Shenandoah University served as an official Global Game Jam site on Jan. 25, through Jan. 27. This was the first time the event has been hosted on Shenandoah’s campus.
Assistant Professor of Music Production & Recording Technology (MPRT) Graham Spice, M.S., hosted the event, which was attended by a number of conservatory students. The MPRT program is becoming more involved with audio for games and the event provided an additional opportunity for students to explore and experiment.
Thirty conservatory students attended the Audio Engineering Society (AES) conference held in New York City last October. At the conference, several students and faculty attended sessions and panels about game audio with industry experts. At the end of each session, there were consistent questions about how to get into the industry. Almost every single panelist suggested attending a local game jam. Spice researched the event and registered to host the event at Shenandoah. The intense 48-hour game jam was an ideal way to learn more about gaming in a single immersive weekend.
Shenandoah Conservatory student participants included Alex Daughtrey ’22, Ethan Bodsford ’21, Euan Harris ’22, Graham vonBriesen ’18, Michaela Lantzy ’19, Noah Granard ’22, Ryan Cook ’19, Spencer Robinson ’22, Daniel Trout Jr. ’22, Greg Pierce ’21, Kaela Dunlap ’20, Shean Rheams ’22 and Michaela Brayboy ’22, all of whom are studying for a Bachelor of Music in Music Production & Recording Technology, except for Robinson, who is studying for a Bachelor of Music in Performance.
They could choose to focus on one or several areas during the Global Game Jam, including audio, asset development, programming, storyboarding and voice acting. These students built a game that can be downloaded and played, titled “Homebox.” They generated the idea based on a theme that the Global Game Jam provided, storyboarded the idea, generated unique artwork and audio for the game, and programmed the gameplay. Wesley Brown, a staff member from the Shenandoah Center for Immersive Learning (SCIL), helped shepherd the development and his involvement was invaluable to the team’s success. Visit www.globalgamejam.org/2019/games/homebox to learn more.