Cogswell College Game Studio Student to Present School-Developed, Mobile App Game at SIGGRAPH 2014

Cara Ricci to present "Tangram Jam" Game during SIGGRAPH 2014's "Appy Hour" in Vancouver August 13th.
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Sunnyvale, CA, August 4, 2014-- Cogswell College, a leading educational institution offering a unique curriculum fusing Art, Engineering and Entrepreneurship, will have a student from its Game Studio present a newly produced, school-developed, mobile app game during the 2014 SIGGRAPH Conference's "Appy Hour" showcase in Vancouver. The announcement was made by Jerome Solomon, Cogswell's Dean of the College & Director of Game Design & Development program.

Cara Ricci, one of Cogswell's Game Design Art students participating in the project-based learning Game Studio, will be presenting the new game, entitled Tangram Jam, at SIGGRAPH. The game was developed and produced as part of a Cogswell Game Design & Development course. SIGGRAPH's "Appy Hour" is designed to showcase the next generation of mobile applications and their creators. Demos by developers of interactive, animated, location-based, visualization and game apps will be presented at SIGGRAPH's West Building, Exhibit Hall A, on Wednesday, August 13th, from 5:30 - 7:30 PM. 

Tangram Jam is an iOS and Android mobile educational puzzle game created by students attending Cogswell's Game Studio. The game is aimed at 3rd and 4th grade students, and has been designed to teach them concepts of adding fractions. The game leverages visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning style techniques in a fun and stimulating environment. 3D characters and procedurally generated music are also featured in the game.

To view a teaser trailer of Tangram Jam's user interface, please see:

To view an interview with two other Cogswell students who worked on the new game, please see:

Jerome Solomon said, "Cara Ricci's contribution to the exciting new kids game Tangram Jam has been invaluable. She completely redesigned our user interface and contributed much of the game's UX (user experience).  She also worked as a character animator on our team. The look and feel, UX, and animations featured in this new game are critical to making its game play experience fun and engaging for 3rd and 4th grade students."

Adds Cara Ricci, "Almost everything on this project was new and different for me, since I had never previously worked on a video game project with a team comprised of more than five people. There was a lot of teaching and learning from each other, since we had to pass off work and take on unfamiliar tasks. It was exciting for me to have learned such a huge amount of information in a very small period of time. Our original idea was to develop a game that would teach fractions to children in a fun and visually pleasing manner. I believe that the kids who ultimately play Tangram Jam will learn math through shape and color association, as well as how fractions are basically pieces of a whole. Hopefully, it will also teach them how to make decisions quickly, and how to organize and categorize within a restricted time limit."


The mobile game Tangram Jam was built and designed by students attending Cogswell's Game Studio -- a project-based learning environment similar to industry game studios.  The college students came together to collaborate on a team as part of the Game Studio's courses culled from several programs - including game engineering, audio production, audio engineering, game art, animation and animation engineering.  The game's title pays tribute to a pre-existing physical puzzle game which uses wooden "tangrams" to create shapes and/or fit into squares, while the word "jam" highlights the musical elements featured in the game.

In addition to the involvement of Cara Ricci on Tangram Jam, Cogswell students Jennifer Hicks created the original UI design, and Sean Sercombe developed the UI implementation into the game and some UX. The project included a real external client on the East Coast, with whom the Cogswell team connected via Skype teleconferencing. The students also used a revision control system, Maya, Unity, C# (C-Sharp,) and python programming to complete the work. From an educational perspective, the game team behind Tangram Jam covered multiple important learning styles - including visual, auditory and kinesthetic. 

Tangram Jam was play-tested for quality assurance in local elementary schools. To read more on this, please see:

For additional information about courses offered as part of Cogswell's Game Design & Development program, please see:


Designed as a "fiercely collaborative, living laboratory," Cogswell College is located in the heart of the legendary Silicon Valley in Sunnyvale, California. The school is a WASC accredited, four-year institution of higher education with a specialized curriculum that fuses Digital Arts, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship. By blending art with engineering, Cogswell offers students a unique educational culture by training them across every step of the delivery pipeline. 

With a distinguished history of more than 125 years, Cogswell's unique academic approach offers an integrated model that has long been associated with "best practice" in the industries and communities it serves. Cogswell students are exposed to a collaborative, project-based, learning experience which integrates multi-disciplinary teams to take original projects from concept to production to implementation. 

Numerous alumni of Cogswell College have secured prominent positions within the entertainment, videogame, technology, computer, animation, and motion graphics industries throughout California and beyond. Several of these alumni have established careers with such high profile companies as Activision, DreamWorks Animation, Disney, Electronic Arts, Pixar, and Microsoft Game Studio. Many other alumni have launched their own creative ventures.

Recent Cogswell alumi were members of the Academy Award-winning production teams which worked on the blockbuster films "Frozen" and "Life of Pi." Some of the other well-known consumer projects to which Cogswell alumni have contributed include the feature films "Madagascar," and "The Avengers," and the popular videogames "Modern Warfare 3," "Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" and," Gears of War 3."  Additionally, animated short films conceived and produced by Cogswell students have gone on to win prestigious awards, including those presented by the California International Animation Festival, the Colorado Film Festival, the Oregon Film Festival, the Miami Film Festival, the Philadelphia Film & Animation Festival, the San Jose Short Film Festival, and Canada's International Film Festival. 

Cogswell College is located at 1175 Bordeaux Drive, Sunnyvale, California, 94089. For more information, please call 1-800-264-7955 or visit: 

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