A ballroom at Texas A&M University’s Memorial Student Center will be packed Oct. 4-6 with students developing video games at Chillennium, the world’s largest student-run game jam.
The annual event, hosted by the Department of Visualization at the MSC’s Bethancourt Ballroom, drew nearly 400 registered contestants in 2018. The competitors, who attend from across the nation, aim to win coveted game software licenses, develop their digital skills, meet fellow developers and network with industry professionals who roam the game jam floor advising participants.
The theme for this year’s Chillennium will be announced when the event begins at Oct. 4 at 5 p.m. Contestants will then have 48 hours to develop games alone or in teams of up to four members using their own hardware with programming languages available online, loaded on their computers or provided by contest organizers.
Contestants toting pillows, blankets and computer hardware are set to arrive at the ballroom starting at Oct. 4 a 1 p.m. After the 48-hour game development period, industry professionals, event sponsors and game players will play and rank the games in a variety of categories, including innovation, quality, completeness, design and sound. Contest organizers will award prizes that include highly-sought licenses for high-powered, professional-grade gaming software.
The event is run by visualization students headed by André Thomas, who teaches Texas A&M visualization classes in game development and leads the department’s Learning Interactive Visualizations Experience (LIVE) Lab, a university game development hub.
Chillennium’s success has enhanced the national prominence of the game design program at the Department of Visualization.
Animation Career Review, an online career resource for aspiring animators, game designers and digital artists, placed Texas A&M in the No. 7 spot among public schools and colleges in its 2018 ranking of game design schools. A&M was No. 21 nationally among public and private programs.