Pitt-Bradford to host Global Game Jam Next

Drawing for GGJ
Drawing a character for a jam

Following the success of its annual participation in the Global Game Jam, Pitt-Bradford will host Global Game Jam Next for young game developers July 28-29.


            During the weekend, students age 12 to 17 will create a brand new video game with the help of Jeremy Callinan, a computer information systems and technology instructor at Pitt-Bradford.


            Students will work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day to learn how to use the game programming software Unity, then use templates to create a simple arcade game.


            Depending on the talents of the students, some could create original art, music or sound effects to be recorded or digitized and used in the game.


“We're excited about GGJNEXT,” Callinan said. “It's a great opportunity for young adults to see a little bit about what it's like to put together a project quickly. They also see how video games (and video, audio effects, and other digital artwork) are created, and that they can make their own. That's an empowering feeling for kids.”


            Since 2017, Pitt-Bradford students have taken part in the GGJ, a worldwide event in which thousands of people gather in groups to develop games on the same theme during the course of a weekend. At the end of the weekend, the games are uploaded and shared.


            The GGJ is not a contest, but rather a chance for game enthusiasts to come together to work on a fun project together.


            Leading up to the Game Jam for 2018, Callinan began working with Bradford Area High School students to take part in the jam. That plan was derailed however, when Callinan discovered that participants in the jam were required to be 18 years old.


            GGJ introduced GGJ Next this spring in order for students 12-17 to take part, and Pitt-Bradford will be one of about 50 sites to offer the program.


            Participation in the jam, which is sponsored by the Pitt-Bradford computer information systems and technology program, is free, but spaces are limited. Lunch and snacks will be provided. To register, contact the Division of Continuing Education and Regional Development at 814-362-5078 or contined@pitt.edu.