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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Chillennium is back

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Students discuss their project at the Chillennium . 

Game creation, game reviews and more game fun, Texas A&M’s Chillennium is making its return after a two-year break. 
Chillennium is a 48-hour game jam, spanning over three days, where individuals compete together as a four-person team to create video games that are judged by industry professionals, with winners receiving prizes. This year’s competition will be occurring April 1-3, and visualization senior and Chillennium director Amanda Golla said one of the main goals for the competition is to offer individuals a chance to learn and gain experience with game creation. 
“Many people who join have not done anything like this prior, which is why we have mentors from two different studios there to help teach people different things,” Golla said. “We have demonstrations and workshops going on, so it [is] a really good networking opportunity for the students, and it [is] also a lot of fun to compete with one another.”
Due to COVID-19, Chillennium took a two-year break, making this year’s competition its first return since before the pandemic. Visualization junior and Chillennium assistant director Joshua Hart said the process of getting the event up and running again was initially slow. 
“I think the only main thing that we had given to us was a site, but then almost [all] the rest of it we had to do from scratch. But, it’s picking up again, so it [is] really exciting,” Hart said. 
Golla said the competition will be held in person, but to accommodate individuals with COVID-19 restrictions, there will be virtual judging options and a new venue to allow for social distancing and better regulation of people involved with the event.
“We like to do the competition in person. However, we also want to be able to give options to people who do have COVID[-19] restrictions,” Golla said. “Previously, we held it at the [Memorial Student Center], but this year, for a couple of different reasons, we held it at the Equestrian Center, so I think [the] main change is offering the virtual option.”
With the competition’s return, Golla said this year’s event looks promising, having incorporated feedback from previous years to offer new ideas.
“This year we’re offering a mentorship roundhouse at the very end of the competition,” Golla said. “We’re also offering mentor presentations, which is the first year we’ve done that. We also held an art competition this year, which we hadn’t previously.”
Golla said she hopes the competition will impact the Aggie community by getting more people involved in game design and making it an annual event once again.

“This year we’ve had to build everything from the ground up, but I really hope this becomes a tradition again,” Golla said. “It’s [a] three-day event with so many different people coming from all over the country together in one room just making games; I want to keep that spirit alive.”
Associate professor of games and director of Live Lab Andre Thomas said he’s looking forward to all the hard work the teams put into the competition coming to life.

“The teams already came up with some really nice, new twists and additions to Chillennium, so I think it [is] going to be a really great event,” Thomas said. 
For individuals looking to get involved with Chillennuim, Hart suggests checking out the website and joining the Discord. Hart also encourages individuals to try out Chillennium for the fun experience. 
“If you’re reading this somehow and you’ve been afraid of making games, come out here and make a game. The hardest step is the first,” Hart said. “I have not been making games since half a year ago, [but] it’s fun [and] worth it.”
 

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