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This last weekend BEAU was honored to host Global Game Jam, a 72 hour event where groups make a game from start to finish. Jackson LeTourneau, a new Visual Design student at BEAU, attended the event for the first time and was kind enough to share his experience.
What were your expectations going into Global Game Jam?
Essentially to find how I could function inside of a team dynamic focused on building a game. I knew that I would be working with a group of strangers.
What is Global Game Jam?
Game Jam is an annual project run by coordinators on a global scale. So there are hundreds of site locations that will host the game jam with the same theme.
How did it start?
Almost seventy people showed up to BEAU for the event. We met in a room and had the opportunity to network, mingle, and introduce ourselves. During that time I got a sense for the skill sets of various people and who you might want to work with.
What was the main event?
After we had a chance to meet everyone the keynote was shown. Speakers from the game industry impart their wisdom and anecdotes. It’s also where the Game Jam’s theme is developed. The games you work on need to be centered around this theme. This year’s theme was ritual.
Who was in your team?
Max Miller was our engineer, Cole Forsten was our Music and Sound Engineer, Jed Merrill was our Producer, Peter Jones was our Animation Artist, Kristie Greene as our graphics and asset assembly, Jonathan Perkins was our visual design, and then myself, Jackson LeTourneau, was the art lead.
You had less than 72 hours to make the game. How did your team prepare for that?
We started very loose. We decided we could run through a five day cycle for each route we wanted. We planned that the first day would be to explore the house. The following day you could pick and object and that would have implications later. Once the roughs were complete and we had the house layout confirmed we decided we needed the space to be established. We needed to have four basic rooms.
What did the experience teach you?
I learned it was important to be open to everyone’s opinion. Our team did a great job of not shutting down people’s ideas early on. This led to some great results. I learned about the importance of time management. It was very important to work within time constraints.
You said the game had multiple endings. What were some of these?
Endings included finding true love, becoming a cog in the machine, and getting drawn into a supernatural realm and leaving what makes you human behind.
Would you recommend Global Game Jam to other students?
Yes. This was my first time. It’s a great opportunity to network with people that have similar interest. It’s a good opportunity to become acquainted with aspects of game design you haven’t explored before.