Brighton MET students studying UAL Creative Media Production: Games Animation and Special Effects have been designing and creating games as part of Global Game Jam’s wider game creation event.
Global Game Jam (GGJ) is a nonprofit organisation based in California and aims to empower gamers worldwide to learn and experiment through the medium of game development.
Karena Morrison, Teaching & Learning Manager at Brighton MET, said:
“It’s 48 hours of making a game together. It all needs to be finished, buttoned up, and done as best as you can in that time. Our students spread that time over the work week, enabling them to design their games during mimicking full professional work week.
“It gives them a chance to research different specialisations within the industry, and put themselves in different roles and execute them, allowing them to find what roles they may choose to work in within the industry.”
Students also had mentoring from some local game developers, who came in during the week to offer support and advice. One of them was Tali Di Girolamo, the Lead Environmental Artist for Stitch Heads Entertainment, a Dutch games development studio.
He described how important game jams are, saying: “it starts with one game jam, then over a couple of years you do three or four a year. Before you know it, you’ve released 10 or 20 games, giving participants a portfolio of work to show prospective employers.”
Tali also described how he has participated in Global Games Jams in the past: “I didn’t get the opportunity to do them until we were already in university, so this is a good head start for them.”
Students were placed into teams of four or five and had a week to work on their games. Archie, 16, one of the students participating described how they ’tried to start working to our strengths, what we know best’ but that there would be the occasional person absent, and that they had all come together to make sure the game was done on time.
Dexter, 18, another one of the students explained how they felt it had helped them develop: “It’s definitely helped quite a few of us in the group step out of our comfort zone and realise some more strengths we didn’t know we had.”