NAIT students host first game development conference, aim for yearly event

by | Mar 7, 2024 | News

Members of the Game Creators Space Club at NAIT are hosting a free game development conference in the Productivity and Innovation Centre on March 9. The conference, called LevelUp, aims to connect students with professionals in Alberta’s gaming industry. It’s the first time the conference will happen, but the club is hoping to build on what they’ve learned to make LevelUp an annual event.

Mihiri Kamiss, President of the Game Creators Space and LevelUp’s Event Coordinator, thought of the idea for LevelUp last summer. “I was like, ‘I need to make this really big, I don’t think I can do it, I’ve never done anything like this before,’” she said.

Fortunately, NAITSA was willing to assist with funding to help the students execute their idea. A free conference was a priority, so the funding also helped them not charge for tickets. “I just want to connect people with each other,” Kamiss explained. The focus of LevelUp is to show students what life is like working in different game creator jobs.

“It’s just a chance to be a part of the community,” said Kamiss. “I think the video game industry is so passionate, and the people that it attracts are really passionate, and if you’re a part of it, you’re going to love this event.”

The conference will have two main components: convention-style booths for mingling and presentations by professionals in Edmonton’s indie game development scene, including NAIT-grad founded Room 322 Games – one of LevelUp’s sponsors.


The Game Creators Space reached out to MacEwan and University of Alberta students to attend the event as well. Kamiss explained that the conference is for any student in Edmonton interested in game development, but she also hopes to see NAIT Digital Media and IT students like herself attend. Along with the connections students will make, Kamiss believes it’s an opportunity for students to develop their soft skills before job-searching.

“When you’re a first-year student and you don’t have a lot of pressure on you to go out and network, you just don’t do anything. But since this is right at home, basically, it’s happening on campus, I think it’s a great opportunity for the people who are interested in this topic to go out and network in a low-risk environment.”

For Kamiss and the other club executives in the Game Creators Space, planning a conference like this while taking classes was a learning opportunity in itself.

“I learned so much about project management from this, and communication … I learned how to manage a team a lot better, and there’s a lot of things I’d do differently if I could start over,” said Kamiss. 

Now in her final year of the DMIT program and presidency with the Game Creators Space, Kamiss hopes the next president of the club will be able to learn from LevelUp’s first year and keep the conference going after she’s gone.

“I really want this to just keep happening and get bigger, and I’m praying to God that the next executives I choose are going to take my advice,” she said. “So, the handoff plan for that, I’m going to be really thorough with it. Because I want this to happen again.”

For more information about the Game Creators Space Club at NAIT and the LevelUp conference, visit the club’s Ooks Life page or check out their website.

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