2020-Game Jam 2020

Sold-out Global Game Jam returns to GCU this weekend

Wed, 29 Jan 2020 13:14:00 GMT

Students and staff will be among almost 200 designers packing the Sir Alex Ferguson Library to take part in the world's biggest games-creation event this weekend.

They will be joining thousands of designers around the world in the Global Game Jam, a weekend-long event kicking off on Friday at 5pm UK time.

Jammers will discover their theme as the Jam begins and have until Sunday afternoon to complete their game.

This year Graeme McKellan of No Code – creators of Bafta-winning game Observation – will be sharing his experiences in the industry in a keynote speech before the Jam begins. The No Code team created Love v Dub, the game that launched their careers, at a Global Game Jam at GCU and Graeme will discuss some of the lessons they have learned in the intervening years.

And gaming event curators We Throw Switches, who have worked with The British Council, the V&A, Edinburgh International Film Festival, and New York University Game Centre, will be creating an arcade at the sold-out event.

David Farrell, Lecturer in Applied Computer Games, said: "The Global Game Jam is the highlight of our year – it's like Christmas for game developers. We're looking forward to an incredibly exciting and creative Jam at GCU this year. We have lots of industry support, especially from local companies like We Throw Switches and No Code. Our friends at Superhot have kindly given us lots of goodies to give away and industry professionals, including loads of GCU alumni, will be jamming along with students, staff and enthusiasts from all over the country for the sheer joy of making games.

"We also have an army of enthusiastic GCU student volunteers to help ensure everything runs smoothly through both nights and we'll be showcasing games on Sunday from about 3pm to 5pm, so – although we have sold out of tickets to jam – the public can still come along to play some of the incredible 30-odd games that will be made this weekend."

Jon McKellan, No Code's Creative Director, will be joining Graeme at the event. Jon said: "I've attended almost every Global Game Jam at the University. It's a fantastic, collaborative and creative event and has been a source of inspiration for me and the rest of the team.

"We have taken two of our Game Jam games forward after the event, and went on to develop them further and eventually release them worldwide. One became an Apple Editor's Choice, and the other won a New Talent BAFTA Award. It's been incredibly useful to learn new skills, and now that we're a well-established studio, it's great to break from our normal routine and try something experimental. I can't recommend it enough, both as a professional endeavour, and also as something that's just really good fun. We're looking forward to not only sharing our own experiences with students on how they can build their own careers in the industry but also to meeting the next generation of GCU talent."

Last year, 47,000 Global Game Jammers in 113 countries created more than 9000 games around the theme of "What Home Means to You".