Global Game Jam 2017 Makes ‘Waves’

Now in its ninth year, the Global Game Jam brings together developers, artists, designers, producers, and audio engineers to create a game from scratch in just 48 hours. Full Sail University is one of the many host locations around the world that allows its students and other game development enthusiasts in the Central Florida area to bring their ideas to life.

The theme this year – which was kept secret until the start of the event – was “waves.” Each team was able to determine how to incorporate this theme into their game, whether using the traditional waves or the ocean, or like one team who used sonar waves as its main character’s exploration tactic.

“I’m just beyond proud,” said game jam organizer and Game Design master’s department chair Robin Koman. “Since a majority of our participants were students – ones who hope to work in games and simulation someday – it was a tremendous opportunity for them to be immersed in the development process.”

One new addition to the game jam this year was the donation of eye-tracking software from Tobii, which Full Sail will get to hang on to after the event. Robin said she has plans to share it with the indie games and serious game track Game Design master’s students.

With 140 participants finishing the event, a total of 14 games were created over the weekend and 11 were uploaded to the Global Game Jam website. “I think the most important skill to learn here is the willingness to work with other people,” said Robin. “You want people to collaborate, not compete. If each of these people meet one new person and forge a connection making games, then that would be a total success for the event.”