So… I’ve been absolutely absent these last few months. Not only here, but on Twitter too. What have I been up to? (well besides classes of course)
My focus this semester was on GameDev UC, my university’s game development club. It’s existed for a long time now, and I’ve been part of it for two years, but there was something that always frustrated me: there was no community. Instead of being a “club”, GameDev UC was really a small group of 4-5 people that organized events from time to time. The events were cool (like Global Game Jam!), but the lack of a more continuous community frustrated me. Looking at other college gamedev clubs and the games they developed as a team, I was jealous that we didn’t have that here. That’s why I decided to start a new initiative: GameDev UC’s development team.
As you may guess by the name, the idea was to recruit members to make games as a team. And it was quite the endeavour! From doing publicity through posters, flyers and social media, recruiting, organizing community activities like lunches and organizing the actual game projects, I’ve been busy the whole semester with no time for personal gamedev. How did it go? While I wouldn’t say it was an astounding success, I’m pretty proud with what I did. For many of these people, this was the first time getting into game development, so I’m glad to have to been able to help them in that process. Some numbers:
- We had 43 members sign up (!!!)
- …but in reality, only about 15 of them actually contributed to the development of team’s projects.
- We did around 22 work meet-ups and 3 team lunches.
- We started on 3 games this semesters, but didn’t finish any of them.
Personally though, I’m satisfied with lots of things. This whole proposal seemed huge and scary when I was planning it, but I’m glad I managed to get out of my comfort zone and go through with it. It was fun to get to know a lot of people interested in gamedev and see friendships form between them outside the club too. I think I succeeded at my main goal, forming a community, and that makes me happy.
That’s not all I did though! In July (winter vacations for this hemishpere) we stayed true to our event organizing roots and hosted GameDev Camp, a week long game development workshop + game jam for high school students. It was originally going to be a Global Game Jam Next site, but we had some problems with the university’s legal department (GGJ Next had one hell of a contract that you had to sign to be an official site), so we just went ahead independently. It was our first time organizing something like this too, but it went really great so I’m pretty satisfied with it!
All in all… I’ve been up to lots of things, but interesting stuff. I’ve missed working on personal projects though! I’m currently not up to developing a bigger game project, but there’s a lot of small things I’m interested in looking into:
- Game jams! Ludum Dare 42 is coming up soon and not so long after there’s the second edition Game Maker’s Toolkit Jam.
- Not much of a multiplayer gamer or developer, but it’d be fun to learn how to do it in Construct.
- It involves spending a lot more of money, but this Arduino plugin for Construct looks awesome.
I’ll try to be more active on Twitter now, so if anything interesting comes out of these ideas I’ll be sure to share them there and here!