On Saturday, Sept. 16, the Tufts University Gamedev Guild held its first general interest meeting in Eaton 206. At the meeting, attendees discussed their favorite games and game development, while some demoed their projects for the group.
The Gamedev Guild was founded this semester by senior computer science and Japanese major Fury Sheron, whose work as a game developer has been covered by the Daily in the past.
Sheron, who spoke with the Daily via electronic message, stated that the group hopes to “serve as a community and resource to help students make games themselves, regardless of skill level or role.”
Sheron founded the group because she felt that there wasn’t a space on campus that supports game development or enables collaboration between student developers.
“I noticed that there wasn’t really anywhere on campus to recreationally make games,” Sheron said. “There were students who made games, sure, but they did so in their rooms without telling anyone. There were the Tabletop Gaming and Gaming Hub groups, but their purposes were solely the playing of games.”
Sheron continued, “You could try to turn to academics, but game development and ludomusicology aren’t being taught anymore, and all that’s left is the new game design class. So I figured I’d try a hand at building the community I wanted to see.”
As the group is so new, it is not rigidly organized, and nor does it need to be, Sheron explained.
“I run meetings and moderate the Slack and whatnot, so I haven’t really needed to fill any support positions yet,” Sheron said.
Although these executive positions are not necessary at the moment, Sheron does envision a future for the group where they are necessary.
“There are many members I’d trust with a position of leadership,” Sheron said. “Surely, when we’re recognized and get a budget, I’d love to have a treasurer to help me allocate funds for speakers to come in and tell us about industry experience! Or perhaps use it to have a Tufts Unity account and purchase assets and tools! Who knows?”
Unity is a popular game engine, which operates an online store where game developers can purchase art and tools.
The group is also not yet recognized by the Office for Campus Life or by Tufts Community Union (TCU) Judiciary.
“The process to be officially recognized consists of a lot of hoops and bureaucracy,” Sheron explained. “I’ve initiated the process, but I’m not allowed to take the next step until mid-October. If we waited to be recognized before starting Guild activity, we’d have lost a lot of time. As such, we’re diving right in.”
For the Gamedev Guild’s first semester, Sheron hopes that the group will facilitate collaboration between members.
“My personal goal is to see students collaborating with each other,” she said. “I want them to teach one another and accomplish their goals, whether that means making a demo or a prototype or a completed game. Some members have already teamed up for game jams scheduled in September, and I’m ineffably ecstatic to see what they come up with.”
Those interested in joining can attend weekly meetings of the Gamedev Guild every Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Eaton 206. The group also runs a Facebook page and can be reached via email.