Video game developers will showcase their trade at the M.A.G.I.C. Game Jam, a 24-hour competition to be hosted at Wolfson Campus Sept. 29 through 30.
The event is a partnership between the College’s M.A.G.I.C. Club and the Video Game Association. It will pair students who have limited video game development experience with local experts.
“Our goal is to connect with the local game developers here with the people who want to learn about it,” said Ivan Delgado, who graduated from Miami Dade College’s Miami Animation and Gaming International Complex in 2017 with a degree in animation and game art and is serving as a mentor at the event. “It’s for them to get together and meet those who are in the field to possibly have the opportunities to grow in the future.”
The event, open to any college or university student, splits attendees into teams of four to six participants, though premade groups may join. Participants will work to create a short video game in 24 hours. The winning team will earn a lunch date with Frank Azor, co-founder and general manager of Alienware, a PC gaming company.
“Students don’t really have to have any prior experience. Everything will be taught there,” said Nicole Garcia, who manages social media for Game Jam.
Cost to put on the event is between $1,500 and $2,000, with the majority of the funds provided by sponsors like Alienware, Mammoth Interactive, TaleGames and Lulu’s Nitrogen Ice Cream. Organizers are also partnering with the Student Life Department at Wolfson Campus to provide food.
Though this is the third annual Game Jam, it is the first affiliated with M.A.G.I.C. The M.A.G.I.C. Club aims to tie the ideas of M.A.G.I.C. into the two-day event.
The Game Jam expects to attract at least 125 attendees this year, up from almost 40 last year, according to Daniel Centanni, director of the Video Game Association.
With the event fast approaching, organizers are ready for education and development to intersect again.
“I’ve been trying to teach them the ways of how to organize an event like that and, in the process, they hopefully see some leadership skills they can grow upon,” said Delgado, who also served a mentor at the event during its inaugural year. “They were taking what I taught them, and they were running with it. When you see them grow, it’s something really awesome to see.”
The M.A.G.I.C. Game Jam will be hosted at the Chapman Conference Center, 300 N.E. 2nd Ave, Room 3210. Interested participants can enter the competition for free at www.magicgamejam.com