What started out as a one-day development challenge in Dublin Institute of Technology has expanded beyond the confines of the capital city to reach more cities in Ireland and Northern Ireland, and now the stage is set for international GameCraft events in London and New York City.
The Irish game jam, founded by BatCat Games’ Andrea Magnorsky and prolific tech event organiser Vicky Lee, brings companies and game developers together and challenges them to build a game from scratch in eight to 12 hours.
“GameCraft has always been about getting game developers in front of each other and working together,” said Magnorsky. “We’re really excited to take this mentality with us as we bring the event to other parts of the world. We really hope people will use it as an excuse to travel overseas and get to know their non-Irish counterparts.”
Some games spend years in development so completing this feat from conception to code in less than a day is a difficult task and not all participants succeed, but the real point of GameCraft is fostering a developer community. “Game developers are a really dedicated bunch, with many working long days and nights in isolation,” explained Lee. “GameCraft is about bringing them together to discuss – and make – what they love. It’s a great, carefree way to break the ice with companies and each other.”
Opportunities for developers and companies
Participants in previous GameCraft events in Dublin, Belfast and the Games Fleadh in Limerick Institute of Technology have gone on to secure internships and jobs while companies that take part have come up with new IPs, tried new technologies and showcased new ideas. “We’ve even seen new companies formed there!” said the event’s lead judge, Dave McCabe. “With these kinds of cool outcomes, it’s exciting to think about what could come out of the events run overseas,” he added.
The first Global GameCraft event takes place on 10 August at the Skills Matter eXchange in Clerkenwell, Central London. This will be followed by an event in Derry on 14 September as part of the 2013 City of Culture celebrations, and then GameCraft will hit the Dumbo Loft in New York City on 20 September.
Further details on these events and updates on new developments are available via the new Global GameCraft website.