The University of Texas at Austin’s Game and Mobile Media Applications (GAMMA) Program and Electronic Game Developers Society (EGaDS) hosted the 2016 Central Texas Global Game Jam (GGJ) on January 29 – 31. The GGJ is the world’s largest game jam event—taking place at hundreds of physical locations all around the world during the same weekend. More than 80 participants came together in the UT Austin campus’ Student Activity Center (SAC) to produce an entirely new game in one 48-hour weekend event from the selected theme of “Ritual.”
With participants from a wide variety of academic backgrounds and industry experience, the 2016 Central Texas GGJ created 17 unique games despite the condensed game development cycle. “This year we had a fantastic mix of UT students and members of the surrounding game community participating in the jam,” said Dr. Paul Toprac, Associate Director and Senior Lecture of the GAMMA Program. “It’s always exciting to see all of them come together and collaborate.”
At the end of the jam, attendees presented their games to a jury of local industry professionals who judged the games in five categories: Best in Show, Best Audio, Best Game Design, Best Visuals, and “Wild Card” (judges’ choice). On hand to judge the games were representatives from Bee Cave Games, Chaotic Moon Studios, Everi, and Wargaming.net.
This year’s winners were:
- Best in Show: Not again…
- Best Audio: Devil’s Advocate
- Best Game Design: Go the F to Sleep
- Best Visuals: Not again…
- Wild Card (Best Humor): Cock-a-Doodle
- Wild Card (Best Tech): Kawaii Goat Demons
“With so many teams utilizing new hardware—like virtual reality headsets—compared to last year, we saw some truly impressive game design,” said Toprac. “I am already excited to see what new technology crops up by the next GGJ!” The next Global Game Jam will be held on January 20 – 22, 2017.
The Game and Mobile Media Applications (GAMMA) Program at the University of Texas at Austin is an interdisciplinary undergraduate certificate program between the College of Fine Arts, Computer Science Department, and Radio-Television-Film Department. The program produces graduates ready to design, develop, and provide leadership for the exploding growth in game, mobile app, and creative media agencies and studios in Texas and around the world. For more information on the GAMMA Program, please visit http://gammaprogram.utexas.edu or contact Cameron M. Weed.