Tech Forum Game Jam

For those of you that don’t know, last weekend was UAT’s Annual Tech Forum Jam! We had a ton of teams come out from all around the community , we even had a few teams participate from online portions. All in all we had a wonderful turnout! SO for those of you that showed up, thank you so much! For those of you that didn’t let me tell you a little about Game Jam.

Game Jams are an event that we run usually one to two times a semester at my College. The goal of Game Jams is to take a 48 hour period, several sleepless nights and the work of a great team and use that to create a game. Some games are better than others and some are worse, but the thing that we love to focus on most is the fact that we made a game.

Game Jams start off with something simple, a theme. This jams was sacrifice. People have to take that theme and incorporate it into their game in some way or form. On top of that, it is November. For those of you that don’t know or live under a rock (probably one in the same) November is also a cancer awareness month for men- often called Movember. To help represent this in the game, we came up with using mustaches in some extent in your game.

After all that, we let the kids run rampant for and start working on their game Friday at around 8PM. Myself and two others ran this Game Jam and we roamed around doing our best to help all of those who needed it. Eventually we went out and got $150 worth of food for everyone to enjoy and went back up to our rooms and went to bed (while the jamers created on.) Saturday usually consists of us repeating the same process minus that of the food. Sunday, however, is a different matter. Sunday is crunch time, everyone struggles to complete their game and to submit it to the all- mighty judges. It’s a glorious sight people running around frantically trying to fix last minute bugs.

Finally they submit their games too us and we go through the process of playing them.I enjoyed playing the games that everyone had created, not to mention the fantastic facial hair that accompanied the gameplay (and in some places encompassed it,) but there is another reason that we do Game Jams. Other than the fact that you learn fantastic skills and wear many hats in the production process of your game, you get prizes. These aren’t your run of the mill lame prizes, we’re talking big money. How much? $350 in prizes total. We had four categories (unbenounced to the jamers before hand) of: Most Visually Appealing, Best Mustache, Best Use of Theme and Best Overall. It took us a good hour and a half to decide, but I think we could all agree on who deserved the prizes. So if you are ever in the area, or want to participate online, let us know. It’s a great experience and is pretty awesome too.

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