As more students enter the workforce, many are finding it difficult and even impossible to land that first job. Aspiring game developers are experiencing even more hardships during the economic recession as they work to break into the industry. Students can now “1up” the competition by attending The Ohio State University’s Game Creation Club.
GCC is a community dedicated to providing its members with “the community, resources, insight, connections, opportunities and more relating to the gaming industry,” President of GCC Jim Pickett said. Pickett, a fourth-year in art and technology, said he sees the club as a tool “to provide the resources for people to make the games, provide a community for students to get together and make games but then also to provide resources outside of that so that students can pursue their career goals.” The GCC is internationally known and has even attracted members from different branches of OSU.
Kyle Tracht, a sophomore in computer science and engineering at the OSU branch in Mansfield was informed about the club by his advisor, after mentioning his aspirations to create video games.
“I definitely enjoy working more with the 2-D games more than the 3-D,” Tract said, “and I definitely enjoy the programming more than the arts. I’m not an artsy person.”
Fortunately, members work in project groups that are comprised of people from all different backgrounds including art students, musicians and plenty of computer science students. All the students collaborate in teams to create their own original game.
Various speakers attend meetings to share their experiences with game development and the market today. Brighter Minds, a local studio comprised of six members, relayed their experiences in the market and in game development at the club’s second meeting. They emphasized that the time is ripe for young developers to innovate and publish their works. Even through the economic recession, games continue to live on through new mediums.
Today, games are being published online, bypassing the obstacles of retail publishing, such as distribution and massive production costs. Games like those found on Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE are quickly becoming popular and profitable. Indie and casual games have greatly increased in sales and popularity in the past several years.
GCC is constantly looking toward the future as Pickett and the club organize the first ever Ohio Game Development Summit, to be held February, 2010. Instead of local developers traveling to big shows like the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) or the Tokyo Game Show, designers can meet right at home in Ohio.
Other upcoming events include a presentation by the Entertainment Software Association at 7:00 p.m., Nov. 17. The ESA is responsible for organizing one of the industry’s biggest and most exciting expos, E3, where developers and studios from around the world gather to share their latest products. Animation studio Pixar will visit the OSU campus in search of prospective art and technical interns Oct. 21 and 22. The GCC strives to equip their members with as much information and skill to break into the ever-evolving game industry.
GCC was founded by Brian Web and officially started in the fall of 2006. It is an officially recognized student club of the International Game Developer’s Association and the club has sponsorship from OSU’s Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design. Members do not have to pay dues and are free to come to meetings at their discretion. Meetings are held 7 p.m. every other Wednesday in Knowlton Hall, room 190.