PSB Students in Global Video Game Creation Blitz - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

PSB Students in Global Video Game Creation Blitz

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Coding, collaborating, and creating away for two days straight.

Students in the Game Development Club at Penn State Beherend are about 25 of the 10,000 video game creators around the world, all joining in on the "Global Game Jam" - essentially, a hackathon for making games.

"With 48 hours, you're really forced to sit down and think what can you do in a short amount of time, and just really focus and hammer it out," said Matt Campbell, a senior at PSB and also president of the Game Development Club.

Teams of four or five brainstorm around the given theme then start creating. This year's theme: "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are," a theme very open to interpretation.

The process isn't easy. PSB game design lecturer Dr. Mathew White likens the process to making sausage.

"People  like to eat sausage and can cook it, but when you come to making it, it's a much uglier and more involved process," White said. "And that's something you come to realize really quickly when you start making video games instead of making them."

Programming aside, the other half of making these games is making the graphics and adding the music - aspects that can really make or break the user experience.

Brian Campbell, a Gannon junior assisting the team, is one of the artists for the game creation process. Campbell came up with original character and scene ideas, drew them out on paper, scanned them, then traced and colored them with a program that Transformed it all into cartoon form. 

It's a lengthy process. 

"It doesn't matter how good the program is if you don't have anything to do the program for you," Brian said.

The music in the games is also all original composition.

"It really sets the mood. If you have something sad going on, something unfortunate, you can set the tone correctly using the music," said William Henrich, a PSB senior.

Then of course, the programmers put it together.

"I think the best part is just getting to hang out. It's just a lot of people who are interested in the same things. It's a lot of camaraderie and it's a lot of fun," Brian said.

Teams around the world finished up on Sunday evening, and all the games are uploaded to a central server, available for download. You can browse through the submitted games here: http://globalgamejam.org/2014/games.

 

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