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NRC Global Game Jam

3 college students by a computer

Students studying Creative Media Practice at Northern Regional College will be busier than usual this week as the Global Game Jam (GGJ) gets underway.

The GGJ, the world’s largest game creation event, takes place this year between Monday, 22 January – Sunday 28 January. This annual online event gives gamers an unique opportunity to develop innovative ideas and hone their creative skills, contributing to this global spread of game development.

Northern Regional College will be among the tens of thousands of participants at around 800 physical and virtual locations in 100 countries to take part in the Global Game Jam. 

Even though the competition itself is of particular interest to Games Development students, this year, all the students in Coleraine studying Animation, Digital Design and Marketing, and TV & Film are getting in on the act, making it a collaborative project for the College’s entire creative media section.

Curriculum Area Manager at Northern Regional College, Frankie McEldowney, explained that participating teams will be given a theme to base their game idea around and will have a few days to develop their game and upload it for a panel to provide feedback at the end of the week.

“We are building on the success of last year’s event by turning the whole week into a collaborative project-based learning activity. It will be up to the teams to decide which game genre or platform to use. Teams can use or build on something they have started producing in class, or they can create something from scratch. The aim of Game Jam is really to help generate new ideas.

“So, while the Games students will be busy making 2D and 3D games, the animation students will be busy animating characters and environments, the design students will be busy designing characters and materials to promote the event, and the TV and Film students will be recording the entire event, carrying out interviews and piecing the whole week of activity together to show the public what goes on in the creative department. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase the students’ talent, as well as the excellent resources the College has.”

He continued:

“While the event will be held remotely, the College teams will be based in our Coleraine campus where they will have access to all the facilities they require. After teams submit their game ideas, they will present it to the panel made up of industry professionals and seek feedback.  Some of Northern Ireland’s most notable games projects were born out of previous Game Jams.

“The Global Game Jam is a great opportunity for our students to network and get involved with industry professionals. Students will also have to work effectively together in teams, and more importantly, developing skills they can take into Industry.”

The games industry is a significant growth area in Northern Ireland and the many opportunities for careers in games development will be showcased during the Global Game Jam.

Applications are open for all full-time courses starting in September.  For further information on Creative Media courses available at Northern Regional College and to apply visit

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