Video Game Jam in Shreveport/Bossier seeks gamers for marathon coding fun
Gaming enthusiasts will have two days to design a video game as part of the DigiFest South Game Jam that begins Friday at Cohab in Shreveport.
Teams will have one weekend to complete all coding and content as part of the competition. LSU Shreveport computer science and English instructor Jon Baarsch teaches a course about storytelling in video games and drawing connections to traditional literary works.
“There’s a great desire for people to want to contextualize their game in some sort of more fictive environment, whether that's the Old West or World War II,” Baarsch said.
Louisiana Tech design professor Jerry Berg is organizing the game jam and developing the theme. He says there’s a place in this event even for people without coding experience because there are many different challenges.
“Being able to pull everything together into a playable game that doesn’t crash or have some kind of issue is a challenge,” Berg said. “I think most people who’ve done a game jam or have been involved with game development don’t expect a whole lot out of that. But, you can be really surprised what people can actually accomplish within that 48-hour period.”
Baarsch says design teams should take time to develop characters and a storyline, perhaps finding inspiration from famous literary works. He says his students believe the story matters.
“Forty-eight hours is a very short time to write a complex story, but that’s where genre and tradition come in. There are certain generic elements that people can reproduce very quickly, or even just hint at and the audience or the player will fill them in in their imagination,” Baarsch said.
The games will be on display and playable at the DigiFest South Tech Expo. Berg recruited a group of game developers to judge the game jam. DigiFest takes place Sept. 17-18 at CenturyLink Center in Bossier City.