Last weekend, 14 students from the School of Information Technology and Computing participated in the Global Game Jam, the world’s largest game creation event.
Global Game Jam was founded in 2009 and is a 48-hour event in which participants build video games from organized locations all over the world. In January 2015, 28,800 registered participants across 78 countries created 5,439 games during the collaborative event.
This year’s event began Friday afternoon in the Mabee Business Building where participants watched a keynote video that gave advice from professional game developers and were introduced to this year’s theme which was “Ritual.” Participants are allowed to choose to design their game using the theme or build a game using their own idea.
Dr. Brian Burton has organized university participation for the game jam for the past five years and says the jam is a fun way for students to express their creativity outside of class.
“It’s just fun to see so much interest and excitement in building a game,” Burton said. “You can get bogged down in the work of creating a game and this is just a chance to come together and have fun doing it.”
The game that was the closest to being finished, Burton said, was a game called Project Maya, a multiplayer racing game where characters chase one another around the Mayan calendar. Caleb Martin, sophomore digital entertainment technology major from Breckenridge, was on the team that created the game.
“I ended up diving in head first, but it wasn’t stressful at all,” Martin said. “It was just straight up fun because you could choose whatever you wanted to do.”
This was Martin’s second time participating in the Global Game Jam. He said since he had more experience in game development, he was able to be more involved than the first time he participated; which made this year’s jam more enjoyable.
“DET majors specifically tend to accumulate a whole bunch of projects,” Martin said. “The game jam is a great kind of outlet so that you’re not only working on school projects. It’s a great way to kind of sidetrack yourself while also doing something you love.”