Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sign up for the Fall 2017 Game Jam 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.

When and where does the Game Jam start?

The event starts on Friday, October 27th in ECE 104 (Electrical and Computer Engineering, Room 104). We encourage participants to show up at 5:00 PM to socialize and form teams, and kickoff starts at 5:30!

When does the Game Jam end?

Games are due at noon on Sunday, October 29th, and the closing ceremonies begin shortly after. There, teams present their games to the judges and contestants, and we announce the winners!

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!

But I don't know how to make a game!

You don't need to have prior game development experience to be a valuable team member! If you can write code, draw art, make 3D models, design levels, compose music, record sound effects, or write a story, your team can help you learn how to apply those skills to game development!

Can I form any team?

There is no restriction on team size, but we recommend sticking to no more than two people of any skillset (art, programming, music, etc.), since that makes it much harder to designate tasks.

Can I make any game?

Pretty much! We only ask that teams make new games, instead of working on existing projects, which is why the Game Jam has a mystery theme to be announced during kickoff that all teams' games should use as inspiration! Reusing individual assets from past games, such as existing art, code, or music, is fine.

This all sounds great! How do I sign up?

The link's at the top, remember? But because you've been such a good listener, I'll link it again here.

Wait! I have more questions!

You can contact us with any other questions you might have! The organizers for this Game Jam are Riley Driscoll, Joseph Scheidemandel, and Dani Jaramillo, so they're the best officers to ask.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Do graphics matter? 

Hell yeah! Well, maybe not quite graphics, but.....

-a s s e t s-

This week, we talked about asset creation. What are assets? In games, assets are everything! An asset is any element that is used by the game to represent something in the game. Sprites, models, textures, animations, music, sound effects, you name it! The thing is, not all of us are professional artists. Where do you even begin? 

Fortunately, there are some great options out there! 

--Music and Sound effects--

Audacity - Audacity is an amazingly simple and powerful sound editing program. A favorite at game jams, Audacity allows for easy mixing and recording sound and music to be used in video games, movies, or anything else!

Freesound Project - The Free Sound Project is a huge, ever expanding library of free sound effects completely royalty free! They have a massive selection of sounds to fit even your most obscure needs! - A library of great sound effects, all royalty free! Browse to your heart's content!

--Digital Art--

Adobe Photoshop - What??? Photoshop?! I thought these were free assets!! Don't worry! If you're a student at UA, you're given free access to the entire adobe suite! Photoshop is an incredibly powerful, almost industry standard tool for digital art and photo manipulation. Making animations and repeating tilesets has never been easier. Special thanks to our talented Dani Jaramillo for showing off her amazing Photoshop skills!

Piskel - oh boy... Piskel is a personal favorite of mine. Piskel is an incredibly simple and easy to use browser based pixel art program. Gone are the days of MS paint pixel art, Piskel comes loaded with tons of really great quality of life tools like layers, color targeting, an entire animation suite with onion skinning, and probably the best part, easy exporting of sprite sheets! With just one simple download, you can take your finished animations and load them into your favorite game engines, ready to go! Plus, since it's all done in browser, you can just open it up on any computer and have all your files on the cloud.

--3-D Assets--


Yep that's basically it! But for good reason! Blender does it all! Modeling, rigging, animation, texturing, image editing, video editing, it's own game engine for testing levels, open source-- it's got it all. Blender is an incredibly powerful tool for making anything and everything in the third dimension! 

And there's way more out there! We only had time to talk about a couple at the meeting!

Talk about more asset creation stuff on our Discord! :

If you want to learn more about this crazy powerful tool, and how to make your own 3D models for games or animations (but mostly games :P) Come to the Blender Workshop that I'm running this Saturday from 2 - 5 pm in ECE 104! I'll see you guys there!