Friday, February 1, 2013

Announcing UA Game Jam 2013!

The first UA Game Jam is coming, and it will be held on the weekend of Feb 22-24! RSVP here.

What is a "Game Jam?" 
For those who are in the dark, game jams are usually 48-hour game-creation events, but vary in duration from 24 to 72 hours. The events often welcome newcomers and experienced developers alike. These events are both competitive and co-operative, as entrants form their own teams during the event, and friendly compete with one another to produce the best game within the time-constraints. The games are constrained by one or multiple themes announced at the beginning of the Jam, but aside from that, entrants are given maximum freedom to build any game they want.

Why Game Jam? 
As the advantages of game jams gain recognition, more and more game jams are held around the globe. You may have heard about the recent Global Game Jam, which attracted over 10,000 individual participants; or the Ouya Game Jam, an unusual 10 day jam that produced 166 game prototypes for the new console. So why are game jams so popular? Gamasutra recently had an article on why you should join a game jam. Let me mention some of my own: Game Jams allows you to forge friendships in multiple disciplines, ones that may well last beyond the event. They also allow you to take the first steps in creating your own game, and even better: it forces you to create a game in merely days! No more indefinitely-long game projects. Finally, game jams are fun! Just scroll down to our last meeting summary, and you will see a proof of that.

The UA Game Jam 
Despite the popularity of game jams, many students of the UA never participated in a game jam. This is a pity, since UA is a huge repository of multidisciplinary talents. The UA game jam hopes to change that!
Participation is welcome to all UA affiliates regardless of skill and expertise. The event is without charge, though we welcome any donation.

Since the event will be held during the middle of the semester, we reduced the duration to 36 hours. We will be starting the timer at 6p.m, but we encourage you to arrive at 5pm to enjoy some social time with fellow entrants, whom you may be forming teams with later. The development phase ends at 6am, after which we will display each of our game creations, vote on the best games, and enjoy breakfast before biding farewell.
The event will be held in room 105 of the Electrical and Computer Engineering building, where the IEEE Club and Gamedev club hold their meetings. Large nearby classrooms will also be open for use (and for sleeping), and food will be provided for the entire duration for the event. To make sure we provide enough food and room and electricity to you, please fill out a RSVP form if you are going to attend!

(Stay tuned next week for a quick game jam survival guide!)