IT Carlow Students at Global Game Jam


Seven students from IT Carlow’s degree in Computer Games Development participated in Global Game Jam in Tipperary recently.  The competition is a high-pressure race to complete a video game, board game or card game in a limited timeframe – 48 hours.  Participants rapidly prototype game designs and hopefully inject new ideas to help grow the indigenous game industry in Ireland.

Game programmers, game designers, artists and sound engineers in Higher Education from all over Ireland came together and formed teams before racing against the clock.  The short timeframe is meant to help encourage creative thinking to result in small but innovative and experimental games.
Conor O’Neill, one of IT Carlow’s participants, praised the ethos and atmosphere at the event: “Everyone offered to help, including cross-team cooperation.  It was less an atmosphere of competition and more so one of collaboration.  We ended up with the most complete game out of the five or so submitted from Tipperary.  It was invaluable to work with a team of artists, sound engineers and designers from the standpoint of building a portfolio and something for my CV.”
Another student from IT Carlow at the event, James Shannon, describes Global Game Jam as “a fantastic learning experience.  It gave us the chance to develop our game from concept to completion and gauge our skills against students with the same amount of experience.  It provided a good opportunity to pick up new programming techniques and learn some new tricks.  I highly recommend aspiring software developers and programmers to take part in Global Game Jam 2012.
Conor and Stephen were given a free rein by the organisers to develop their game on the WP7 platform using their C# programming skills and say they are very proud of what they achieved under difficult conditions – and with about 4 hours sleep in all! 
IT Carlow’s BSc in Computer Games Development was developed with Microsoft, the makers of the X-Box®.  This is the only degree course in Gaming that Microsoft has helped to develop and given its backing to.  The course includes a six-month work placement.

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