Global Game Jam Brings Gamers’ Fantasies to Life

A homemade arcade console made by staff of the Creative Production Lab. Photo by Maria Nevada

Maria Nevada

The annual Global Game Jam took place in Mammel Hall over the weekend, bringing together game development enthusiasts for a 36-hour game creation marathon.

Global Game Jam is a global event, with teams at local sites around the world coming together to create a full-fledged game over the weekend. Charles Fisher, the Creative Production Lab supervisor at the Criss Library, headed up the event on UNO’s campus.

On Friday, teams were given the theme of the competition, this year’s theme being “What Home Means to You.” Teams have a few hours to brainstorm, before launching into full development. The even brings together coders, audio engineers, voice over actors, illustrators and more.

Fisher explained that although this was the first year the UNO Creative Production Lab was involved, the event has been running in Omaha since 2016. The number of participants have doubled since then, with 32 participants in this year’s competition.

Christina Ellis, a freelance illustrator, was participating with a group of her friends, working on illustrations of dreamy pastel-and-candy colored landscapes.

“I wanted to work on a team of people I actually know but haven’t collaborated with before somehow,” Ellis said.

The process is grueling, but rewarding. By Saturday, participants were surrounded by Red Bull cans and boxes of donuts but many games were already under development and some playable.

“I would love to see more UNO students,” Fisher said.