The Taylor University Computer Science & Engineering Department is hosting their fourth GameJam this weekend with Dr. Jon Denning as faculty sponsor. GameJam is an every-semester, weekend event of student teams designing and coding games based on a particular theme. The event started Thursday at 6 pm and finishes Saturday at midnight. This semester, with Dr. Denning and me teaching Game Studies, the majority of our students have registered teams for the event. We are very interested to see what impact the Game Studies course has on the quality of the games produced in GameJam this spring.
Thursday night was the introduction, voted on Theme (“Afterlife”), 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.
As a change of pace this semester, I will not merely be a consultant to the students. Instead, Dr. Denning and I will also be working on a game during the event. We will not be in the competition, but we want to experience the entire event with the students and give them an opportunity to see how we work on a game together using elements we are teaching in the course. Dr. Denning and I will try to post about our game progress throughout the weekend on Twitter (@gfxcoder and @trknight as #TUGameJam) if you are interested.
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. 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 game design events?