IGDA Melbourne and Global Game Jam

Well, in my last post I mentioned that I’ve been working on the committee of IGDA Melbourne. This started late last year, when IGDAM mentioned that they were after some more hands to help with organising events. I was keen to get into it, as IGDAM was an inspiring group to have around while I was studying – the social aspects of networking in the game industry are very different to what I’d experienced previously in Engineering. There’s always so much energy and excitement in the industry, and this is an industry where even after coming home from a long and busy day, developers are still keen to spend their spare hours working on independent projects and furthering their craft. I’ve made so many friends at IGDA Meets, including students, independent and professional developers, and I was keen to get further involved in these meetings.

I joined up in October, and primarily helped initially with setting up the Xmas Party, held on the rooftop at Big Ant Studio in the city. We had a great turnout, and everyone enjoyed themselves. It was blowy up on the roof, but the rainclouds held off for the day, and everyone had lots of fun.

In the lead up to Xmas, we were also discussing preparations for the Global Game Jam. I’d asked some of the committee members about whether IGDA could do a Game Jam at at an earlier meet, so I knew they were already planning on setting something up like this, but I’d only find out the details and the sheer awesomeness that is the Global Game Jam later on. We started planning it just before Xmas, with lots of emails, google docs and meets at the pub to work out the details.

The Global Game Jam was held just last weekend, at La Trobe University, and sponsored by Firemint. It was a roaring success, with 70-odd people coming along to let us lock them in a cold, airconditioned room over a weekend to make games based on the theme ‘Extinction’. It was amazing seeing just how much energy and excitement can be contained in such a small space, and there was a lot of interest in it from industry and media, with lots of visitors coming along to see, and Level 3 from Channel 31 coming along to interview as the weekend went along. I’m also going to be on radio 3RRR later tonight to talk about it as well. I’ve made another brief post (http://igdamelbourne NULL.org/2011/02/global-game-jam-is-over/) on the IGDAM website, and will soon update there with a list of all the 18 games made during the weekend, which won awards, how to download them, etc.

It was an amazing weekend, with people remaining excited even when totally exhausted at the end. I can’t wait to get ready for Global Game Jam 2012!

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