Game Design and Development Club at Berkeley
Game Design and Development at Berkeley is a club dedicated to helping those interested in game design and development understand the common tools and work environments present in the industry. We encourage students from all backgrounds, as there are a variety of facets involved the production of a game including, but not limited to, programming, art, music, and project management. And since our goal is to help students learn, we require no prerequisite knowledge either.
Our three goals as an organization are:
- Creating a space to foster a community for those interested in game design and development.
- Getting more people interested in game design and development.
- Providing a support pipeline that will enable everyone to work on their own games, including industry events, workshops, and game jams.
The specific programs we run are the following: the mentor program where we run teams centered around different game design themes. In the decal, we teach game development fundamentals through the Unity Game Engine. The funds will also support community-building events and trips to game industry conferences like the Game Developers Conference.
Outlined below is our plan for how we will use the proceeds from crowdfunding donations:
Events Throughout the Semester:
- Recruitment Events
- Sproul Tabling: Sproul tabling is our main form of recruiting new potential members, where we set up our table on Sproul Plaza, and pass out flyers to interested students as well as going up to and talking about what GDD does as a plan (primarily the party system and the decal system) and navigating them to our club’s discord if they are interested.
- Info Sessions: An info session where current members of GDD talk about what GDD does as a club, and as a decal, where more information regarding how to join, what the party system is, what type of events are planned for the semester, etc are provided to potential members who come to the session.
GDD Info Session / Cal Day
- Project-Centered Events
- Bear Jams: Bear Jams is our once-a-semester 45 hour game jam! A game jam is a game development marathon, where developers work together or alone to design, develop, and publish a game over the course of a limited timeframe – in our case, one weekend! GDD staff then streams every game over the course of the next week, giving our feedback as seasoned game developers.
- General Meetings: GDD has two general meetings, the first one being a bit more social where we announce each party mentor, what type of video games we would be creating, and then playing board games to break the ice between mentors and other party members. The second is where we announce who got into which party, and then provided some party bonding activities, such as playing board games and party formation is finalized
GDD Second General Meeting, Fall 2023
- Playtests: The party system’s playtests invite the general Berkeley community to come and test the games the parties are working on! This is an incredibly important step of the development process, as people working on the games can get tunnel vision and it’s hard to visualize from the perspective of a brand new player. It is also a fun way to get people excited about the games in development!
- End-of-Semester Showcase: Our big, fancy, end-of-semester Showcase! This is our largest event by far and is a way to show what members of the Berkeley game development community have achieved over the course of the semester. There are individual booths for each game allowing students to playtest and enjoy the results of everyone’s hard work, creativity, and dedication.
Fall 2022 GDD Showcase
- Industry Events
- Industry Speakers: Industry speaker events are where we have prominent members from big-name video game development companies come out talk about how it is working in the industry, how to break into the industry, and going over what each role contributes to a team, as well as providing a way for members to connect and network with the speakers.
- Workshops: Workshops hosted by our in-club mentors where they go over general topics for interested students, and topics can vary from character design to programming to music. These are designed to be very beginner friendly and serves as a way for members to gain some basic foundational understanding of the topic.
- Social Events
- Saturday Socials: Every Saturday our club holds board game socials on campus, where staff and students can decompress and appreciate “acoustic” gaming. Playing games in a non-digital medium is a great way to learn game design principles and what makes a game fun, even without flashing lights and sound effects.
- Movie Nights: Movie nights are a way for staff and students to hang out without any work or looming deadlines. We rent a room, set up a projector, and watch a relaxing movie together. These movies typically showcase 3D Graphics or are related to gaming in some way!
- Internal Social: An internal social for executive members where we play various party games on Discord as a way to getting to know each other in a more informal and social environment, as a way to build team-working skills and create a more casual bond amongst the board members.
- Game Tournaments: A social event where current and interested students engage in a casual, fun game tournament. The games primarily consist of 1v1 video games, hosted at UC Berkeley’s own Esports LAN Center, and is done via bracket. It is a fun and laid-back way of members interacting with each other and getting to know each other.
- Round 1 Trip: At the end of the semester, the club takes a trip to the nearest Round 1 Arcade for a change of pace!
Round 1 Trip
Our Social Media:
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All funds and proceeds raised through this project will go towards making the club experience for our members even more enjoyable and will allow us to host more events! Gifts of any size will make a significant impact towards helping us reach our goal and will be sincerely appreciated. If you could spread the word about us and our project, that would be greatly appreciated too! We hope we can count on your support. Thank you!
Feel free to send us an email at email@example.com if you would like to ask us any questions!