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Friday, October 25, 2013

48-Hour Game Jam on November 8th!

photo credit: gamedevhouse.com
The GameDev Club is holding its second game jam during the Veterans' Day weekend! We're hoping that having that Monday off will allow participants to still get homework done after the game jam is finished.
  • Starts: Friday, November 8th at 5:00pm
  • Ends: Sunday, November 10th at around 7:00pm
  • Location: Electrical and Computer Engineering building, room 105 (the IEEE room)
Please RSVP if you think you might come. This is a free event, and there will be free food all weekend!

What is a Game Jam?


A game jam is a super-fun, multi-disciplinary event where teams try to make a video game in only 48 hours. The main purpose of the event is to challenge yourself and gain new skills, so the event is open to everyone, regardless of skill level or experience. The game jam is also a great opportunity for artists and musicians to work on a game project and to see what it can be like to be part of a game development team.

In order to prevent people from starting their games early, every game has to be made around a theme, which is revealed at the start of the game jam. These themes are usually vague and open ended, so you'll have plenty of room to come up with something creative. For instance, the theme for our previous game jam was "evolution."

If you want to get a much better idea of what the game jam is like, click here to read about how our previous game jam went.

Schedule


On Friday, from 4:00pm to 5:00pm, many people will be transporting their computers, monitors, musical instruments, tablets, etc., into the room. If you want to bring anything earlier, please contact Livio at ldelac01@email.arizona.edu.

Then, from 5:00pm to 6:00pm, we're going to have a "social hour." During this time, participants will get a chance to eat some free dinner, talk to other participants, and most importantly, form teams. People also use this time to prepare their workspace so that they can work more closely with their team.

At 6:00pm, the theme is announced and everyone gets to work. This is when the 48-hour countdown begins, so everyone's games will be due on Sunday at 6:00pm.

Most people will go home during the first night so that they can get some sleep, and this is especially convenient for those who live on campus. Others, however, like to bring in sleeping bags and toothbrushes so that they can sleep in the room. We will have multiple officers on duty throughout the entire event so that we can keep an eye on everything and to make sure that nothing gets stolen or damaged.

On Sunday at 6:00pm, everyone will stop working, and everyone will get a chance to look at all of the games that have been made. We'll also start cleaning up and helping everyone get ready to go home. It's also likely that we might all decide to go out to some restaurant together for dinner (the food would not be free in this case).

Tips and Advice


Important: Please put the room's phone number into your phone contacts: (520) 626-7324. If you ever get locked out of the building during the event, you can then call this number and we will send someone to let you in. We will likely have poor cellphone reception throughout the event, since we will be in what is essentially the basement of the ECE building. This is why we insist that you call the room phone because that will be the most reliable. Also, the poor reception will eat away at your phone's battery, so you might want to bring your charger.

You should be able to get free parking in the parking lot next to the ECE building starting at 5:00pm on Friday. Parking on campus is usually free during the weekends, unless there's a big event such as a home football game.

Also, please plan to take a lot of breaks. It's not healthy to sit in front of a computer for more than a few hours at a time, so use this as an excuse to get up, go outside, and get some sun. One of the best things that we did during the last game jam was to have the entire team take breaks together, which made for some great team-bonding moments as we would just spend the break time goofing around and having fun.

And finally, don't get discouraged if you don't have a lot of experience! Usually half of our participants are new to game development, and the game jam is actually a great environment to learn how to build your first game. The constraints of the event will teach you how to focus on the most important parts of your game, and you'll get to more clearly see how your work gets translated into the final product.

Also, don't forget to RSVP!

Questions


If you have any more questions, please ask Zuoming at zuomingshi@email.arizona.edu.