Now that the IMRC Center is open, a good question to ask is, “Now what?”

This is the first time we’ve had this sort access to tools, technology and information. In fact, there aren’t too many places in the world where you can have access to all the toys we get to play with without being employed by a big business or paying a lot of money. While there may be people who use laser cutters, CNC machines and 3D printers as part of their work, few people get to explore them as an extension of their creative process. Now what? What’s possible now for us that wasn’t just a few months ago?

For one possible answer, check out the game publisher Victory Point Games.

Victory Point Games was started by Alan Emrich, instructor of various game-related subjects such as Game DesignGame Prototyping, and Game Project Management at The Art Institute of California: Orange County.

“Wouldn’t it be cool if,” Alan reasoned, “I could desktop publish a few copies of some of my students’ better course project games? That way, when they graduate and go find jobs in the game industry, they’ll have a published title to their credit and a copy of it in their portfolios. That would certainly be a plus on their resume and at job interviews. What a great graduation gift I could give them!” (source)

It started with a color printer, a laser cutter, some students and an instructor with some good ideas. Since then they’ve gone on to publish dozens of games and to receive great critical acclaim from the gaming world. They’ve also had to upgrade their equipment and move into a bigger space to keep up with the demand for their products. More importantly, students are graduating with professional design and publishing experience. When they go to interviews, they can take this with them and say, “I am a game designer. Hire me.” instead of, “I’d like to be a game designer, please give me a chance.”

If Victory Point Games can accomplish all this with just a printer and a laser cutter, what can we do with all the resources we have access to at the IMRC?

I can’t wait to find out!