Students created video games in 48 hours at Chillennium 2018

See the Chillennium 2018 website.

Student video game designers created electronic games from scratch in Chillennium 2018, a giant, Texas A&M student-run game jam competition Oct. 12-14, 2018 in the university’s Memorial Student Center.

The annual extravaganza, hosted each year by the Department of Visualization, attracted 383 registered contestants from across the nation who aimed to win coveted game software licenses, develop their digital skills, meet fellow developers, and network with industry professionals who roam the game jam floor advising participants.

Last year’s event, which packed the MSC with 306 game development enthusiasts from 23 schools in the U.S. and Canada, broke a Guinness World Record for “Most Participants in a Game Jam.”

Participants used their own hardware and software to develop games alone or in teams of up to four members after learning the event’s closely guarded theme during a 5 p.m. opening ceremony. Jammers were free to use programming languages available online, loaded on their computers, or provided by contest organizers.

Fueled by contest-provided meals and snacks, and with access to a staffed, onsite rest area, students will race to meet a 5:30 p.m. Sunday deadline to deliver fully developed, desktop-based games.

At the contest’s conclusion, industry professionals, event sponsors and game players played and ranked the games in a variety of categories, including innovation, quality, completeness, design and sound. Contest organizers awarded prizes that included highly-sought licenses for high-powered, professional-grade gaming software.

The event is orchestrated by a small group of visualization students headed by André Thomas, who teaches Texas A&M visualization classes in game development and leads the department’s LIVE (Learning Interactive Visualizations Experience) Lab, a university game development hub.

Some of the world’s top video game development and software companies, including Niantic and Insomniac Games, sponsored this year’s event. Additional sponsors are listed on the Chillennium website.

Chillennium’s success has enhanced the national prominence of the game design program at Texas A&M’s Department of Visualization.

In 2018 game design school rankings published by Animation Career Review, an online career resource for aspiring animators, game designers and digital artists, Texas A&M landed in the No. 7 spot among public schools and colleges and No. 21 among public and private programs nationally.

 

Richard Nira
rnira@arch.tamu.edu

posted September 14, 2018