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Monday, April 15, 2024

Global Game Jam (JAN 25-27, 2024)

Alfaisal University’s Game Innovation Lab recently hosted the world’s largest game development event, known as the Global Game Jam. This year, the event took place from January 22 to 28 and was simultaneously held in over 100 countries. The Game Innovation Lab organized this event in partnership with the Digital Game Association (DGA) and the Global Game Jam (GGJ) Coordinators in the MENA Region.

The challenge was active for 48 hours, where Engineering students and professionals gathered in one place to work on game development under the theme introduced this year by GGJ which is “make me laugh”. The jam gathered 187 participants this year which made it the biggest site hosting the event in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Jammers joined Alfaisal site from other universities in addition to many developers, designers, and external studio professionals which made the outcomes fascinating.

The event starts globally in many universities during the same duration and the theme was revealed to encourage participants develop games inspired by laughter this year. In Saudi Arabia, Alfaisal university was amongst the leading universities in hosting this global game jam event that was supported by MCIT and aims to build and stimulate a sustainable environment for the gaming community to build and innovate.

The event was led by Dr. Areej Al-wabil, the director of Alfaisal’s AI Center and Ms. Safia Dawood, Software & Society Course Instructor, and was organized by Software Engineering lecturer and CoE’s Game Innovation Lab Director, Eng. Hoda Elsayed.

A series of workshops were planned in support to enriching the gaming experience to all participants and elevating their knowledge of game related tools and technologies for design and development as well as ideating the theme for refined game scenarios.One of which was introduced by the Game Development Club (GDC) on gaming tools  and theme ideation on day 1 by Saleh Alghannam, Razan Abu Owaimer, Mohamed Alderi, Joodi Trabulsi and Salman Khoja. The other workshop was delivered on day 2 by Dr. Areej Alwabil on game design and mecahnics. Moreover, 3 workshops were arranged by DGA on 3d modeling, unity engine and Game Genres beyond Convention.

The event took place on campus from January 25 to 27, in which participants were able to explore the process of game development staring with brainstorming stage, narrative storyline design, art making, mechanics building and ending with implementation and testing stages. On last day, 20 teams managed to upload their playable game editions to globalgamejam.org site marking their achievement down, reaching the final stage of the challenge through introducing their games that reflect upon the revealed theme. All teams presented their games demos with 20 playable editions, emphasized “make me laugh” related aspects and details related to the game development and design.

The event concluded by coronating the organizing team of mentors, volunteers (Fahdah Alzakari, Abdulrahman Adam, Zakariya Ba Alawi , Ahmed Bin Halabi, Ghalyah Alghunaim, Nourah Almuhaimeed and Abdulrahman Sakah), Leaders (Alanoud Bin Dayel, Razan Abu Owaimer, Abdulrahman Raed) and workshop organizers and by declaring two winning ideas in a memorable closing ceremony where M.E.O.W and UniScape secured top project awards and two teams won the honourable mentions which are Fiesta Del Taco and Jelly Rumble. Congrats to all winners!

Special thanks to Dr. Muhammad Anan, CoE dean, and Dr. Muhammad Umair, SE department chair, for the continuous support and encouragement to all participants. A heartfelt appreciation to GDC team for the active contribution in mentoring students (Mentors: Mohamed Alderi, Saif Hamdan, Ameena Bin Taleb, Saleh Alghannam and Razan Abu Owaimer) and volunteering throughout the event in addition to arranging a workshop to encourage participants achieve better results.

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