Games Development Society are jammin'

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One of DSU’s newest and fastest-growing societies, Games Development, has been celebrating the success of its recent Games Jam event.

Formed in March this year, the group is an academic society whose aim is to bring together students from various courses such as Games Art, Animation, Programming and Sound and Design that have an interest in the world of games development.

Society chair Sean Gorman, 20, a second-year Games Art Design student, said: “It’s an academic society for those interested in games development, looking for a job in the games industry.

“It gives them a chance to connect with other individuals, find people, find a team, and collaborate on projects together.

“We base the society on three words – connect, collaborate, create.”

In September, the society organised Games Jam, an event which brought together 46 students from different areas to create their own games over the course of a weekend.

Sean said: “That was awesome. We managed to develop eight games, and that was in the space of 24 hours, playable as well.

“When I first planned it I didn’t imagine that many people going. We had a surplus which was great.

“In a good way, it creates an issue for the next couple of events that we have, particularly with the amount of members that we’ve got.”

Those in attendance included a number of lecturers from various fields, including Computer Games Programming course leader Dr Armaghan Moemini, who has introduced participation in January’s Global Game Jam as part of her module.

Sean said: “They all had a chance to turn up and meet one another.

“It was a chance for them to meet staff across the university who study these courses and teach them too.

“It was something that I wanted to push and I think it’s one of the reasons it worked so well.

“They were there for an hour a time, just talking to one another, swapping ideas around on what they could do for the society, what they could do for each other’s courses, and what they could do ultimately for students.”

Sean said he was really pleased with the impact the society has had, adding: “I’m really proud.

“We’ve made waves, so that’s the important part.”

Among those taking note of the society’s success is Richard Brooks, Vice President of Union Development for the NUS.

He has used the society as a case study for the NUS’s Student Opportunities Resource Hub, where they showcase student opportunities work happening across students’ unions.

He said: “I’m really proud to have a case study from De Montfort SU Games Development Society, showing us how some hard work and a good idea led to some real impact in student opportunities.”

With the society growing so quickly from its beginnings in March, Sean praised the work of the students’ union in helping the society through its early months.

He said: “They’ve been there every step of the way, more supportive than anyone. Literally give them a knock on the door, ask them a question on an email and they’ll get back to you within a couple of days.”

Following the success of September’s event, the society is organising the next for January and plans to hold three or four events per year.

The society also runs regular workshops, where they are often visited by respected names with links to the games industry, such as Gary Lloyd, co-founder of Sigtrap Games, and Alex Brady, a conceptual artist who has worked on Guardians of the Galaxy amongst other projects.

For more information about the society, visit their Facebook page or find them on their society page here.

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