24 January 2017

Biggest Global Game Jam event in Abertay's history

Biggest Global Game Jam event in Abertay's history

Abertay staged the biggest Global Game Jam event in the University’s history, signalling the start of celebrations to mark 20 years of video games courses.

A group of 220 students, graduates and Scottish games industry professionals arrived at the Dundee campus at 5pm on Friday to play their part in a worldwide 48-hour challenge that links China to the US and Macedonia to Mexico.

This year marks two decades since Abertay became the first university in the world to offer named degrees in computer games development and a major programme of events is to unfold in the coming months.

Lynn Parker, Computer Arts programme leader, organised the Abertay Global game jam event alongside Division Leader Dr Dayna Galloway, Teaching Fellow Kayleigh MacLeod, PhD student Mona Bozdog and two student assistants.

More than 700 sites across over 100 different countries took part and it was the fifth time Abertay has hosted the main Dundee meet, where 47 teams took part.Teams were challenged to come up with ideas for new games, pitch them and create them over the course of the event.

Lynn said, ‘The participants are a mix of students, graduates and friends in the industry so our current crop of students get the benefit of meeting people who have been through the course at Abertay and gone on to set themselves up in business.

‘It’s great for them to be able to get an insight into the processes and ways of thinking behind creating a game and the Jams are so intensive that it challenges the students to quickly come up with concepts then prototype them and identify any issues.

‘It’s such a friendly environment where everybody pitches in and plays each other’s games and it’s a great chance to meet new people, make contacts, learn from each other and improve on skills in a fun environment.’

Jams started at 5pm each nation’s local time, spreading across the globe until the last designers began in Hawaii.

The theme for the Jam is always kept under wraps until kick off and there is a social media blackout until all sites have begun.

After that, participants shared their ideas, inspirations and innovations in real time using the hashtag #GGJ17.

The Abertay event culminated in The Jammies where teams were awarded pots of jam to recognise their efforts.

Abertay offers undergraduate courses in Game Design and Production Management, Computer Games Technology, Computer Arts, Sound and Music for Games, and Computer Games Application Development.

Postgraduate courses including the MSc Computer Games Technology and MProf Games Development are also available.

To find out more about the Global Game Jam go to http://globalgamejam.org/

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