Annual gaming event at Wrexham Glyndwr University to set to return with new twist
An annual gaming event – helmed from Wrexham Glyndwr University by its multi-award winning Computer Game Development team – is set to return later this month with a new twist.
The Global Game Jam is a regular fixture in the calendar at Wrexham Glyndwr University, which is the longest-participating game jam representative in Wales.
Registration for this year’s event, which will start on Friday Jan 29 and run through until Sun 31, is now open.
The goal of the jam is to bring people together and attempt to make a game from start to finish within a strict 48 hour period. Jams emphasise teams working with new people from different backgrounds to encourage creative thinking – and hopefully, at the end of the event, result in small – but innovative and experimental – games.
While this year’s Global Game Jam is slightly different to usual – as it will not be held in-person, due to continuing public health measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic – the team at Glyndwr are still preparing for another fun-packed weekend.
University lecturers have played a key role in developing the Global Game Jam in Wales, and have seen their work on jams and other development activities featured across the media, including a feature on Channel Five’s Gadget Show among others.
Programme Leader for Game Development, Game Design & Enterprise, and Game Art, Rich Hebblewhite is reprising his role as returning as the Regional Global Game Jam Coordinator for UK and Ireland for this year’s jam, which will be run at Glyndwr through the university’s thriving Discord community.
He said: “I’m really excited to be returning as co-ordinator.
“The global pandemic has brought some interesting challenges for us to overcome but the GGJ community has continued to thrive and we already have more than 700 sites registered around the world.
“Game jams are a big part of our course experience here at Wrexham Glyndwr University and as the GGJ is the biggest jam event in the world, our students look forward to it every year.
“We expect this year’s event to feel a little different due to transitioning over to an online format, but we have a great community spirit – and I have no doubt we will see a huge number of awesome games being developed over the course of the weekend.”
Having helped to set a world record during last year’s jam – which was the largest ever – the team are looking to do even better this year.
In total, 48,753 game jammers working from 934 different locations, spread across 118 countries, simultaneously spent a staggering 2.3 million+ hours of development time building 9,601 different games.
At Glyndwr, a team of more than 90 jammers managed to design and develop 17 unique games within the 48 hour period.
Rich added: “Game jams are highly recommended by industry – as we know through our close work with a range of industry partners across our courses.
“They are also an excellent chance to develop creative skills, teamwork, scope management and general people skills and as such, all students at any level of study, on any course are invited to attend as the experience is very rewarding.
“You don’t even have to make a digital game – board games and hardware projects are fine too.”
To register for the jam – which is completely free- visit the official Glyndwr Game Jam 2021 site here. More about Wrexham Glyndwr University’s award-winning BSc (Hons) Computer Games Development course can be found here.
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