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Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion takes grand prize in ninth annual MassDiGI Game Challenge
Worcester, MA – February 10, 2020 – Turnip Boy Commits TaxEvasion by Yukon Wainczak of W. Springfield, MA swept through the ninth annual MassDiGI Game Challenge pitch contest on its way to winning the Grand Prize this past weekend.
Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is an adventure game where you play as an adorable turnip who just so happens to be an absolute menace to society. The game was created by designer/programmer/artist Yukon Wainczak along with designer/artist Jennifer Kindl, marketer Jordan Kegler - all of whom met while students at Becker College - with music from Flowerblvck.
“All our hopes for Turnip Boy were realized when we won the Game Challenge,” said Wainczak. “If you have a passion for making games then this is a required event. You learn so much from all the other competitors and the judges, too.”
The game edged entries from independent game developers as well as other student game development teams representing institutions such as WPI, Lesley University and Northeastern University. Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion will be released later this year.
“The feedback we received at the Game Challenge was amazing,” said Kindl. “We have a much better idea of the direction we need to go to produce the game we want to make and how to make it successful.”
The MassDiGI Game Challenge helps indie and student game developers and entrepreneurs sharpen their business focus and shape their ideas and products for launch. This year 22 teams from across the New England registered to compete in front of a crowded house at the Colleen C. Barrett Center for Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship on the campus of Becker College in Worcester.
Other winners included Mazu which took the top prize in the Indie Category. The game, a hack ‘n slash bullet hell inspired by Asian folklore that lets players explore a fresh and vibrant world and fight mythic monsters, was created by Greater Boston-based Oxhead Studios.
Since the MassDiGI Game Challenge began, over 300 different teams from around northeast and beyond have pitched games and taken home prizes valued at over $100,000. Top past winners include titles such as Feral Frontier, Salad Hunt, PWN, Catlateral Damage, Depression Quest and Starlot Derby.
The annual event is a showcase for the expanding game development community in the area. Over the event’s two days, dozens of game industry veterans served as judges and mentors.
As the Grand Prize, People’s Choice Award and a College & University Group Category winner, the Turnip Boy team won cash and other prizes valued at more than $2,500.
“This year’s contest was as competitive as I’ve seen,” said Monty Sharma, managing director of MassDiGI, “Each and every team was really impressive and the creativity and skills on display improves every year as do the games.”
The other College & University Group Category winners were Shattered Journal Games from Becker with Last Slice, a brawler where there’s one slice of pizza left so you have to fight for it with whatever you can find, but the longer you play, the weirder it gets and Geometrick Games from Becker with Grayland, a stress-free platformer where the player must bring color back into the world.
Runner-up awards went to:
Group – Crullers – College & University Category
-Net King’s Call by Greystone Games – Category Runner-up – Becker College, Baruch College, Berklee College of Music, Nova Southeastern Univ.
-Mailfolk by Jusiv – Category Second Runner-up – WPI
Group – Fritters – College & University Category
-The Call of Karen by Trumbus – Category Runner-up – tie – WPI
-Seahorse Saga by Abysso Games – Category Second Runner-up – Becker College
Group – Bear Claws – College & University Category
-WitchWorks by Sunburst Studio – Category Runner-up – WPI
-Weapons Inc. by Greystone Game – Category Second Runner-up – Nova Southeastern Univ.
Group – Cookies – Indie Category
-Don’t take it personally by DontTakeIt – Category Runner-up
-GigaSword by Hybrid Games – Category Second Runner-up
The Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI) is the statewide center for academic cooperation, entrepreneurship and economic development across the Commonwealth’s games ecosystem. Established in 2011 and based in Worcester at Becker College, MassDiGI has launched several initiatives that support entrepreneurship and strengthen the talent pipeline between higher education and the game industry. Well-known initiatives include the Summer Innovation Program and the Game Challenge – all of which bring students and professionals together to work on real projects. For more information, please visit www.massdigi.org.