Innovation Insider
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Innovation Insider

The 2nd Annual Rose Valley Jam Recap

This year, EA Industrial Toys partnered with ArtCenter College of Design to host the 2nd Annual Rose Valley Jam. This game jam encourages local high school and college-aged students to develop a game together. Over the course of 48 hours, 55 students learned behind-the-scenes game development tips from veteran industry professionals, including developers from EA Industrial Toys, EA Respawn, and EA DICE LA.

For several students, this was their first time participating a game jam. When asked what made them decide to participate, the top reason was to gain experience in the game development industry. Some students are currently studying or transferring to game design program and others are considering working in the field.

The game development industry is fast-growing and continually creating new interactive experiences. The increase of smartphone usage and the rise of eSports along with new ways to incorporate virtual reality and augmented reality all contribute to the need for professionals within the industry. In Fall 2018, ArtCenter launched its Game Design Track to support future game designers who will use their innovative thinking for engaging storytelling. EA acquired Industrial Toys in 2018 to supercharge Industrial Toys’s ability to create games designed for mobile platforms.

The Rose Valley Game Jam gave opportunities for students to get hands-on experience in several aspects of game development, from composing music to pitching concepts. On the last day, each team submitted their final projects on itch.io, where the public (and you) can play them.

EA Industrial Toys asked some of the participants what were their most memorable moments during Rose Valley Game Jam:

Jacob C.: One of the artists on our team who has amazing mind blowing artwork told me after our game won an award that he had never been recognized for anything in his life, and that the game jam was a pivotal life changing event for him.

Jaimyn C.: One memorable moment this weekend was the discovery and use of the Nap Room, specifically to play our game on the big-screen TV when it was finished.

Molly M.: Seeing how quickly the game came together with everyone’s involvement.

One of the mentors noted a moment which really highlighted the creativity and spontaneity of the game jammers. There was a pause during the final presentations while one team worked on a technical issue. The movie screen behind them was blank, and the reflection from someone’s phone screen appeared as a small glint on the big screen. People noticed this and within minutes everyone was angling their phones to make their glint do loops and squiggles and chase each other. Then someone shouted “make a duck!” and within moments everyone had carefully maneuvered their glint to form the shape of a duck. They did cubes and trucks and other things, and everyone laughed when the shape came together. It was super fun, funny, and the fastest they’d seen a “game” spontaneously come to life.

As the industry grows and adapts to new technologies and ideas, game jams like Rose Valley Jam provide a path for future professionals. Participants learned about collaborative efforts, networked with professionals and developed a better sense of how to develop games. Congratulations to this year’s game jammers and we all look forward to next year!

EA Industrial Toys is a proud sponsor of Innovate Pasadena. To learn more about EA Industrial Toys, please visit https://www.ea.com/studios/industrial-toys. And they are hiring! Remember, #StayInnovative!

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