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BEAU Hosts this Year’s Global Game Jam

BEAU was fortunate to host this year’s Global Game Jam.  65 people showed up for the event including some of BEAU’s own.  Senior Game Art Student, Tyson Catmull was kind enough to share his experience.

Participant register for the event. Photo by Stephanie Foster

What is Global Game Jam?

I would describe Global Game Jam as a commune for programmers, artists, and creative geeks.  It’s set up so that you can come in with people you want to work with or jump in with any team on the site.  If their team has less than five members they are required to take you on.  And everyone must be on a team.  So you go into opening ceremonies.  They give you 5 minutes to come up with an idea, then they give you 30 seconds to present the idea, and people shop around and talk to the teams they want to work with. 

How was your team set up?

We had current students and three past students as well as a future graduate in computer science.  Right when we walked in we knew we would be working together. 

How did you come up with the idea?

Originally we wanted to do a 2d story based game (pick your own adventure).  As we got together and realized how many artists we had.  We had someone say what about a guy running through a maze? 

Got up and pitched.  “Our idea is a rat in a maze.”  Found a corner, set up some tables and desks and got to work for the next 48 hours.

Global Game Jam team. Photo by Stephanie Foster

What happened the first night?

The first night roles were established.  I started coding.  Artists fell right into place modeling and illustrating.  As a group we decided defining the scope of the project was going to be the most important element because we knew we had to come up with something we could complete and be reasonably polished by the end of the 48 hours.

Keynote speaker. Photo by Stephanie Foster

What happened the second night?

Worked through the night and the next day.  Broke for dinner.  Worked up until 9:00 and decided it would be best if we could get some sleep and come back rested for the crunch time.

What was the most challenging part about the project?

The hardest part was recognizing everyone’s strengths and catering to those strengths in a way that would utilize them in the best way as a means to an end product.  *pauses* And the lack of the sleep.

How did you present?

At the end of the game jam everyone goes into the theater and pretty much throws your project up on the big screen.  People have opportunities to ask questions about the difficult parts of creating it.  How did you tackle certain technical aspects of the process?  No winners or losers just an exchange of ideas.

Were there any participants that worked for local studios?

Ninja bee had a team.  There were two guys from Wildworks.

Were there opportunities to collaborate/ network?

Yes, before the whole thing started.  Everyone was gathered in the social area on the third floor. Everyone introduced themselves and tried their games at the different levels of production.  Teams were hungry for artists and Erin Walker ended up helping different teams out.

What is your game called?

Mousey will die.

Were other participants impressed?

Very much so.  We had a great looking game that was finished that we were able to make in 48 hours.

Who were you able to present it to?

I was at a party with Ed Catmull the President of Disney/Pixar.  I don’t think anything will come of it but it was a pretty cool experience.