Education

ArtCenter & EA Industrial Toys Host Rose Valley Game Jam

High school and college students join industry experts at weekend-long event to foster the next generation of game developers

ArtCenter College of Design and mobile game developer EA Industrial Toys are hosting the 2nd annual Rose Valley Game Jam in Pasadena from Feb. 27 to March 1.

While a typical game jam is a gathering of creators who collaborate to develop a game over a short period, the 2020 Rose Valley Game Jam takes this to a new level by having high school students work alongside college students, all mentored by professional developers and game design teachers.

On opening day, participants will form teams and get a crash course in game development. Then for the next two days, they’ll work intently on their games, guided by mentors from EA development studios, current ArtCenter faculty and students, and other industry professionals. The event concludes on Sunday afternoon with a closing ceremony and a public showcase.

“We’re very excited to see what these young folks come up with,” Alexander Seropian, founder of Industrial Toys and father of the “Halo” franchise, said. “Game development is not easy, there are a lot of moving parts, but the rewards are amazing when you see something you only imagined come to life on the screen.”

Among Game Jam’s many goals are: introducing high school and college students to the challenges and rewards of game development, showcasing Pasadena’s innovative game development scene, and tapping the creativity of many talented individuals working together to create works of art.

“A good game producer knows the craft inside and out,” said Christophe Gomez, director of ArtCenter’s new Game Design track. “The Game Jam is an exciting and engaging way to teach beginners the different elements of game design, not just participating in and leading multi-faceted teams, but also to keep the end-players’ enjoyment in mind through storytelling, prototyping and problem-solving.”

Last year’s inaugural Rose Valley Jam was a great success, with 55 students on 10 teams, a standing-room-only crowd for the final presentations, and a salutation from Pasadena Mayor Tornek.

Members of the general public can request an invitation to the showcase. In the end, the results will also be shared via YouTube and Itch.io.

February 19, 2020

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