Otronicon, a four-day technology event hosted at the Orlando Science Center, will feature several exhibits, activities and guest speakers from UCF, one of the sponsors of the 11th annual show.
Otronicon engages all ages with the growing digital-media industry, including video gaming, simulation, robots, virtual reality and other fields.
In addition to UCF, visitors to the show Thursday through Monday can learn about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers and interact with technology created by local companies Lockheed Martin, EA Sports, Disney and others. Gamers will be able to create their own games and an art gallery also will combine technology and art.
“The experience has the opportunity to inspire interest in science and tech careers,” said Jennine Miller, public relations specialist at the science center. “Get a preview of tomorrow’s technology through interaction with some of our community’s up-and-coming start-ups and established players.”
UCF exhibitors will be the E2i Creative Studio, School of Visual Arts & Design, Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy and the College of Psychology.
Here are the UCF activities at Otronicon:
The UCF STEAM Exhibition will present paintings, drawings, photographs and 3-D artworks created by university fine arts students and UCF CREATE elementary students in response to STEM topics.
Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, the No. 2 ranked graduate game design school in the nation, will have a booth with students, alumni and faculty showing examples of student work and demonstrating the Oculus Rift virtual reality system.
2 p.m. Friday and Sunday – Project Spark. Paul Varcholik from FIEA will introduce participants to game programming using Project Spark on the Xbox One. Students will set up an avatar with the ability to move, jump and shoot. Target audience: middle school students.
10:30 a.m. Saturday and Monday – Virtual Reality. Nick Zuccarello from FIEA will lead a workshop about the challenges of developing content for virtual space.
2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday – “How Building Legos is Like Building Games.” Ron Weaver from FIEA will lead a workshop about developing games and what to do when all the pieces of the system don’t seem to mesh.
Noon Saturday and Sunday – Paper Prototyping. This workshop will show how to make paper prototypes so game designers can first try out their idea to see if it is fun before writing the first code.
1 p.m. Monday – Game Production: The Stuff You Don’t Think About. Production is about more than just making a game. Other things to consider are Webservices, version control, hardware, documentation and peripherals. Presented by UCF’s Alexia Mandeville from the E2i Creative Studio
2 p.m. Monday – Girls That Game. Mandeville will be part of a panel on the growing field of women developing video games.
3 p.m. – The Science and Business of VR. This presentation will address the current state of virtual reality and how virtual-environment applications will fit in our future. Presented by Mike Macedonia, UCF’s assistant vice president for research and innovation.
E2i created Otronicon’s first event app to track visitors throughout the event and also include an interactive game to keep people engaged.
The School of Visual Arts & Design and E2i will presenting the 3rd annual Otronicon Game Jam, Plug In & Jam, at which jammers will have 30 hours to create a new game from scratch.
The Department of Psychology will display avatars to talk with visitors so the artificial intelligence entities can increase their language skills. The project’s long-term goal is to use these avatars in treatment for children who are shy and would like to overcome their shyness and have fun talking to other people.
The Orlando Science Center is at 777 E. Princeton St. For a complete schedule of Otronicon events, activities and admission costs, click here.