It’s a challenge intriguing enough to pique the interests of any video game developer, no matter their level of expertise – create a new game from scratch in just 48 hours. That is the task presented to participants of Alberta Game Jam, Alberta’s first province-wide hackathon-style event for game developers.
From professional designers to amateur hobbyists, everyone is welcome to take part in the event that runs from Aug. 23 to 25. Lethbridge College will be the southern Alberta host site, with additional locations in Calgary and Edmonton.
“Alberta Game Jam came about in response to the fact that we have a lot of game developers, students and hobbyists in the province who are interested in making games, but don't necessarily know how to meet each other and work together,” says Allyson Cikor, Lethbridge College instructor and Alberta Game Jam organizer. “We wanted to create a space that's Alberta-focused and allows people to build those relationships and skills, while also showing them that Alberta is a viable place to create games.”
Participants register as individuals and, in the spirit of collaboration and experimentation, are encouraged to wait to form a team at the game site. Participants can form teams of up to seven people, based on the mix of skills and strengths of each member before getting to work on the project. The competition begins at 5 p.m. on Aug. 23 and ends at 5 p.m. on Aug. 25, with participants staying on-site at the host location for the entire 48-hour period.
“For students or those looking to break into the industry, this is a great chance to create something that can then be used as a portfolio piece, which is really important when applying for new opportunities and is generally quite time consuming,” says Cikor. “And for the people who've never done something like this, or who haven’t done a lot of design work before, it's a good way to see that it's not as scary or intimidating as it can seem. It’s an excellent opportunity to get firsthand experience in a short amount of time.”
Alberta Game Jam is open to anyone over the age of 18. Participants from Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and rural southern Alberta are encouraged to gather at the Lethbridge College host location. Registration and more information is available at albertagamejam.ca.
LISTEN: Allyson Cikor, Lethbridge College instructor and Alberta Game Jam organizer: