Thursday, October 13, 2016

Buckle up, because this week's meeting was jam-packed with not one, not two, not four, but three talks about GDC, Blender, and this weekend's Game Jam!  That's a veritable gauntlet of talks.  In fact, it might just be enough to justify a adding series of headers to break up this blog post.

Talk #1: GDC Trip Information

Thinking about going on the club's annual GDC trip?  Talk to Joseph Corona!  He's responsible for planning the trip this year, and this week he gave a talk about all about the conference, the trip, and the secret machinations he's been working on all semester.

For the full information, the slides are here.  For now, there are two important thing you need to know: 
  1. An initial $100 payment for all attendees will be required next month.  No pressure, but you should really be sure if you want to go by then.
  2. Applications for GDC Conference Associates are open!  This is the most affordable way to attend, so be sure to apply if you can!

Talk #2: Blender for Beginners

Another Joseph, Joseph Scheidemandel, gave a talk/demo for Blender, the world's most popular and most intimidating open-source 3D modeling program!  He demonstrated how to create a simple 3D model and import it into your Unity project in what felt like seconds, to the slack-jawed awe of his fellow members.  Seriously, watching him work was a sight to behold.  Thanks, Joseph!

He also recommended these Blender learning resources:

Talk #3: Surviving Your First Game Jam

Finally, Cynthia and I shared some tips for the upcoming Game Jam, our semi-annual event where you can purchase our world-famous video-game-inspired jams and jellies  make a game in a single weekend!  Oh, that's this weekend, by the way.  If you didn't know that, then either I haven't been doing my job, or you really haven't been paying attention.  Hope to see you all there!  You can find our slides here.

A few more important announcements:
  • Next Friday, October 21st will be a game night!  Bring games!  And friends!  Bring game friends!
  • The following Saturday, October 22nd will be a Sandbox!  Bring sand!  And boxes!  Actually, no, don't do that.
See you next week!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

You can get the basic info and sign up for the event right here!

What's a Game Jam?

You have one weekend to form a team and build a game! Game Jams are exciting and fun opportunities for students of all experience levels to engage in game development.

Do I need to come with lots of experience or a set team?

No to both! Even if you don't have any real game development experience, the Game Jam is the perfect place to get started and make your first game! As for teams, most participants show up without a team, meet people at the reception, and form a team right before the Game Jam starts.

When and where does the Game Jam start?

The event kicks off at 6:00 PM, Friday, October 14, in ECE 105 (Electrical and Computer Engineering, room 105) , but we encourage participants to come to the reception starting at 5:30, where they can socialize and form teams.

When does the Game Jam end?

The closing ceremony happens at 12:00 PM, Sunday, October 16. There, teams present their games to the judges and contestants, and we announce a winner!

Do I have to stay at the event for its duration?

Nope! Most teams do choose to stay at the event, but the only parts of the Game Jam that participants absolutely have to attend are the kickoff and the closing ceremony. On the other hand, the event runs continuously for its duration, so some teams choose to stay overnight!

What restrictions are placed on teams and their games?

We only ask that teams make new games, instead of working on existing projects. Reusing individual assets, such as existing art, code, or music, is fine. There is no restriction on team size, but we recommend having a team of 3 or 4 people, since larger teams can get unwieldy.

Wow, this is all really awesome! Where can I sign up?

We're glad you asked! You don't need to sign up in order to participate, but it helps us get a handle on attendance. The link for signups can be found right here!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Well that was fun.

Hi everyone! This week's meeting was a little experimental, a little weird, a little... dangerous. Okay, honestly the biggest danger was giving Jeremy finger cramps from typing so fast, but still, finger cramps are no joke, and can be a symptom of a variety of health issues stemming from a sedentary lifestyle. What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, this:

Here's how it worked: We started with a basic Unity game, the very same one we created in the Unity workshop two Saturdays ago. Then we played out a mock design meeting, taking suggestions from members about features we want the game to have, and implementing them as rapid prototypes. While Jeremy furiously Unity'd changes into the game, I continued to take suggestions, all the while haphazardly assembling them into the bizarre hierarchical spaghetti graph you see on the whiteboard. Here's a closer look:

And so, what started as an abstract game about rolling a ball around to collect cubes became the heartwarming story of a mother duck trying to save her ducklings from falling off a cliff into a forest fire, while also being on fire herself. 10/10.

Just a couple important announcements this week:
  • This Saturday, October 8th from 1-5 PM is our first Sandbox! Come and do... whatever you want, pretty much. This is your time to work on any projects, games or otherwise, that you just can't find the time to get done.
  • The Game Jam is next Friday, October 14th! That's very soon, so clear your schedules and get hyped! A larger informational post about the event is forthcoming.
See you next week!