Vega, an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), is setting up a two-day Game Jam at the school’s Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town campuses from 21 to 22 April 2018.
The Game Jam will see students, professional game developers and gaming hobbyists, come together as teams to create a new digital game in just one weekend.
The event forms part of the international Ludum Dare (LD) platform – an accelerated video game development event. It’s both the longest-running, and the largest online, Game Jam in the world.
“A game jam is a true test of mental and creative endurance, where students flex their various skills in the hopes of creating an epic and unique game,” says Lizette Carstens, creative national programme manager at Vega.
Students work as part of a team to find ways of making their game ideas come to life, while gaining practical knowledge and expertise in each other’s disciplines. Carstens says that the Vega Game Jam not only benefits participants academically during their time as students, but will also broaden their horizons, career-wise.
“The most valuable part of participating in the Vega Game Jam is that our students spend time actively engaged in a gaming development project,” she says. This affords young talent a unique opportunity to grow their skill sets and build a strong, comprehensive portfolio that demonstrates their understanding of game development to prospective employers.
A variety of The IIE accredited design, development, and creative qualifications, tailored to meet gaming industry standards, are offered Vega.
“This is Vega’s second Ludum Game Jam, and we plan to host two of these events each year, with the intention of building them into the curriculum for all students,” says Carstens.
The Vega Game Jam is open to all Vega students in any discipline, and of any skill level. Students are encouraged to sign up as teams, but individuals can also sign up by themselves and will be allocated to a team. Not only are students encouraged to join but also to game design and development hobbyists, professionals and even matric students with IT and/or design as subjects who are interested in pursuing a career in game design and development. Participation is free, and meals as well as free WiFi access are provided.