VGDC

Create. Design. Play.

About

The Video Game Development Club at the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities is an academic, fine arts, and hobby club created to fill a demand for video game development on the campus. The club holds speeches and presentations from experienced students and industry professionals about topics in video game development as well as team-based activities to strengthen teamwork during our regular meetings. The main focus of VGDC, however, is creating video games, which is done in both a large scale and a small scale.

Education

The foundation of VGDC’s work is in teaching students about game development and its industry. This is accomplished through presentations on different areas of the industry and holding activities to familiarize them more with those areas. The club also coordinates with other student groups and attends game-related events to get a wider perspective on the scene.

Game Development

VGDC hosts both large and small projects. The small projects take multiple forms: meeting activities, pet projects, and Game Jams. In meetings, we will teach our members how they can develop their own games and get started with different development skills, but in our Game Jams, we form small teams to create a game from scratch in a short period of time. These are the crux of our development education—by working in a team, members can really learn in a professional game development setting.

VGDC also has the Semester Project. This is a club-based team development project that spans the entire semester and involves both development and team management skills.  Some time after the semester begins, the club votes on ideas proposed by the members, and the one picked gets a quick reworking and planning session, then it’s off to the races! Members form teams based on each area of expertise (e.g. programming, art, sound, game design) and elect a Team Leader, who in turn elect a Project Manager. These leaders work together to keep the project moving along and ensure deadlines are met. If all goes well, a fully realized game is finished by the end of the semester!

Outreach

VGDC is open to anybody interested, including both students and non-students. The regular meetings are perfect opportunities for those interested to see what the club is about and if they want to get involved themselves, as well as learn more about the industry!

The club also attends several student organization fairs, such as Explore-U, the CSE Student Organization Fair, and the Minneapolis Activities Fair, to recruit students and garner more interest in game development. Along with fairs, we hold occasional outreach events to get to know more of the student body and we try to keep our social media up to date on the club affairs.

History

The Video Game Development Club was formed spring of 2012 by Graham Smith and his close friends and housemates. The idea was to meet a demand for the student body that was not yet met: game development clubs and classes. After sparking interest in video games across extracurricular and academic settings at the U, the first VGDC game, Projectile Ocean, was completed by a team of six members in June of 2012.

Expanding the base and starting regular presentations, the school year 2012-2013 was full of rapidly progressing ideas and concepts for games. Taking over the club was Cal Robinet, who applied for grants for the library, started a new website with Dennis Ehrhardt, and made a club appearance at GlitchCon. Additionally, Professor Stephen Guy was added as a faculty adviser to the group.

Two years later, with Dennis as president, the club decided to start semester long projects during 2014-2015, completing the horror game Moribund during the fall semester. VGDC continued to make appearances at gaming events and hosted themed game days to celebrate Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Star Wars Day (May 4th) as a club.

Currently, the club is determined to create more interest in the game development scene through increased outreach and a focus on members. Paired with a stronger investment in team management, the club hopes to develop its most impressive project yet!

Come check us out, no commitments necessary!

Support

If you have questions of any kind, feel free to contact us at vgdc@umn.edu.

Or contact one of our officers directly:

President: Ramona Neill (neill024@umn.edu)

Vice President: Amber Nelson (nels9242@umn.edu)

Treasurer: Simon Hailu (hailu012@umn.edu)

Publicity Director: Brian Craig (craig312@umn.edu)

Secretary: Jacob O’neill (oneil565@umn.edu)

Webmaster: Max Hammerlund (hamme523@umn.edu)

Student Advisor: Meghan Jonas (jonas050@umn.edu)

Contact Us

Keep up-to-date on the fun!

Or stop by our meetings!

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