Starting Thursday, five Rochester Institute of Technology graduate students from the university’s game design and development program are participating in a 52-hour video game building event.
The “Train Jam” event takes place on an Amtrak train from Chicago to California.
Over 300 game developers are part of the event that runs through Saturday. Those involved will be on teams of three to six people from a variety of backgrounds.
The final stop of the train is in San Francisco where participants will attend the Game Developers Conference. The conference is held from Feb. 27 to March 3.
The RIT game design and development graduate students taking part in the event are Reuben Brenner-Adams, who is from Ithaca; Roger Smith, from Burke, Va.; Arun Krishnakumar, from India; Jonathan Pulsipher, from Salt Lake City; and Rose Flynn, from Southwick, Mass.
RIT’s School of Interactive Games and Media began reserving seats for students to attend the Train Jam three years ago, officials said.
“The tickets for Train Jam generally sell out within a few minutes of the event going live,” said Jessica Bayliss, associate professor and associate director of IGM. “The students are able to do so much close networking with these professional game developers and it’s important to give students that experience.”
Games created on the train are to be showcased on the GDC expo floor throughout the week.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us,” said Reuben Brenner-Adams, a fifth-year game design and development student. “It means a lot to work so closely with these industry professionals, especially because I’m graduating soon and working to get a job in the industry.”
The train does not have Wi-Fi so many developers have pre-downloaded the documentation they need, officials said. Paper prototypes will be part of the process.
More than 100 RIT students, faculty, alumni and staff are traveling to Game Developers Conference 2017.
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