Over the weekend, video game developers converged upon LSU for 48 hours of straight jamming.
Happening in 78 countries across the globe in 524 sites, the Global Game Jam video game creation competition, the world’s largest event of its kind, was held at LSU’s Digital Media Center and had about 20,000 participants worldwide.
Thirty participants, who ranged from college students majoring in gaming to adults who have made it a hobby, created six video game concepts during the weekend at LSU. A local event organizer said last year, a snowstorm derailed plans for LSU’s first Global Game Jam, but this year, weather did not stop the show.
Furthermore, “this is a must-have for educational institutions,” said Marc Aubanel, the director of LSU’s Digital Media Arts and Engineering program who helped organize the weekend of events. “These types of marathons are happening in business and academia all over.” Aubanel said similar events are taking place within colleges and major companies including Facebook and Google.
The events breed innovation, he says, although only about one or two out of a thousand of the ideas make it to market. “You don’t get a complete game from these competitions. Just the blueprint. Sometimes it takes several years to develop.”
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Renita D. Young is a business reporter based in Baton Rouge. Email her at email@example.com or call 504.352.2548. You can also keep up with all of her local updates on Twitter @RenitaDYoung and on Facebook.
Prototypes, coding, alphas and betas were just some of the foreign vocabulary words used at the Digital Media Center last weekend. The University participated in Global Game Jam, a 48-hour game creation event centered around this year’s theme: “What do we do now?”
Participants at 519 sites in 78 countries who developed video games or board and card games convened for the jam.
Marc Aubanel, director of the Digital Media Arts and Engineering program, said the gaming community breaks all language barriers.
“Here’s a way of getting a whole bunch of nations together where we can build something positive and work together as teams,” Aubanel said.
This is the first year the University participated in the jam after the 2014 event was canceled at the last minute for the polar vortex.
Anyone from students to professionals can take part in the jam. Participants are not required to have any game developing experience, and sites like LSU provide computers to loan.
Teams had 48 hours to work on their games. They were free to come and go, but some dedicated participants brought air mattresses to sleep on at the site.
Teams complete a small portion of their games in a limited time frame but sometimes continue development after the jam to publish their creations.
Computer science professor Robert Kooima said the deadline creates an engaging environment students otherwise would not encounter.
“What a student tends to do, of course, is do their assignment, get it done, hand it in and then do no more, “Kooima said. “And this is something more.”
He said participating in the event makes the University a greater part of the global world of technology.
“I think a student would expect nothing less from a school like LSU,” Kooima said.
Digital art juniors Cameron Bragg and Tylar Spencer were part of “Team Awesome Potato.” They both said they had some experience with game development on their own but wanted to participate in the event to learn team dynamics and gain experience.
One day into the jam, the team’s room was lined with air mattresses and littered with coffee bags.
“I think the hardest part so far has been getting everyone to agree on certain concepts and key ideas of the game, so I think development was the hardest part, and production has been sort of smooth,” Spencer said.
The University began a master’s program in digital media arts and engineering last week, focusing on animation, effects and video game development.
Aubanel said if the University was going to offer a game program, it had to participate in the global jam as a “rite of passage.”
He said video games go beyond entertainment, emerging in many industries like engine repair, where augmented reality glasses display a simulation of the repair and show the user exactly what to do.
The first Global Game Jam was in 2009. Though many universities host jam sites, companies like Facebook and Google also participate in the event at their headquarters.
Note: This training is FREE and will be held in the Digital Media Center @ LSU, Room #1008B.
XSEDE HPC Workshop: OpenACC December 4, 2014 XSEDE, along with the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois will be presenting an OpenACC GPU programming workshop on December 4, 2014. OpenACC is the accepted standard using compiler directives to allow quick development of GPU capable codes using standard languages and compilers. It has been used with great success to accelerate real applications within very short development periods. This workshop assumes knowledge of either C or Fortran programming. It will have a hands-on component using the Blue Waters which is deployed at NCSA. Due to demand, this workshop will be telecast to several satellite sites. This workshop is NOT available via a webcast. Please note that the hands-on accounts will be limited to 200 students, available across all sites and awarded by order of registration. You may attend at any of the following sites: * Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center * Michigan State University * University of Tennessee-Knoxville * University of Michigan * Stanford University * Louisiana State University * Youngstown State University * University of Houston Clear-Lake * National Center for Atmospheric Research * Lehigh University Please register for the site that you wish to attend: https://portal.xsede.org/course-calendar Please address any questions to Tom Maiden at firstname.lastname@example.org XSEDE, the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, is the most advanced, powerful, and robust collection of integrated digital resources and services in the world. It is a single virtual system that scientists and researchers can use to interactively share computing resources, data, and expertise. XSEDE integrates the resources and services, makes them easier to use, and helps more people use them.
The Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana, or the LOLs, are back with music created through mobile apps, 3D tracking, video synthesis and haptic interfaces for physical models, all developed here at LSU. Come experience the technical wizardry and sci-fi strains of new experimental music. Featuring Live Coding and debut works for the Louisiana Mobile App Orchestra, or LMAO, with works by: Jesse Allison, Edgar Berdahl, Zak Berkowitz, Danny Holmes, Will Conlin and Guest Artist Vanissa Law.
Tickets for the LOLs are $20 general admission, $15 for faculty/staff, $10 for students. For more info call 225-578-5128.
The LOLs will have an encore performance at the P3+BR festivities at the BR Walls space in the Chase Towers in downtown Baton Rouge on November 15th. Activities will be going on all day with the LOL concert at 8:15PM. The event is free and open to the public. http://www.thewallsproject.org/
The Making of Video Games: The Movie with Jeremy Snead
Jeremy Snead, the writer, director, producer and cinematographer of Video Games: The Movie is coming to LSU to talk about the making of the film. From crowd sourcing on Kickstarter to direct distribution with movies on demand – Jeremy is part of the changing publishing landscape for films. To add to the challenge he did this in a tough genre of documentary filmmaking. Find out the trials and tribulations of bringing a subject that is of personal and cultural significance to market. Jeremy has a rich background professionally in the field of video games through his work at Media Juice Studios which produces marketing content for video game publishers.
When: Tuesday, November 11th, 1:00PM – 3:00 PM
Where: LSU College of Art & Design, CADGIS room #217
As part of Louisiana Innovation Month, the DMAE Film Series is pleased to have director Jeremy Snead joining as a panelist to talk about the video game industry. This is one of the first films to take a serious look at the impact and potential of this growing field and is of particular importance strategically to the state. We will be screening the documentary after the panel.
DMAE Film Series
Screening: Tuesday, November 11th, 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30 PM)
Film: Video Games: The Movie
Where: Digital Media Center Theatre
Guest Speaker: Jeremy Snead
“From executive producer Zach Braff and director Jeremy Snead, VIDEO GAMES: THE MOVIE is an epic feature length documentary chronicling the meteoric rise of video games from nerd niche to multi-billion dollar industry. Narrated by Sean Astin and featuring in-depth interviews with the godfathers who started it all, the icons of game design, and the geek gurus who are leading us into the future, VIDEO GAMES: THE MOVIE is a celebration of gaming from Atari to Xbox and an eye-opening look at what lies ahead.” – Variance Films
DMAE Film Series
Next Screening: Tuesday, Oct 7th, 2014; 7:00PM (doors open at 6:30pm)
Film Title: The Thing
Where: Digital Media Center Theater
John Carpenter’s The Thing is a classic sci-fi thriller with loads of tension and great special effects. The film was released in 1982 at the same time as ET and Blade Runner. It was shot in the small town of Stewart in northern British Columbia. The film predates modern computer effects and the special effects were done practically using various techniques including stop motion animation. Stan Winston, the go to effects person in Hollywood was involved with the creature effects with the early beginnings of puppetry and animatronics. The film was adapted from John W. Campbell’s short story Who Goes There? Since it’s release it has gained a cult following including novelization, comic books, a video game sequel and prequel film. The film came after Halloween, The Fog and Escape from New York and is one of Carpenter’s underrated films. Come see this classic in remastered HD.
In 2015, Baton Rouge will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Red Stick Festival as a hub for ideas, information, innovation and inspiration. For a glorious week in May the halls, galleries, theaters and spaces of Baton Rouge will transform into the Red Stick FutureFest.
Open Source Festival
The Red Stick FutureFest is an open source festival: a Louisiana festival built from the contributions of those whose interests and passions are at the point where technology & society meet. Red Stick as an organization will provide guidelines, some resources and scheduling support for the events/workshops etc., but each individual event will be the responsibility of the sponsor. The Red Stick organization is responsible for organizing the Gala events, handling the overall schedule and integration of events, as well as providing logo and other press support.
This is an open call offering you the chance to be part of the 2015 Red Stick Festival, which will run from May 28-31, 2015. This call is open to anyone – individuals, groups or organizations – with innovative ideas and a passion for communicating them.
What are we looking for?
We are looking for Individuals, companies, labs, businesses and organizations to host events and programs that celebrate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, or STEAM, at the festival. Submit exhibits, performances, lectures, activities for families, tours, debates, workshops or creative new ideas we’ve never imagined. From fabulous events that enthrall people of all ages to inspiring presentations, fascinating workshops to thought-provoking conversations, interactive events/performances to exhibitions that bring technology to life for a wide range of audiences; the future is up to you.
Submit your event online, http://bit.ly/1CKhZh8
For questions, contact Randy Dannenberg at email@example.com
CALL FOR EVENTS TIMELINE
End of July: First Meeting of Red Stick Advisory mtg.
Sept. 5: Distribute Call for Event ideas
Oct. 7, 8 or 9 (tentative): Red Stick Advisory Meeting – second mtg
November: Review of Submitted Events
End of Year: Final selection of events
February: Brochure / info deadline
March: Brochure /Website launch
May: Red Stick Festival