You don't have to be a lifelong, dedicated game designer to get a lot out of the upcoming Global Game Jam. In fact, you don't have to be into videogames at all. If board games are more your style—let's say you have a great idea for an update to Monopoly, or you want to turn the world of Chutes and Ladders on its old-fashioned head—we want to know about it. Bring your thoughts, your drawings, your concepts. Bring your passion!
Gamers of all kinds and all skill levels—whether they love challenging their peers in an online world ruled by a joystick and a microphone or settling in for an in-person experience with only a pair of dice to guide them—are invited to both design and test drive all kinds of games at the 2014 Global Game Jam, locally hosted on Jan. 24-26 by the University of Baltimore's Simulation and Digital Entertainment program in the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.
The event, part of a worldwide "hackathon" focused on game development and demonstrations, will take place in UB's Academic Center Room 219, located at 1420 N. Charles St., at the following times:
Participation in UB's hosting of the Global Game Jam is free, but developers must sign up to be involved. Those who participate can create a game, solo or as part of a team, or just come to observe the game development process. They can even make up a team on the spot. No experience is necessary—just a desire to make a cool game.
*Everyone is encouraged to attend the open play period starting at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26, which offers the opportunity to meet the Global Game Jam developers and experience the games they have created during this 48-hour period. Stop in for hands-on play of all of the new games; vote for the winner of the Audience Award; and attend the awards ceremony at 8:00. (No registration is required for attendance on Sunday evening.)
Go here to sign up and learn more.
Dave Inscore, an 18-year game industry veteran and founder of Big Huge Games, will give the opening night talk on Jan. 24.
According to the Global Game Jam website, this event is the world's largest game jam to take place at various physical locations. At the most recent Global Game Jam, the site notes, more than 3,000 games were created in 309 locations in 63 countries.
Learn more about Global Game Jam.
Check out some examples of UB students' work in game design.