Let’s (Game) Jam!

By Jake Pierce (GPRO ’17)

As we slowly shuffled through the Bonaventure Metro at seven in the morning, all team members were feeling a mixture of pride, happiness, and exhaustion. We had just spent the last 12 hours at École de Technologie Supérieure, attempting to develop a game revolving around the theme of a ritual. The Global Game Jam was at full force. We still had 36 hours left to finish.

Our team was comprised of two artists (Alexis Faintery and an English-speaking student that we had picked up during the event launch), two programmers (John Parsaie and myself), and a producer (Mike Hamilton). The strengths of the team were pretty clear. Our artists were both proficient in 3D modeling. Our one programmer had a wide knowledge of fancy game programming techniques, while I had some previous background in working with the Unity3D game engine. Our producer had a natural knack for keeping us informed on what was left to be done, getting sound assets, and making sure we all had enough caffeine to last us through the night.

As time began to run dry, problems began to arise more frequently. Broken player movement systems. Forgotten art assets. Me accidentally falling asleep on my keyboard for two hours. All difficulties aside, we accomplished what we set out to do in the end – create a game. And although the game may not have been 100% what we imagined, the team learned a lot. The artists learned how to produce solid 3D models efficiently. The programming team built a stronger knowledge of scripting in Unity3D. Our producer learned how much Red Bull one person can consume without having a heart attack. Overall, it was 48 hours of well-earned, sleep-deprived game development knowledge, and we all left feeling accomplished.

Global Game Jam team 2

(L to R) John Parsaie (GPRO ’17), Alexis Faintreny (GART ’17), Michael Hamilton (MCRM ’17), and the author.