Mass. STEM Week: October 23, 2019 – Worcester, MA

See Yourself in STEM Game Jam

A game jam (making a game within a time limit using a prescribed set of tools) is a great way for young people of any experience level to try their hand at building a game – from coding on up. MassDiGI, working with the Becker College student game development club and a Becker College professor, is offering a 6 hour game jam for high school students, teachers and parents across the state this Mass. STEM Week.

Interested students, teachers and parents will spend their time creating a digital game from assets that the club provides using the Game Maker software engine*. This engine has a simple and intuitive workflow that students of all backgrounds will be able to easily pick up.

For those participating online there will be a dedicated communications channel with all Becker student club members so that if anyone participating online runs into any problems they can be helped promptly.  The club will provide all that participate with a game jam “kit”, this will provide people with the engine along with any assets that the people may need. The theme of the game jam will be See Yourself in STEM.

And, lastly, after the conclusion of the game jam and to the extent possible, the games will be posted online for all to play.

For more information about Mass. STEM Week, please click here.

  • STEM Exploration
  • High school students, teachers and parents
  • Wednesday, October 23, 2019 – 330p-930p
  • Online (unlimited)
  • In-person at MassDiGI, Becker College, Barrett Center, 80 William St., Worcester, MA (limit 16)

 

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Here’s to one hell of a summer – 8/7/19

Here’s to one hell of a summer

By Ethan Reese, Berklee College of Music ’19

As SIP is coming to an end, everything seems a little bittersweet and surreal. After almost four months of living and working with so many amazing humans, normal life back at school will certainly be a wild change.

My favorite experience during SIP was definitely being able to work with every team here. As the sole audio representative, it is my job to make all of the music and sound effects for every game this summer. Each team had a different game that required its own style of audio which made every day full of a variety of work. It was great fun being able to record and write in so many styles and even record some of my co-workers for some of the sound effects. This was extra fun because all of the people here are incredible, not just as co-workers but also as friends.

At Purgatory ChasmEach day is filled with many ideas being thrown around, everyone asking for critique on their work, people learning form one another, many laughs, and (after work) maannnyyy games of Super Smash Bros.

In the beginning of this summer I was worried about being on so many teams because I was afraid that no one team would truly see me as a member; that I’d be seen as my own team. This worry quickly dissipated due to the spectacular people and I couldn’t imagine a better way to work with my fellow SIPers! However, being on so many teams was an interesting task too as I had to juggle many equally weighted responsibilities. Over the summer we all used a method called Kanban to manage tasks and track progress. Although this was great for each team individually, I found that I needed to develop my own way of keeping track of my progress on a macro level so that nothing was forgotten.

Overall, my time here at SIP has been absolutely incredible and has taught me more than I imagined I would learn about games, problem solving, collaboration, and just being a decent human being.

P.S. I second Denis and Toby. Don’t let Brandon cook steak.

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From across the pond – 7/29/19

From across the pond

Hi, we’re Denis Gillespie and Tobias Maclure-O’Reilly from Letterkenny Institute of Technology in Ireland. We are both programmers who have just finished our final year and are taking part in the Summer Innovation Program at MassDiGI.

L-R: Denis Gillespie, John Conaghan (LYIT lecturer), Tobias Maclure-O’Reilly

We were gifted the great opportunity to participate in the programme and jumped at the chance to come to the states. So far, we have been introduced to the inner workings of a game development studio, met industry professionals, and experienced American culture. While we have been working here, we have been able to enhance our ability to work with a team of artists, programmers, and an audio designer (shout out to Ethan Reese). Over our time here so far we have met industry professionals from WB Games Boston, the Indie Game Collective, Demiurge Studios and past SIP alumni. These meetings provided us with the opportunity to learn about the industry and playtest our games, which gave us valuable feedback to further the development of our games. But it is not all work, we have also been able to enjoy national parks taking in the sights, experience our first 4th of July, American food and nightlife.

We are part of two seperate teams, Team Banoffee and Team Cherry. Banoffee consists of three artists – Amanda Saker, Ben Aube and Oriana Carletto, three programmers – Jason Gertner, Sarah Ke and myself (Denis), and the audio designer Ethan Reese. The working title of our game is Roller Riot – a mobile arcade brawler with a futuristic Roller Derby theme. Cherry is made up of three artists – Angel Ortiz , Emma Lowry , Savannah Gaspar three programmers – Griffin Beels, Sebastian Schindler, myself (Tobias) and the always busy audio designer, Ethan. We are developing a mobile endless runner about a young hero, Omar, that must save his people from the diminishing light. The game has the working title of Save the Flame! Both team Cherry and Banoffee are reaching the end of their development goals for the summer program. With the aim of a soft release this autumn.

Here’s a sneak peak of what our games currently look like:

Roller RiotSave the Flame

 

For both of us this was our first time across the pond. It has been a once in a lifetime experience, that we are sure we will never forget.

P.S. Don’t let Brandon cook steak

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