A Games Jam in Cambridge this weekend will see a technology version of the soccer Euros with computer brains in the UK pitched against the French and the Dutch.And there won’t be a penalty shoot-out in sight at the international jam at Anglia Ruskin University.
It sees 20 teams of students from the UK, France and the Netherlands compete to develop the best new computer game in just 48 hours.
The event is part of the Brains Eden 2012 Gaming Festival in Cambridge, a city which has over 1,000 people employed in the computer games industry.
The Games Jam competition (June 30 and July 1) features two teams from Anglia Ruskin, comprising students from BSc (Hons) Computer Science, BA (Hons) Computer Games and Visual Effects, and BSc (Hons) Audio and Music Technology.
Products devised during the competition will be showcased to some of the leading figures in the computer games industry at a special symposium on July 2.
Clare Denham of Creative Front Cambridgeshire, which is a network for creative industries based at Anglia Ruskin, said: “The Games Jam competition is bound to be a lot of fun but will also be taken incredibly seriously by the students involved.
“Working under the expert guidance of Cambridge developers Jumped Up Games, students have 48 hours to produce the most interesting and visually-attractive game possible and, to ensure the teams don’t prepare anything in advance, the theme of the competition will only be unveiled on the day.
“The fact that French and Dutch teams have entered this year, alongside 12 UK universities, is likely to lead to a very competitive environment. The computer labs will be locked at midnight on the Saturday, but the students will have Wi-Fi access in their accommodation so we expect many of them won’t get a great deal of sleep during the weekend!
“The opportunity to present in front of some really big industry figures on the Monday morning is bound to produce some exciting results. It’s a great ‘shop window’ for all the students, particularly as many of the companies taking part will have job opportunities this year.”
Conceived by Games Eden, Cambridge’s games development network, the Brains Eden 2012 Gaming Festival not only forges links between industry and academia but also celebrates the groundbreaking work of the Cambridge computer games industry, which employs over 1,000 people in the city.
The keynote speech at the Brains Symposium on Monday, July 2 will be delivered by Dave Coplin, the chief envisioning officer at Microsoft, who will discuss how our relationship with technology is fundamentally shifting as our primary window into the digital world moves from traditional personal computers to mobile devices.
Brains Eden, which also includes a careers clinic and games artwork exhibition, is fully supported and funded by Games Eden members, who include Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), Jagex, Ninja Theory, Geomerics, Frontier and Jumped Up Games.