The Taylor University Computer Science & Engineering Department is hosting their third GameJam this weekend with Dr. Jon Denning as the faculty sponsor. GameJam is an every semester weekend event of student teams designing and coding a game based on a particular theme. Twenty nine students signed up for the event this year; it started Thursday at 6 pm and finishes Saturday at midnight.
The schedule for the event was changed this year, removing the overnight component and adding more iterative design elements. Thursday night was the introduction, choice of Theme (“Survive”), and initial planning, but no coding was to be started. The students used Thursday to do team organizing, white boarding, storyboarding, and general planning for the project. The coding begins Friday evening and continues all day Saturday. The games will be submitted at midnight on Saturday. Rather than peer review, this year the games will be judged by Taylor Faculty and Alumni. Dr. Denning, myself (1993) and two other Taylor alums, Mark Della-Croce (2001) and Jon Baugh (1997) will be playing and reviewing the games over the next couple of weeks, with final results being announced the first of December.
I really enjoy being involved in the GameJam at Taylor. You can really feel the excitement and passion of these students for games and their development. Many of the students involved in GameJam are enrolled in our spring Game Studies course and have already begun talking to Dr. Denning and me about possibly continuing development of their game from GameJam as their project in the course. I look forward to seeing how GameJam and the Game Studies course interact starting this Spring semester, especially with GameJam Spring 2016 (March 3–5) coinciding with the course.
As a freelancer, have you worked with area colleges, high schools, or other students in some way to share your passion for the gaming industry? Do you teach courses, guest lecture, or get involved in events like GameJam?