ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) -Local game developers and supporting organizations leveling up at the Albany Capital Center with 1UpState. The convention is a celebration of games and the people who make them here in New York.
From fighting robots and big bosses in “PowerBots Retro” to learning Japanese while solving puzzles in “So to Speak“, all these experiences are being made by local gamers. Independent developers were showcasing demos of up-and-coming titles such as “Hearth and Holmes” in return for feedback from eager players.
“I like making stories and I like interweaving them with an interactivity. It just gets people involved in the story and it’s so much more fun, thus games,” described Open Sorcery Games President, Abigail Corfman.
Speakers taught developers and gamers alike on topics such as voice acting and esports. These developers came out swinging not as competitors, but allies of the local gaming scene.
“It really feels great to be a part of that. The growing community that really is very, very nice and helps each other out,” said Yurisoft Writer and Programmer of “The Songbird Guild,” Tess Wainwright.
For some, video games are a safe place for gamers to express themselves and cope with struggles. Guardians Mental Health is a nonprofit that encourages developers to add mental health resources to their games regardless of genre. “It’s leading them to reach out for next-step support or at least go down and look in through the resources while they are playing the game,” explained Guardians MH Founder and Executive Director, Joseph Telesk.
A career in gaming can be either self-taught or launched through a college degree. Students not only showcased their own levels but also got to meet one-on-one with the pros.
“Being able to communicate with locals and get that job experience. So that if they want to move onto the higher-tier jobs, which everyone wants to, this might be the best opportunity for that,” stated SUNY Polytechnic Institute Assistant Professor of Interactive Media and Game Design, Nick LeJeune.
An after-party followed the convention, allowing everyone to come together to play some more games. Organizers say plans are in progress for another 1UpState in 2024.