29 June 2016
It will be game on for creative types from around the Sunshine Coast when the University of the Sunshine Coast holds the region’s largest ever Game Jam from July 6 to 8.
The high-energy event will see 50 participants form teams to develop games – computer, console, board or virtual reality – from concept to play-ready within 48 hours.
Event organiser and USC Associate Lecturer in Serious Games Vikram Saran said participants would be given a theme around which games must be based, but the formats and storylines were the choice of each team.
Mr Saran said it was a fantastic opportunity for students with an interest in games to try and create the next Monopoly or Call of Duty.
“A Game Jam is really a creative enterprise – there’s a little bit of competitiveness, but there’s also a lot of collaboration and people helping each other out,” he said.
“We’d like to have a good mix of students and professionals from the games world to show the students what the industry is capable of, as well as to show the industry how we’re training up our students.
“Ideally, we’d love to see a few jobs come out of it, because one thing that Game Jams are great for is making connections.”
Mr Saran said the event, to be held at Spark Bureau in Maroochydore, was likely to attract games enthusiasts from a broad range of backgrounds.
“You don’t have to be a programmer,” he said. “The four main specialities within Serious Games at USC are coders, artists, designers and writers, but people from outside those fields are very welcome.
“In the first few hours, they’ll sketch out a storyline and develop an idea of what the player will do, and from then on, it’s all about creating a working version and polishing it.
“Participants usually spend the last few hours of a Jam going around and meeting people, playing their games and showing off their own wares.”
The USC Game Jam will be held from 6pm Friday, 8 July, until 6pm Sunday, 10 July. The fully catered event costs $25 per participant.
USC introduced Australia’s first Bachelor of Serious Games at the start of 2016.
‘Serious games’ use the principles of games and play and apply them to things outside leisure and recreation, such as healthcare, education or marketing.
— Gen Kennedy