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students working together at Game Jam

19th Semiannual GameJam starts April 27

  • By: Charis Negley
  • Published:
student works on programming a computer game

The 19th semiannual Taylor University Computer Science & Engineering (TU CSE) GameJam is scheduled for April 27-29, 2023. GameJam is a short, fun, and intense event during which students team up to develop a video game from scratch.

Regardless of major or knowledge of programming, all TU students are invited to participate. (Non-students are also welcome to participate, but the awards will be reserved for Taylor students.) Teams can consist of a single person or multiple people.

Teams may have at most two programmers, but they may have as many other members as needed, including artists, musicians, level designers, etc. 

“It's an excellent exercise in communication, check-ins, and patience,” said senior Joey Gorski, a second-place winner of GameJam Fall 2022. “Working closely with someone else only works if everything you're doing is carefully defined and everyone knows what is expected of them. My favorite part is after the game is finished and you're just enjoying playing your game and everyone else's game. It's a ton of fun.”

The registration fee is $10, which will help cover the costs of snacks, drinks, and trophies.

In addition to competitors, CSE is looking for volunteers to help as host(s), play testers, trophy designers, and presentation audience and judges.

Soft Start and Registration is on Thursday, April 27 at 6 pm, meeting in Euler 217. The theme will be announced, and development can start. Competitors may code after the Soft Start to test ideas and mechanics, but all code must start from scratch at the Hard Start. Any graphics, audio, dialog, and non-code elements can be developed and used from the beginning.

The Hard Start is at 6 pm Friday, April 28. All coding must start from scratch at this point, and snacks and drinks will be available.

The Saturday, April 29 schedule is as follows:

5-6 pm Playtesting: Competitors will use this time to play other games, have their game played, give feedback, get feedback, etc.

8:30 pm Soft End: all development ends and submissions start.

9:45 pm Hard End: Submissions close.

10 pm Presentations: All participants meet in Euler 109. Each team will present their game, and the judges/audience will play the game.

11:30 pm Awards: After presentations, the audience will judge submissions, and hosts will decide on and present 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places and any other superlative awards.

“It is very hard, and at the beginning is going to seem like it's not worth it in the slightest,” Gorski said. “But once you get a hang of the whole process, and especially if you're frequently communicating with the proctors, you'll learn a ton, have a lot of fun, make a bunch of new friends, and have something cool to potentially put on your resume.”

See here for more details on the event. If you’d like to participate in any way, contact Dr. Jon Denning at