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Caffeine and Creativity Drive Students at Gaming Competition

BEAU had the honor of playing host to Global Game Jam (GGJ) for the third straight year. Global Game Jam is a competition where gamers arrive to test their mettle by separating into groups in order to build a working game from start to finish in less than 48 hours. The task of building a working game in less than two days is no small feat. Participants show up expecting little to no sleep during the jam session.

In an industry where AAA games can take more than four years to create, this two-day process is looked on by industry pros as a frenzy of creativity and drive.

Many game industry locals visited the event, including individuals and groups from EA, Smartbomb and Ninjabee. About 50 participants crammed into the theater on a Friday night to hear the keynote speech and start working on their project. Among them were four of BEAU’s game art students, determined to make a game themselves: Kristina Balay, Tyson Catmull, Lehi Jenks and Christina Wyatt.

Students Lehi Jenks,Christina Wyatt and Kristina Balay work during GGJ

If you may think that participants show up with a game idea and assets ready to go, you would be wrong. Lehi explained that there is an actual theme people must adhere to when building their games and they’re not allowed to start working on a game until the theme is announced. This year’s theme was: ‘We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.’

“You gather together Friday night to find out what the Game Jam’s theme is,” Lehi explains. “Once they announce the theme, everyone gets together in their groups to talk about ideas for the game. When you have an idea that you think will work, you get up in front of everyone and announce it. ”The four students decided to group up and make a game together. Their idea was a 3D shooter game titled, “Red Garden.”

Read more on how the students made the game and their reactions to Red Garden here