I have participated in a lot of game jams during my time at UAT. If you’ve never heard of a game jam, they are competitions to make games in a short amount of time, usually 48 hours, based on a theme. There are around 3 game jams a year hosted here on campus, and I try to never miss one. I just recently brought my on-campus jam count up to 7 with the Founder’s Jam 2019, so as you can tell, I really like game jams. Being able to start a weekend with nothing but a blank canvas and end the weekend with a fully functioning game gives a feeling of accomplishment you’ll never get anywhere else.
UAT is all about challenges. From our project-based curriculum to our 48 game challenges, students are tested. And the freshmen are not excused from this. Orientation is a great time to meet new people but is also where our Provost, Dave Bolman, announces for the first challenge as a UAT student. The Provost Challenge. A theme is announced and students are tasked with making something around that theme. Working in predetermined groups, students have 10 days to come up with an idea and create a prototype. The possibilities are endless! A game, product, film, or whatever else they can come up with is open for consideration. At the end of the challenge, the teams present in front of a group of professors. With much deliberation, a winner is announced. And this semester has been no different.
For those unaware, Gametrailers.com is (or rather was) a gaming website dedicated to bringing news, videos, and reviews to the masses. While hosting trailers was always nice as per their namesake, it was some of their other content that had kept me going back for years. They had original shows such as Pop Fiction which explored the sometimes strange and wonderful world of gaming myths; Retrospectives covering the history of storied game franchises, and many others. Gametrailers was special to me partially because it was on that site that I saw the developer diary that made me finally decide I wanted to be a developer.
My journey to UAT began a bit later than many. After high school I already had a job that paid pretty decently but after doing it for years I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. So I began searching for schools, with my chosen field of study: Game Design and Programming. Programming of course was pretty easy, but game degrees are still comparatively rare.
Hey everyone! I was checking out some of my favorite YouTube channels and ran into this video from Freddie Wong and the rest of the team at Rocket Jump called "Why CG Sucks (Except It Doesn't)". Check it out:
So there was a lot that happened at GDC this year. DirectX and Vulkan 3D APIs that I talked about in the last post just scratch the surface. Among everything that happened at GDC, Valve arguably had the most extensive and most industry-changing announcements. This blog post on the Valve website goes over most of the stuff that they announced in more detail, and the Steam Universe website has plenty of awesome info about each product as well as some sweet pictures that I'll post below.
Originally this post was gonna be me spazzing out about more video games, but right as I created a blank post I ran into a tweet about DirectX 12. DirectX has been around for AGES and it's what most game companies use to actually get their games running in 3D on PC with the Direct3D Drivers, so hearing new information about DirectX is basically hearing new information about the future of PC gaming!
As some may be aware, the summer semester, which is the current one, started on the 12th. I'm excited for this semester mainly because of my internship with Dorkatorium Games. But I also have 4 other classes that are pretty exciting. Well, they are exciting for me anyways.