The Ohio State Game Creation Club welcomed members new and old back from the holidays as it held its first meeting of the spring semester Wednesday.
The student organization is dedicated to providing students with the opportunity to collaborate and produce original video games, according to the club’s website. Students can be a part of the process from idea conception to the finished product.
“The myth we want to break is that you need to be a programmer to be a game developer. Anyone can learn, and you don’t have to be a programmer,” Alex Shearer, a third-year in computer science and engineering and data analytics and the club’s president, said.
Shearer said people join the club in search of a creative outlet or hobby. Club members’ interests include art, design, modeling, programming, writing and music, according to the website.
Ryan Havanas, a fourth-year in geographic information systems and a member of the club, said club members range in skill level, and new members shouldn’t feel nervous to join.
“At first, I was incredibly nervous just to make anything. It isn’t about making something really cool and showing off to everybody,” Havanas said. “For me, it’s more about: I get to come here and do a fun activity and meet cool people. I don’t have to worry about the end product so much as the journey, and that’s freeing.”
While the year of the club’s founding is unknown, Shearer said he believes it was created some time around 2007. However, it wasn’t until a few years ago that the club gained more traction.
“There was kind of this wave,” Shearer said. “The people who ran the club graduated, and for a couple years, it was inactive until our previous president picked it back up again.”
Jack Ruch, a fourth-year in computer and information science and the club’s vice president, said the club often hosts “game jams,” which he said offer the best opportunity to learn how to make video games.
The idea of game jams is to make an entire video game in 48 hours, according to the website. The club is divided into groups that are given different themes with which to work. Students brainstorm and create game projects to submit at the end of the jam, Shearer said.
“When I first joined the club, I didn’t know anything about game development,” Ruch said. “It wasn’t until Global Game Jam during my sophomore year that I made a game completely from my own mind for the first time.”
The club also brings in guest speakers to discuss projects and offer tips and advice for producing video games, Shearer said.
The Game Creation Club meets from 7 to 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday in the Ohio Union. Most meetings will be held in the Ohio Staters, Inc. Traditions Room, but depending on the week, the specific room might vary. Students do not need to be a member to attend one of the meetings.