SASKATOON – Video game enthusiasts and programmers spend this past weekend at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) designing their own games. It’s was all part of “Game Jam” which is hosted by the department of computer science in partnership with SaskInteractive.
Forty-six participants were given 48 hours to collaborate, design and deliver an original game.
“Each group is different, they’re all working on different games. They’re using a bunch of different, what we call, game engines to make their games,” said Game Jam organizer Rodrigo Vicencio.
“Basically, they come up with an idea at the start and then most of them are coders so they start coding away,” said Vicencio.
Game Jam isn’t about competition but rather socializing with friends and improving technical skills at something you’re passionate about.
One participant, John-Paul Deprez, was working on two games on very little sleep, one with friends and one by himself.
“We get stuff done very quickly and it feels really rewarding to get something done and see the results of what you did,” said Deprez.
“Just build some skills, learn the process of making games and get better, if we do want to venture out into making bigger and better games.”
The keynote speaker for the event was U of S graduate Ian Livingston, who has been working in the video game industry for nearly seven years. He’s the senior user experience researcher with EA Vancouver and worked at Ubisoft Montreal on the Far Cry franchise.
This was the fourth Game Jam in Saskatoon which started two years ago, with one event per term.
“Game Jams are really popular in bigger cities like Toronto and Vancouver,” said Vicencio.
“This is a good start. There’s not really a big game development scene here … so we’re hoping that maybe some cool games come out of it and people can sell it and Saskatoon starts getting known for making good games.”