eJam’s Success in Empowering Students30 Jun 2020
IGDA’s eJam— a virtual game jam that paired students with professional game developers to jam out game projects in just 48 hours– saw over 300 students and 50 game development professional mentors participate and was be featured on Twitch as part of its Summer Game Fest. Student teams and their projects were highlighted as part of the front-page Twitch coverage, celebrating their creativity, efforts, and teamwork. Over 250k viewers watched the keynote and closing ceremony.
The eJam also provided unique networking, mentorship, and recruitment opportunities, by connecting students with professionals and showcasing their efforts to the sponsoring studios and the 30,000 professional game developers that make up IGDA’s network. This jam was generously sponsored by Obsidian Entertainment, Manticore Games, Riot Forge Games, and Unity.
“Students everywhere experienced severe disruption to their study and their lives as schools and universities had to move online. We wanted to empower students through a virtual game jam with support from game development professionals,” commented Renee Gittins, the Executive Director of the IGDA, in the closing ceremony. “Game jams are the perfect opportunity to learn and expand your knowledge of game development, whether it’s your first time or you’re an industry veteran, and this eJam has introduced students to professional game devs and helped them build their skills and portfolios.”
This year the eJam theme was “Celebration” and 50 projects were submitted before the deadline by students from around the world. Teams of students from Singapore to Germany created a wide range of colorful, festive, and humorous games.
Students of all levels of experience were welcomed in this game jam. To acknowledge that each team would be facing unique challenges on their path, special awards were given to three teams for outstanding accomplishments:
The team that shows the most creativity in approaching the theme and their game.
Click your way to candy GLORY! Pinata Clicker is a clicker-genre game combining 3D and 2D elements. Spend your candy riches on new upgrades to expand your wealth, and save up for the almighty Ancient Chancla. All you have to do is click!
Peter Lefaivre | Noodle of Noodle Games – Programmer and 3D Artist
“It was a rare opportunity and a treat to be a part of such a focused, cheerful, and reliable team!”
Wren Credle – 3D Modeling and Visual Effects
“This game jam was like a roller coaster, highs, lows, scary, and unexpected things happened. But like any good roller coaster as soon as we were done I wanted to get right back on.”
Noëmi Couté | Bluecove – Designer and Artist
“Never before have I worked with such a fantastic team of creatives! This jam helped me see that there are others that are just as passionate about games as I am!”
Jessica Hurtado | Kermit – Artist and Audio Designer
“Amazing things can happen when you meet the right people at the right time 🙂 ”
Best Teamwork: You
Recognizing those who do the most to support each other– those who are most willing to lend a hand and words of support to others.
You is a visual novel about the balancing act of life. You experience the inner thoughts of ‘you’ as you learn about the many different compromises you make in life. Meeting up with the voices inside ‘your’ head and listening to their viewpoints is crucial as you navigate trying to craft a future you can be happy with.
Will Kracke – Programmer and Designer
“Working on a team like this is a dream come true for me, It’s incredibly fun to be able to make a concept like this one come to life. Spending a lot of time working together and staying on the same page is why our group succeeded, and forming that connection with your team members is the most important thing.”
Link Simon – Artist
“This was my first Game Jam ever, and I am so happy with how our game turned out! I’m honored to have had such a great team of guys to work with, and I’m glad they liked my art enough to make a game with it!”
Matthew Sze-Tu – Programmer and Writer
“This Game Jam was an incredible experience for me, giving me a chance to improve my programming and use my writing abilities in a new way. I’m incredibly proud of the final product my team and I delivered together.”
Christopher Lautenbacher – Project Manager and Graphic Designer
“I’m genuinely proud of not only the project we worked on but the journey our team went through. Your best friends are out there waiting for you to meet them.”
Jacob Brosler – Programmer
“It’s insane to think that I joined this jam on a whim and am now coming out of it not only with an amazing game having been made but also three new friends I would have never met otherwise. I could never have done this without everyone on this team and I am forever grateful IGDA gave us the platform and motivation to create something really unique.”
Best Growth: Cake Bash
Because the journey is the most important part of any game jam, not the result. The team who shows the most personal growth over the course of this game jam.
You’re 12 again, at a friends birthday party, you have spare cake. You know what to do. Just have fun. Completely in sync with the theme of the Jam, which was celebration, fun, party.
Rebecca Pilotte | Becca – Cover Art
Muhammad Maaz | MaazBarz – Programmer/ Director
Randal Murray | ChessireTheCat – Level Designer
Casey Urso | cauro99 – Sound Designer
Abdullah Abdelwahab | Monstervich – Producer
Every team who submitted a game will also be sent a participation certificate and granted a free year of IGDA Membership– providing access to exclusive IGDA resources, such as the IGDA Resource Library, IGDA Chapters and SIG, more mentorship opportunities, and thousands of dollars in discounts on hardware and events.