Game Jams: The SMU Guildhall Game Jam is an annual student event which includes eight hours of quick, creative game development by each new incoming cohort. For many, this is their first experience creating a game in a team environment and gives them an exciting taste of the next two years of their life. The event follows new student Orientation and precedes the first day of Fall classes.
Game Jam allows new students to get acquainted with one another as well as the Guildhall culture and its team game development process. The event was built around bonding through the passion of making games, serving as an icebreaker and bonding experience. In the Game Jam, participants are divided into teams and develop video games, card games, and board games. The event encourages fun and the incorporation of wit and humor. Video games are produced in Unity and allow everyone involved to contribute to conception and development, whether students are experienced in Unity or new to the system.
Additionally, SMU Guildhall faculty and staff participate in and support local game jams and hackathons including Ludum Dare, Chillennium, and the AT&T Business Hackathon with Magic Leap.
Game Changers Speaker Series: SMU Guildhall's Game Changers Speaker Series, established in Spring 2015, invites industry professionals to deliver special topics presentations to the Guildhall student body and community as an extension of the SMU Guildhall mission — to educate and inspire the next generation of video game developers. This series is presented in collaboration with SMU Guildhall Career Services and Industry Relations. Some installations of the series have been streamed on our Twitch channel. See some of our past speakers here.
Mixers: SMU Guildhall Career Services, Industry Relations, and GameLab collaboratively host local partners each year, such as Gearbox and Playful, at meet-and-greet mixers with industry veterans and our students. This gives studios a chance to get to know our students early and helps the students form networking relationships, which has notably made graduates' job interviews more impactful than ever. These relationships also allow us to integrate on-site visits to local studios into our production and Capstone curriculum.
Other Past Events
ExtraLife: GameLab has sponsored student-hosted Extra Life charity events, a student-driven streaming telethon where they play games and raise awareness for local charities. Past events have raised tens of thousands of dollars for Children’s Hospital in Plano, Texas.
eSports: GameLab has participated in eSports events, such as OP Live (which we helped co-host in 2018) — a premier eSports event that brought universities, pro players and fans together for one action-packed weekend.