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A Trip to Schell Games

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This past Thursday, May 12th we had the chance to Stack Up with the developers at Schell Games during their open house as a part of Remake Learning Days, a week-long celebration of activities and events showcasing everything that makes the Pittsburgh region a recognized national leader in innovative teaching and learning.

That focus on education and innovation made the trip to Schell Games all the more interesting and enjoyable. The evening started up with what could best be described as a developer panel much like what you would expect to see at a convention like PAX. After introducing themselves the developers at Schell Games took questions from the old and young about games and the various disciplines with-in game development.

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It was an informative and entertaining chat but the evening was far from over. The folks at Schell Games then let the crowd loose as it were to sample some of the past and present projects. Available to play were a few games I am very interested in one being Orion Trail which is a throwback to its namesake but in spaaaaace. It also features a quirky sense of humor that makes the game all the more enjoyable.

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They also had the VR title I Expect You To Die available to try on Oculus Rift. I had the chance to play this game at PAX so I stood back and enjoyed watching others, which for many was their first VR experience, play the game. It was an amazing moment seeing people come face to face with this emerging technology.

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Smiles were had all around and I am sure many a young person was inspired to go home and dream about a path to making their own game. That was what was so cool about this whole outing to me. Schell Games has brought innovation and technological expertise right into my back yard. For someone who still remembers the acres of mills that encircled the city the transition of the region to a the digital age still surprises me.

The skyline across the river echoes this with the mix of modern glass and steel monoliths rising up between the forest of much smaller, older, brick and mortar buildings of Pittsburgh’s past. The studio itself is even a reflection of the city in its own way, being part of the railroad station that Station Square now makes home.

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Once coal and steel left the station and thundered down the rail traveling all over the country. Now it is code, entertainment, education, and digital magic that travels out of the Schell Games Station.

I want to thank the people at Schell Games for opening up their doors and letting the public have a peek inside. The folks at Schell Games also made a generous donation of many game codes for Orion Trail so we here at Stack Up wish to thank them for that! It was a fantastic evening and I am glad I had the chance to Stack Up with Schell Games!

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