The auditorium was thick with commotion. More than a hundred people, most of them college students, chatted and joked excitedly with their peers as they waited for DSU’s Global Game Jam local award ceremony to start – a good portion of them had not slept in over 48 hours.
But the thought of awards and recognition could not have been farther from their minds. They had toiled ceaselessly for one purpose – to make a game in 48 hours – and, award or not, they had all succeeded!
A wide variety of games graced exhibition hall. This year’s Game Jam theme “what do we do now” had allowed for a much more diverse set of interpretations. The creative juices had been flowing on overdrive and every game made this year was better for it. Topics ranged from lighthearted, frivolous games aimed at deconstructing popular superhero, fantasy and DSU faculty tropes to surprisingly dark, yet mature takes on gender nonconformity and daily life.
This year also quite a large surge of non-digital, highly complex games, proving that programming and scope should never be a barrier to game design. With more and more non-Game majors participating, it is clear that love for the game making process is not just a fringe interest on campus.
A combination of excellent guidance by the Game Design faculty, coupled with a much more organized approach, courtesy of the Game Design Club, has led this Game Jam to be the largest one in DSU history. With an overall increase in both quantity and quality of games made in the Global Game Jam this year, things are looking bright for the Dakotas’ biggest game making hub.
Bloode Orphans, a real time strategy game with a very interesting plot and narrative ended up being the best overall Global Game Jam game of the year, leaving its makers euphoric.
Even the designers without awards were far from being sad. At the end of the day they got a chance to do what they love, and isn’t that reward enough?
Check out all the amazing games your DSU peers made here: http://globalgamejam.org/2015/jam-sites/dakota-state-university/games
Non-digital games made in DSU over the Global Game Jam will be made available to play by the DSU Gaming Club.
Check this space for photos of this year’s Game Jam exclusive to the Trojan Times!