One of De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU)’s societies oversaw the development of seven video games – in just 48 hours.
The Games Development Society (GDS) brought the Global Game Jam to De Montfort University (DMU) late last month, with 60 avid programmers, game artists and animators working around the clock to a ‘crazy deadline’ on the seven games.
Ben Fishwick, Treasurer of the Games Development Society, said: “If I had to describe the whole process in one word, it would probably be challenging. But in the best sense.
“Normally a game takes between 5 and 12 months just to get to its first stages of being playable, and what a Game Jam does is compact that into 48 hours.
“It gets you to really test your skill and have a really fun time whilst doing it – people have to decide on an idea fast and really work together to get something finished.
“I am proud to say that of our seven teams we got seven fully-working games, of these teams there is a lot of people that will have never spoken [to one another] before as well, so it really is testament to the amount of willing teamwork here at DMU.”
The event was part of the wider Global Gam Jam – active in 100 countries across the world.
The group took over DMU’s Bede Island for the weekend, and saw entrants from both the Games Development Society and from other groups, too.
Ben continued: “Our involvement in the Global Game Jam was a part of a bigger picture, but our Jam site was totally organised and run by our society team.
“We got the rooms, organised the teams and delivered the keynote speech and theme to the people involved, provided food and dealt with any problems that came up, all whilst working on our own games in our teams as the Jam went on.”
Honor Dunham, Events Organiser for the Games Development Society, said: “I really enjoyed being a part of both organising and participating in the game Jam.
“It’s such a good way for us to experience the industry in a fun way, with new people, while also producing finished work that we can show our family and friends.
“My favourite [game] was possibly one called CRASH! Space Rescue where [the player] finds parts to build a pylon while defending yourself from alien crabs, as it was really nice aesthetically and worked as a mobile game too.”
Other games created at the Jam included an arcade fighter where shop staff warded off hungry customers.
The society have another Game Jam coming up from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 February, where there will be several guest lecturers from the world of games development.
Games Development Society members can sign up at Bede Island – to be allocated a team – on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 February.
Litha Bacchi, a first-year Game Art student and GDS member, said: “The first day was a little bit stressful as it was my first Game Jam and there is all the panic of coming up with a game in four hours! Being a first year I was insecure about how could I contribute, but there is something magical about seeing your very first game working properly!”
Callum Parry, a fellow GDS member and second-year Game Art student, continued: “Being involved was great. It really gives you a taste for actually making games.
“Every team was hard at work and the atmosphere was amazing. For someone hoping to get involved in the future, I’d say there’s no reason not to.
“Anyone with any creative background or who is generally interested in the creation of games can join in. Definitely give it a go!”
You can find out more about the Games Development Society, and any future events, on their page here. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.
More than 60 programmers, game artists and animators took over DMU’s Bede Island for the weekend of the Global Game Jam.