Dozens of NJIT design and information technology students and a few from surrounding colleges will pull all-nighters at NJIT’s Seventh Annual Global Game Jam (GGJ) Jan. 20-22 alongside visiting professionals and alumni who return for the annual event.
Organized in 2008, GGJ, an international nonprofit corporation based in California, is the world’s largest game-development event. More than 35,000 participants from over 90 countries are expected to gather at sites worldwide to create games.
NJIT is the key location for Northern New Jersey. Collectively, the jammers are likely to create more than 6,500 new games during the weekend.
The free annual marathon, which will be hosted in the School of Art + Design’s Foundation and Animation Labs in Campbell Hall after an introductory session in the College of Architecture and Design’s Weston Hall, (Lecture Hall One), offers anyone over the age of 18 the chance to design video games in 48 hours. Participants leave with a crash course in video game production, plus a product to enjoy and possibly market.
Last year, more than 36,000 registered jammers across 93 countries produced 6,866 games, which represented over a 20 percent increase in worldwide participation and output.
In 2016, NJIT was the only New Jersey school to make The Princeton Review's list of the top 50 undergraduate schools to study game design. NJIT’s game development program is a collaborative effort, combining faculty and resources of the information technology and digital design programs. Students interested in the coding aspects of game design can pursue the B.S. in Information Technology in the Ying Wu College of Computing, while those interested in the art, character and environment design of games can purse the B.A. in Digital Design within the College of Architecture and Design.
“Successful games can only be produced collaboratively and need a skillful combination of art and technology,” says Glenn Goldman, director of the School of Art + Design. “Players care how the games look, and how the games work. We even have students composing original audio for the games. It is this collaboration that makes the event so exciting and fun, and creates a community out of multiple programs, departments and colleges at NJIT.”
Goldman says the School of Art + Design is fortunate to operate in the context of a comprehensive research university, “where we can deal with all of the varied requirements for game design, and where we have the expertise needed to creatively produce engaging entertainment products. And these collaborations often continue after the event with new friends and business enterprises formed with connections made at the Global Game Jam.”