Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity will host the kick-off event for its second New York State Game Dev Challenge— an opportunity for students at state colleges and universities and indie developers in New York to bring their game ideas to production.

Winners in three categories will be awarded up to $25,000 in funding to aid in the development and production of their game; included in an on-site incubator at RIT, New York University or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for up to one year; and access to a mentor network. Entrants will be judged on their game idea pitch, game prototype, business plan, mentorship plan and development timeline.

The challenge is an initiative supported by Empire State Development and created by RIT, which was named one of three Digital Gaming Hubs in New York state. The objective for the Digital Gaming Hubs—which also include RPI and NYU—is to increase the economic impact to New York state by fostering innovation and creating collaborative activities that spur new games or companies as well as providing resources and mentoring to encourage students and entrepreneurs to enter the growing gaming industry. In addition, the gaming hubs will assist existing companies with gaming concepts, technologies and trends and host events focused on assisting the gaming community.

RIT’s MAGIC Center is a nonprofit university-wide research and development laboratory and a commercial production studio that assists in efforts to bring digital media creations up to marketplace standards and commercialization.

The kickoff event for the challenge, which started Jan.1, will take place at 4 p.m. on Jan. 19. Winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Strong National Museum of Play on April 12. RIT’s MAGIC Center held the inaugural challenge in 2017. Forty entries were received, including 18 from college students and 22 from indie game developers.