PETAL et al. to Host the first Free and all Inclusive Global Game Jam Ever in the City of Chicago, January 24-26

This event is a collaborative and supportive effort by PETAL et al., in conjunction with Team Chicago (Next Door Chi, CEGD, Chicago Game Developers Commonwealth, and the Indie Video Game Developers Association)

CHICAGO, ILPETAL et al., one of the leaders in entertainment technology arts training, will be hosting the first free and all inclusive Global Game Jam site in the City of Chicago. The event will be held at Next Door Chi located at 659 W. Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL.

Not only is it all inclusive, it is neutral collaboration, says Pamela McMillan, CEO of PETAL et al., noting that in the past she and PETAL et al.’s CTO Clarence McMillan observed that universities and colleges were the only ones hosting this type of event in the area.

“What we observed is that schools were more focused on their own students and charging non-students to attend these events,” said Pamela McMillan. “Oftentimes, students at these colleges wanted to team up with classmates, leaving visitors out of the loop. Participants felt it was more competition at the universities; which took the fun out of it for newbies or inexperienced participants.

“When participating in many of the game development groups, several students expressed an interest in Chicago. They decided to stay in Chicago instead of jamming in Toronto as originally planned in order to give people a chance to create games in a collaborative environment which is what game jam is supposed to be.

The McMillans participate in various types of game jams throughout the U.S. One of PETAL et al’s main goals is to level the field for everyone interested in the entertainment technology arts field. PETAL et al.’s training program is designed to prepare clients to reach their goals in making video games regardless of educational background.

“It is important to help others no matter what their educational background. We want everyone to enjoy themselves as well; to make a game whether they show up with a team or not. No one will be left out or work alone while creating a game during the jam unless they want to go it alone,” McMillan pointed out.

Prior to the upcoming jam, PETAL et al. will hold a two-hour kickoff to inform beginners of game jam strategy before the theme is announced.

PETAL et al. with the support of three local game development groups (CEGD, Chicago Game Developers Commonwealth, and the Indie Video Game Developers Association) is pulling together an event that embraces collaboration and encourages success amongst developers and game creators.

Those persons interested in attending the IGDA Global Game Jam can sign up on the Global Game Jam Chicago Team @PETAL et al. website. Participants must register on the Global Game Jam site to be officially recognized as a participant. Registration is free and quick.

Due to limited seating, PETAL et al. is asking that you do not RSVP for the event unless you are absolutely sure you will participate.

Persons not familiar with the Global Game Jam can visit their website for more information:

Details of the event are as follows:

Hours the facility is available during the 48-hour global game jam @PETAL et al. will be:

Friday, January 24, 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. (GGJ theme is announced at 5 pm)
Saturday, January 25, 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday, January 26, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

On Friday, January 24, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., there will be a Game Jam Workshop to get newbies started with strategies for completing a game within 48 hours. This two-hour workshop will be hosted by Pamela McMillan and Clarence McMillan, PETAL et al.

On Sunday, January 26, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., participants will share their game project retrospective.

This is a collaborative and supportive event by PETAL et al., in conjunction with support from Team Chicago (Next Door Chi, CEGD, Chicago Game Developers Commonwealth, Indie Video Game Developers Association, and more to come).

Participants should keep up with updates. They must also bring their own laptop computer.

Said Pamela McMillan: “PETAL et al. is proud to be hosting and facilitating the FIRST FREE and ALL INCLUSIVE Global Game Jam site in the City of Chicago, IL. Now, everyone gets a chance to play! This will certainly set a precedence of game jams being free in Chicago and open to everyone.”