Each year, students, community members, and faculty assemble at Doña Ana Community College (DACC) to produce computer games and compete against groups from all over the world.
Game Jam is a 48-hour global competition that challenges the participants to make a game in 2 days. Each year there is a theme and beginning Friday night, game designers brainstorm game ideas, eventually narrowing it down to 2 or 3 ideas. Then the work really begins as they work together to create games from scratch. The participants are required to create everything during the compressed time period, including models, animation, sounds and all the programming and mechanics. Last year, 23 gamers joined in the Game Jam 2018 at DACC which was a resounding success as they created two fully functional games.
This year’s competition highlights the new associate of science degree in Game Design which allows students to get necessary training as a game developer, continue to a variety of 4-year programs, or enter the fields of virtual reality, app development or augmented reality. The skills students become proficient in are also easily transferable to the film industry, including the Film Las Cruces soundstage to enhance film production. The degree was recently approved by the New Mexico Higher Education Department and will be placed in the 2019-2020 NMSU catalog, so degrees can be awarded in fall 2019 for those students who have begun to take classes in the major.
As of today 25 Jammers have signed up to compete in this year’s event, which will take place January 25 – 27 in the DACC Digital Media Building on the East Mesa Campus, 2800 Sonoma Ranch Blvd.
Several games have been created in recent years including last year’s:
Information Super Highway in which a player races through the internet as an internet service to get to the end of the track. It incorporates 4 different fully drivable cars that are spoofed off of current internet services. Four tracks are raced through while dodging firewalls and lost packets.
CDC – The Game in which a player controls the Centers for Disease Control trying to stop the transmission of an epidemic virus that will wipe out the U.S. The player floats over the board with limited resources and limited turns to find, and eradicate the virus.
To join the Jammers or for more information, contact Michael Brown at (575) 528-7226 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about the new associate degree, contact Matt Byrnes at (575) 527-7573 or Mbyrnes@dacc.nmsu.edu.