Over this past weekend, E2i Creative Studio housed UCF students in its lab, all diligently working through their short time off from school, work, and day-to-day life… and to do what? Make games.
This type of event is called a Game Jam, where developers congregate to develop a game in 48 hours. People of many skill types and levels join in, with design, 3D modeling, animation, programming, audio, and 2D art being the most prevalent skills within the population.
We were able to co-host our very first jam, the Big Scary Game Jam, alongside UCF SVAD faculty member Peter Smith, and the UCF student club Game Dev Knights. The event was a huge hit, with 50 students registering, and even more on a waiting list for possible slots. The event attracted the attention of Unity, who was able to provide temporary professional licenses to all participants, as well as year-long professional licenses for the winning team. Judges based their choice on adherence to the Halloween theme, mechanic design, and production quality.
Game Jams are a great way to develop deeper working relationships with your peers, and network with faculty, students, and other game developers, in addition to developing a new product to add to your portfolio. Jams provide an environment in which people can learn new skills, and further develop their current ones. Events like this aren't just limited to SVAD or Game Design students though, all disciplines are welcome; this specific event attracted computer science, psychology, and digital media majors alike.
We would like to thank Peter Smith, who organized the jam, as well as the Game Dev Knights club for helping with organization and facilitating an environment for beginning game developers to get their feet wet . We would also like to thank guests Kunal Patel of Phyken Media and Corey Cochran of That Which Is Media for making guest appearances at the event, as well as SVAD and Unity for providing sponsorships.
Nine teams total were created among the participants, with each team successfully completing a game. The games can be viewed and downloaded for play at: