Designing games on a global scale

Lauren Bartley and Eleanor Chan, both first-year Game Design students, having fun brainstorming numerous ideas for their game.

Lauren Bartley and Eleanor Chan, both first-year Game Design students, having fun brainstorming numerous ideas for their game. (The Sheridan Sun/ Mark Elgie)


Sheridan students were jamming … not with instruments, but with games.

Last Friday, students got together at Trafalgar Campus to create all sorts of new games – video games, board games, or a fusion of both, and they were given three days to make these ideas a reality.

“The Global Game Jam is an event that was started in, I think, 2008,” said event organizer, and second-year Game Design student, Meagan Byrne.

“It was started by these guys, and they’re like ‘I really like doing game jams, and I feel like I’ve got some friends over here [in another country], they like doing it but they’re really far away, let’s do something big,’ so that’s how it got started.”

According to Byrne, the aim is for everyone participating in the Global Game Jam to participate at the same time, with the same aim.

“The idea is, have a game jam across the world. So it’s like one big game jam. Everyone’s doing the same thing, everyone’s sort of on the same time frame, within reason,” Byrne said, citing Hawaii as an example of how some places are behind in terms of time.


“I’m really interested in making small games,” said first-year Bachelor of Game Design student Cassidy King. “I just find those games have the most creativity in them.”

King also had another goal in mind – to get ahead in his class.

“This semester we’re learning a new engine called Unity, and I wanted to learn it and practise with it so that I could get a little bit of a head start,” he said.

Other students, like first-year Game Design students Lauren Bartley and Eleanor Chan, wanted to focus exclusively on the educational aspect in their approach to the Game Jam.

“One of our ideas was you look exactly like a wanted criminal and since the theme [of the Game Jam] is ‘What do we do now?’ I thought that’d be, you know, a really good premise to some sort of game,” said Chan.

The two students also had the idea for a particular game in mind.

“[Lauren] also had this idea of an endless runner on [the list],” Chan said.

“So it could be like, you see a wanted poster of yourself, and then all of a sudden, you hear sirens and bam, that’s like the gameplay all of a sudden.”

“We actually have an assignment where we have to make an endless runner,” said Bartley.

Bartley and Chan had no shortage of ideas for what this endless runner game would be like.

“It could look like a top-down game maybe, ’cause then that way there’d be branching pathways,” Chan said.