Coders gearing up for game jam challenge to make a video game from the ground up in 48 hours.

In Campus News, News
The Video Game Design club, headed by president Reza Nikoopour, will host a game jam beginning Friday in which groups of students develop a game over the course of the weekend. (Yunuen Bonaparte / Daily Titan)

What can you achieve in 48 hours?

A video game can take years to develop. This weekend, groups of students will do it in days.

The Video Game Design Club will host an event this weekend that will bring students together to create a video game in just two days. The goal of the game jam isn’t to win, club president Reza Nikoopour said, it’s to work together to accomplish the goal.

“It’s really self-motivated,” he said. “The idea of the game jams is to get you kickstarted into a group and then make you guys spend some time working together.”

Students will kick off the game jam Friday night by pitching their video game ideas. From there, everyone chooses which game they want to help create and break off into teams. Each team will have the weekend to finish their game and, on Sunday night, the groups will come together to present their games and discuss what problems they faced.

“They can go home and develop their game, they can stay at school and develop their game, they can go get coffee—it’s really up to them where they want to be,” Nikoopour said.

For some team members, it is the first video game they’ve ever made, he said.

In past years, the event has drawn students from across campus, from business to art and music majors. The popularity of the event has led the club to host a workshop teaching students to use Unity, a game engine used during the game jam. The event is open to all students interested in getting involved with game development, regardless of skill level or previous experience.

“Whoever wants to join in and have fun and make a game is more than welcome to participate,” Nikoopour said.

The event was first held in 2002 when two game developers in Oakland decided to spend four days developing video games. They invited friends and colleagues, and eventually the group of 14 developers created 12 games in four days.

The event was a hit within the gaming community and game jams started all over the world. The largest event is now Global Game Jam, where people all over the world meet up and develop games at the same time, all based on a common theme.

The game jam starts Friday at 6 p.m. in the Engineering and Computer Science Building Room 300 and will continue until Sunday night.

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