The "Audio First" Student Game Jam (Summer 2020)


Registration now closed


What:

Come celebrate the new year with us and let loose with those game design and development skills!

In March 2020, the UTS Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology will be hosting the "Audio First" Student Game Jam (Summer 2020).

This two day event is chance for students to let their creativity run wild and create a game from scratch. No grades, no job expectations – just a chance to have fun, meet new people, learn new skills!

Details:

Dates: Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd March 2020

Location: CB.07.03.10B / G .

This is the primary meeting point for the Game Jam but participants are free to work from any location on- or off-campus that suits them.

Times: The above location will be open from 9am-6pm both days and organizing staff will be present during these times.

Program:

Monday, March 2nd (Day 1)

  • 9am - 10am: Registration signup, group forming.
  • 10am - 12m: Workshop on Audio Technology for Gaming (by Dolby Australia)
  • 12m - 1pm: Lunch
  • 1pm - 5pm: Work on your game.
  • 5pm - 6pm: For a Day 1 Wrap Session with dinner

Tuesday, March 3rd (Day 2)

  • 9am - 12m: Work in your game
  • 12m - 1pm: Lunch
  • 1pm - 5pm: Work on your game.
  • 5pm - 7pm: Final submission of entries, judging, Day 2 Wrap Session with dinner, and prizes

Workshop on Audio Technology for Gaming:

A look at the evolution of game audio technology and how technology capabilities shape our gaming experiences. From the pre-synth audio chips to the immersive sound formats of today, gaming audio has always lived at the intersection of creative desire and technology constraints. As well as reviewing the past we’ll focus on the current and emerging technology for gaming audio, and some of the tools and tricks needed to create immersive experiences.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Michael Mason

Michael is an electrical engineer and computer scientist with a PhD in Audio and Speech coding and is an avid lifelong gamer. Over the last 20 years Michael has generated multiple publications and patents in audio and speech signal processing and since joining Dolby Australia in 2011 has played pivotal roles in bringing some of Dolby’s latest technologies from their research departments to products, including Dolby Atmos for headphone. Michael’s current focus is on architecting the Dolby Atmos for Gaming ecosystem and promoting it’s adoption across new platforms, devices and games.

Prizes:

Prizes will be given in a variety of audio-related categories, recognising great games and other quirky achievements (sponsored by Dolby Australia).

This includes a visit to Dolby Australia, where winners will have the chance to showcase their games and interact with Dolby professionals in a low-pressure context. Snacks and drinks will be provided by Dolby.

The visit is scheduled for the 13th of March at 3:30 PM. (one week after the Game Jam)

Who is Invited:

This event is for students of UTS only. While we expect most students will be from FEIT, students from other faculties are welcome too! There are only 80 spots though so make sure you register quick! (and please only register if you are certain you will come on the day)

Team Sizes:

There is no minimum or maximum team size, however we recommend teams of 2-5 people. You can come with a pre-made team but there will also be time to form new teams and recruit new team members on the first day. This is a chance to work with people you usually wouldn’t get the chance to, so make the most of it and get to know others at the event.

Theme:

On this particular ocassion, the general theme for the Game Jam is "Audio comes First".

Core topics will be provided on the day of the Game Jam for teams to design and build their game around. This ensures that all teams come to event with a blank canvas, ready to collaborate on any creative design ideas that are inspired by the themes of the day.

Food:

Light lunch (midday) and dinner (5pm) snacks will be provided on both days but participants are also encouraged to bring their own food and plenty of water.

What to bring:

Whatever you want! Some recommended resources are:

  • A laptop to work on
  • Appropriate software installed that you think you may need (Unity, Unreal, Photoshop, Blender, etc.)
  • Audio related hardware (launch pads, headphones, musical intruments, microphones, etc, etc)
  • Some favourite assets from past projects or asset stores (3D models, 2D textures / sprites, scripts, particle effects, audio, etc.)
  • The Game Jam will use Discord and Itch.io for communication and submissions. Get ready by setting up an account with these two systems.

What skills do I need:

In order to facilitate team formations on the day, we will ask participants to think about the skills they have or that they want to work on during the Game Jam. This may include programming, game design, 2D art, 3D art, narrative writing, audio design, project management, or others.
Our team doesn’t have enough skills to create a game!
Are you sure? Games take many different forms and require a wide variety of skills.

  • All programmers and no artists? No problem, a game can still be extremely fun without looking polished.
  • All artists and no programmers? Create a highly detailed board game or card game that will grab everyone’s attention.
  • More of a physically active or social group? Get outside and design a new word game, outdoor activity, or sport.

What if our team fails?

That’s what a Game Jam is for! Get creative and ambitious, and if you don’t reach your goals then at least you learnt new skills, have something to show and work on in future, and had fun trying!

Are there any examples of what a Game Jam game looks like?

Game Jams are happening all over the world all the time. Take a look at itch.io ( https://itch.io/jams ) to see some that are currently occurring online. Or check out past entries in the Global Game Jam ( https://globalgamejam.org/ ).

Finally, here is some footage from our latest Student Game Jam ( https://itch.io/jam/uts-student-game-jam-2018 ) ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbIE-L4d50&list=PLLMSUHKUevvijdJk1Zr4wb5NDuXbqPL7h ).

Organizers:

This event is organized by the UTS Games Studio research lab and funded by Dolby Australia and the Faculty of Engineering and IT.

Questions?

For inquiries please contact us at: jaime.garcia@uts.edu.au