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Global Game Jam participants build video games this weekend

Bradley Erickson building a video game during the 2020 Global Game Jam in Casper, Wyo. on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020.
Bradley Erickson building a video game during the 2020 Global Game Jam in Casper, Wyo. on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020.(KCWY)
Published: Feb. 1, 2020 at 10:43 PM CST
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Around the world, people are trying to build video games. They must finish by Sunday night. In Wyoming, 2020 Global Game Jam participants gathered in Casper this weekend to create new games.

Bradley Erickson helped organize Wyoming’s Global Game Jam. He said participants include game developers, programmers, sound designers, artists, musicians and others.

They’re split into teams. Each team then has 48 hours to build a new game using a specific theme they learn at the beginning of the event.

The teams don’t necessarily consist of experienced game builders. Though some participants have been creating games for a long time, others have little experience.

“A layperson can come in, we can sit them down with a tutorial for a few hours and by the end of the jam, they’re contributing just like anyone else who’s part of the team,” Erickson said. “It’s really an event that’s great for new people and experienced people.”

Though participants work in teams, it’s not a competition to make the best game. The only goal is finishing on time.

“Sometimes it’s not pretty. Sometimes it doesn’t work that great or is not that much fun but the goal is to finish. It’s to reach the finish line together,” Erickson said.

He said teams then upload their new games to the Global Game Jam’s website.

It’s not only about creating video games. Participants also build lasting relationships with each other.

“That has created friendships. We’ve formed bonds with people across the state that we talk to regularly now. We share insight with each other. We ask questions. That’s a huge part of it,” Erickson said.

The 2020 event is the third in Wyoming.

According to Global Game Jam’s website, the event started in 2009.

Erickson said he’s helping organize a similar event only in Wyoming this fall in Laramie.

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