspires students who are interested in this field to create work to show off their ability.

tucollegian | Collegian

Post Author: Conner Maggio