According to a story on the Washington Post web site December 17th, a study of game sales per capita and gun-related murders per capita in 10 countries shows no real correlation. At the end, there’s a graph showing a linear fit through the data, showing a weak negative correlation, but as scattered as the data is, even drawing that line makes no sense to me. None the less, it certainly doesn’t look like correlation (much less causation) between the two.
UMBC will once again be a host site for the 2013 Global Game Jam. This is a weekend-long game development event with hundreds of host sites across the world. Participants at each site form teams and work all weekend long to build games on a common theme, announced at the event. The 2013 Global Game Jam will be held from 5pm Friday, January 25th to 5pm Sunday, January 27th.
For Maryland/DC area participants, this year there are sites at UMBC, College Park, the Universities at Shady Grove, and George Mason. Some sites charge entrance fees, but thanks to generous support by NextCentury Corporation, the UMBC site is free and open to anyone 18+ years of age. Space is limited, so participants should register in advance for the UMBC site on globalgamejam.org.
For those of you with an AI programming bent, there’s AiGameDev.com is running a game AI contest, details at AISandbox.com. The contest started November 7th, but you can build and submit your entries through December 10th. You (or a team) creates an AI commander to direct your bots in a game of capture the flag in a complex world. If you like AI and have some time, give it a shot!
Make plans to come to the 2012 UMBC Digital Entertainment Conference (DEC) on Saturday, April 28th, starting at 10am in UMBC Lecture Hall 1. This day long event is organized by the UMBC Game Developers Club, and sponsored this year by Zynga.
The DEC is open to anyone, and features an all-star lineup of speakers from Firaxis Games, Zynga East, Pure Bang, and Mythic Entertainment. Whether you are a High School student, go to UMBC or another University, or are already working in a different industry, you are sure find interesting information about how the games industry works, how some current developers got started, and what they do. If you are a game developer, you are sure to find High School students, UMBC students and students from other Universities who are interested in jobs in the games industry.
|10 AM||Barry Caudill, Director of Gameplay Development at Firaxis|
|11 AM||Tim Train, Studio Manager at Zynga East|
|12 PM||Lunch Break|
|1 PM||Eric Jordan, Programmer at Firaxis|
|2 PM||Ben Walsh, CEO of Pure Bang Games|
|3 PM||Brian Johnson, Director of Online Operations at Mythic Entertainment|
If you are unfamiliar with the UMBC campus, there’s a convenient online map. Note that permit parking spots on campus are free over the weekend, so only head like a lemming to the visitor meter spots if you like spending quarters.
The Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day is a great tradition at UMBC. It celebrates creative work done by UMBC undergraduates through posters and presentations. This year’s is Wednesday April 25th.
The game developers club has long presented their creative works at URCAD. This year, we’ve got an extra dose of game. The featured alumni speaker is Joshua Barczak. Josh is currently a Senior Graphics Engineer at Firaxis Games. He got his BS (CMSC 2003) and MS (CMSC 2006) at UMBC. His talk is during the general session, 12-1 in UC 312. Be sure to check it out if you can!
UMBC has earned an Honorable Mention on The Princeton Review’s third annual list of undergraduate schools to study game design, placing it in the top 32 undergraduate schools for game design and development in the U.S. and Canada.
The list, “Top Schools To Study Video Game Design For 2012,” salutes 50 institutions (32 undergraduate and 18 graduate) for their outstanding game design and development programs.
Compiled by The Princeton Review, one of America’s best-known education services companies, the 2012 list names 10 undergraduate and 10 graduate schools in ranked order and 22 undergraduate and 8 graduate schools as Honorable Mentions. The list is published on The Princeton Review’s website at www.princetonreview.com/game-design.aspx.
The Princeton Review chose the schools based on a survey it conducted in the 2011-12 academic year of administrators at 150 institutions offering video game design coursework and/or degrees in the United States and Canada. The survey, which included more than 50 questions, covered a wide range of topics from academics, curriculum, and faculty credentials to graduates’ employment and career achievements. School selections were based on a comprehensive analysis of data that analyzed the quality of the curriculum, faculty, facilities, and infrastructure, plus the school’s scholarships, financial aid and career services.
Said Robert Franek, Princeton Review Senior VP/Publisher, “It has long been our mission to help students find – and get into – the schools best for them to purse their interests and develop their talents. For the burgeoning number of students aspiring to become game designers, we highly recommend UMBC as one of the best and most innovate institutions to study and succeed in this exciting field. We also salute the faculty and administrators at UMBC and the other schools on our 2012 list for their extraordinary programs and commitment to students. “
We have a streaming feed from the Global Game Jam at UMBC at www.ustream.tv/channel/umbc-ggj
Check it out!