What is a Game Jam?
A game jam is an event where people get together and make games over the 48 hours of a weekend. While that may not sound like much time, you’d be surprised at what you can do with a motivated team and a short amount of time. Participants prototype, design and create a video game based on a secret theme that is announced at the start of the event. The constraints of the time limit and secret theme encourages creative thinking between participants with different backgrounds and skill sets, and results in small but innovative or experimental games.
Don’t stress that you might not have a finished product by the end of the weekend. Game jams are about discovery, innovation, and creativity. Not everyone has a finished product at the end – one of your biggest takeaways is a valuable learning experience. The “jam” in “Game Jam” is a reference to the musical jam sessions performed by bands and artists. The biggest reason to join a game jam is to have fun. Either exploring a new gaming concept or practicing your artistic skills, you will have a blast learning and making new friends – all while developing and playing video games!
Learn. Make. Play.
You learn through introductory tutorials on game development, from expert volunteers, and from an expert speaker. These tutorials are targeted towards both programmers and game designers. The tutorials will all use the Unity3D Game Engine.
You make your own game. This is the majority of the event. You have from Friday night, after our “kickoff” event until Sunday afternoon to build your game. Throughout this time, volunteers will circulate to offer assistance. To fuel the development, pizza lunches will be provided at noon on both Saturday and Sunday.
You play your own and others’ creations. On Sunday the games will be showcased and judges will play the games in order to determine the winners. Following this, everyone will head to a lecture hall where winners will be announced. This part of the event is open to the public, so invite your friends!