Every year at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), the Game Design Club puts together two major Game Jam events. During these events, students are able to work together in teams of two to four in order to develop a game within the time constraints.
This year, the Game Design Club took a different approach by hosting the first ever Board Game Jam. This event took place on Oct. 7 and 8, lasting 24 hours from 6 p.m. on Friday to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
This event still worked to educate students on the flow of a standard development cycle, but focused far more on board games rather than digital ones. That being said, despite this, the diversity of the games managed to shine through. Some stu¬dents created standard board games while others made card games.
Common feedback described the event as far less intimidating than a standard Game Jam, as it allowed first year students with less technical skills to develop a game with¬out necessarily having the programming prowess of a junior or senior.
With such a focus on mechanics, students were able to draft and playtest their games far more frequently than they would have been able to in a game engine. Because there was no real programming involved, everyone took on the role of designer. This influenced how their game would be played, as well as how long a play session of their game would be.
All in all, the Game Design Club established a new tradition in the form of the Board Game Jam, and with the digital Game Jam right around the corner on Nov. 4, there’s no doubt that students will feel much more confident about the nature of game development.