Small DePaul event helps showcase students’ game design ideas


Bianca Cseke | The DePaulia

DePaul University Lincoln Park campus.

DePaul’s Game Design Salon serves as a mini conference for students of the MFA Game Design program to discuss various topics related to game design. 

The open-mic style event, held in the Daley building in the loop, was inspired by the potluck event of the same nature that the program had at Indie Co-Op. According to its website, Indie Co-Op is a place for game designers to host events and for artists to experiment.

One of the people to present their ideas at the Game Design Salon was second-year graduate student, Monica Fan. Her presentation discusses responsible designing of sex and romance in games. 

“In especially western game design, romance is usually being overlooked or portrayed in a very stereotypical way,” explains Fan.

Fan explains that she will do her talk at the Game Developers Conference, which has been postponed at this moment due to the Coronavirus. She plans to speak during the “Sexy Microtalks: Designing Sex and Emotion” which would speak on how sex and emotions are designed in video games.

The point of doing her presentation over this topic is to shed light on how romance is portrayed in video games. She describes that video games tend to portray a “heroine-style” type of romance or something she calls a “teenage boy fantasy.”

During her presentation at the DePaul Game Salon Fan shows off a couple of video games that she designed herself. One being called Caturday where you choose to kill, marry, or date someone based off of the description. It’s called Caturday as she uses the likeness of a cat as the “person” you choose to kill, marry, or date. The funny twist being that the descriptions are taken from OkCupid bios.

Another presenter, Jes Klass, had a different approach to her presentation. She gave a PechaKucha presentation which is where there are 20 slides and each slide is 20 seconds each. With each slide, the presenter has to make up a story about the picture on the slide. In Klass’ case, each slide consisted a picture of a random pet.

During the event, the presentation was essentially a stand-up routine as each story clearly had a punchline. One slide had a picture where a cat is perceivably screaming in fear with a Christmas tree in the background. Klass starts off stating “Clearly, we’re Jewish.” The funny story resonated with everyone as everyone burst into laughter.

Another funny twist of the night was when Dave Pickett, the organizer of the event, gave his own presentation. He essentially gives his own conspiracy theory about Wailugi in relation to Mario, infamous characters of the popular Mario Bros universe.

He dives into why Wailuigi was made in the first place and how his story connects with the other characters of the Mario Bros universe. When Pickett first starts his presentation, he makes a pretty funny statement: “It’s not ‘who is Wailuigi’ but it’s ‘WHY is Wailuigi.’”

The event also featured a presentation about minimalist music. Minimalist music tends to be of minimal instruments, repeated patterns, and consistent harmonies. Whenever you play video games, there tends to be music playing and it usually starts off with one instrument; once you get closer to an enemy within the game, the music builds and more instruments join in. 

Another presenter discussed his homeland Taiwan. The presenter, Eddie Wen-to Chang, discusses the basic geography and the agriculture of the country. He discusses the history of how the country became the country it is now.

The laid-back vibe of the event can be contributed to the pizza and coffee refreshments. DePaul’s Game Design Salon was an informal conference for graduate students to share their thoughts on various topics. The event itself was practice for a few for something bigger, while it was something fun to do for others.