Rochester boasted three winners in the second round of the New York State Game DEV Challenge. Students from Rochester Institute of Technology students took home top honors, while Peter Lazarski, placed third in the Independent Developer category, for Abyxsis.

First-place winners in both categories each won $12,000; second-place winners in both categories each won $8,000; and third-place winners in both categories each won $5,000.

The money is to be used to aid in the development and production of their games. Winners will also be included in an on-site incubator at RIT, New York University or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for up to one year and will have access to a mentor network.

The challenge invited students enrolled in New York State colleges and universities, and independent developers residing within the state, to bring innovative ideas to production by applying to win awards to support the development of digital games. Applicants were judged on their game idea pitch, prototype, business and mentorship plans, and development timeline.

“These developers are the best of the best and are fueling the growth of the burgeoning digital gaming industry across New York,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “I congratulate all of today’s the winners in this innovative sector, and I am looking forward to their further collaboration with our expanding digital gaming hubs as they develop this next generation of digital technology in the Empire State.”

Here’s a closer look at the winners:

Student category:

First place: RIT– Aesthetician Labs: Noah Ratcliff, a third-year game design and development major from Columbus, Ohio; Aidan Markham, a third-year game design and development major from Rochester, NY; and Sam Cammarata, a second-year game design and development major from Holland, NY, for Crazy Platez.

Second place: RIT– Team Odyssey: Alexander Woodward, a fourth-year game design and development major from Centerville, OH; Stephen Callan, a third-year game design and development major from Pittsburgh; Justine Levine, a third-year game design and development major from Somers, NY; and Edward Opich, a third-year game design and development major from Conesus, NY, for Odyssey.

Third place: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute — Team Tunacat: Fanghong Dong, a second-year games and simulation arts and sciences major from China; and Hongyang Lin, a second-year games and simulation arts and sciences major from China, for Mastery.

Independent Developer category:

First place: Razbury Games—Dean Razavi, from New York, NY, for From Rust.

Second place: Snow Day Software—Colby Breidenstein and Brian Russ, from Buffalo, NY, for Hovership Havoc.

Third place: Third place: Imaginary Monsters—Peter Lazarski, from Rochester, NY, for Abyxsis.

The winners were selected at an event hosted by Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity at the Strong in Rochester. In total, the competition received 25 entries.