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Global Game Jam

Where: NHTI, 31 College Drive, Concord
When: The reveal of the game jam’s theme is Friday, Jan 26, at 5 p.m., and the presentation of games is Sunday, Jan. 28, at 5 p.m. at Little Hall.
Cost: Free for the public. Participants should expect to buy food.
Visit: globalgamejam.org. Anyone who would like to join the game jam can email gwalek@ccsnh.edu to reserve a spot.




Collaborative creations
NHTI participates in 10th annual Global Game Jam

01/18/18
By Ethan Hogan



 Held simultaneously in 700 cities across the world, the Global Game Jam is a collaborative video game development phenomenon. 

Teams of students, alumni and professionals will gather on Friday, Jan. 19, at NHTI to receive an assignment from the Global Game Jam through a broadcasted keynote. The message will reveal the theme of the event, and teams will split off into groups, racing to start their game development.
“The moment I reveal the theme, it’s game on,” professor and program coordinator Greg Walek said. “They’re forming teams, they’re brainstorming. Most of the people that come, they don’t have a team formed so teams form around ideas. Then it’s nonstop development till Sunday.”
The teams — made up of artists, programmers and designers — have 48 hours to design, code and present their games using the NHTI programing facilities and their imaginations.
“We need artists. A game isn’t just programing — building a game is a team effort,” said Walek.
The number of teams can depend on the complexity of the ideas developed for the theme. Themes in previous years have included waves, heart beats and the concept of evolution. Walek said last year’s waves theme produced games that centered around everything from sound waves to ocean waves. 
Walek said the event is an opportunity for him to expose his students — and anyone interested in game creation, as the Game Jam is open to all — to a fast-paced, collaborative work environment that resembles experiences they will face in the game industry. 
“The decisions you make on a small game jam are the same as the fundamental question at a [game development company] in the real world,” said Walek.
The game jam is non-competitive for Walek, who wants to see the teams working together and sharing ideas.
“Once you put a prize out there, once you make it non-collaborative, any hopes of collaborating go out the the window. You can’t turn to another team and say, ‘We are having a problem, can you help us?’” said Walek. 
The final reveal of all the games happens at Little Hall around 5 p.m. on Sunday. Teams are required to upload the games and their source codes to the internet so other students can learn from and play them. 
“They have been going 48 hours straight, we are all so tired but really proud of what they have created and then there is the weirdness of, ‘What the heck did we create?’” said Walek. “A few months later, we’ve had a chance to get some sleep and some perspective and we go, ‘These are actually pretty good games.’”
Walek said the public is welcome at the reveal, to see the games in action and play them. 
With new technology emerging each year, Walek is always excited about what participants have the opportunity to create. This year, Walek is curious to see if any of the teams utilize the school’s virtual and augmented reality equipment. 





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