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Monday, January 29, 2018

Global Game Jam - Serious games meet the bizarre at Abertay University

Abertay University’s biggest ever Global Game Jam event produced an array of innovative prototype games at the weekend ranging from the serious and thoughtful to the fun and bizarre.

A capacity 250 game makers packed into the University’s Centre for Excellence and Whitespace areas for the creative Friday to Sunday festival of coding, computer art, sound design and conceptualisation.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Global Game Jam which had just 1,650 participants in 23 countries in 2009. It now attracts around 40,000 people across 805 sites in 109 nations, spanning every populated continent on the planet.

All following the same international theme of ‘Transmission’, teams at Abertay produced a wide variety of games including a local radio DJ simulator, a game to raise awareness of STIs, a collaborative camping horror experience, and a spaceship adventure set around demonic possession touching on the rise of artificial intelligence.

Students from Abertay games courses were joined by academics, alumni and local industry professionals, with many teams forming organically after linking up through social media.

Dundee games studios Hyper Luminal and Pocket Sized Hands, which both started life at Abertay, were the sponsors of this year’s jam.

Dr Dayna Galloway, Head of the Division of Games and Arts at Abertay, said: “Global Game Jam never fails to surprise and 2018 has been no different, with an incredible diversity of talent and creativity on show.

“It’s great to see the appetite for the event growing every year and I’m sure many of the games produced this weekend will sow the seed of something special, as has been the case in the past.”

Jo Summers, Executive Producer of Global Game Jam added: “Many of our sites are hosting hundreds of people, with our Cairo, Egypt site holding the world record for largest physical game jam with an expected 1,800 people.

“Perhaps most exciting is the rise of specific sites; we have a board game-only site, a LARPing-only site, VR-only sites, and a single Escape Room-only Jam Site.

“We are proud to be an inclusive event.”

Abertay is the number one University in Europe for computer games education and was the first in the world to offer degrees in the discipline, which has now outgrown the film industry in terms of revenue.

For more information on computer games courses at Abertay, including Game Design and Production, Computer Games Technology, Computer Arts, Sound and Music for Games and Computer Game Applications Development. visit

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