Gamers unite

There is a new club at CNU, one that is dedicated to bringing all areas of study together under one goal: gaming.

The Game Development Learning Club was started due to the lack of computer science classes that teach the skills necessary to coding and creating video games.

The group’s president, Haley Currence and e-board member Monica Perez are both computer science majors with a passion for game development.

The group met at a Pizza My Mind seminar hosted by the Math department that was devoted to game development and the club was born.

The founding group’s members had all been pursuing game design prior to college, spending time learning graphic design, storytelling and so many more skills that go into creating a video game.

As of the end of January, the group had about 10 members and was recognized by the Office of Student Activities as an official club.

They are student-led with Dr. Perkins as their faculty advisor. Each of these meeting are seminar styles, and most of the students who go to these meetings want to go professional according to Currence.

The Gamer Development Learning Club tabled at the club fair. File photo by Macy Friend/The Captain’s Log

The Gamer Development Learning Club tabled at the club fair. File photo by Macy Friend/The Captain’s Log

“They are passionate about video games,” she says. Currence emphasizes that this club is not just for computer science majors, they are an interdiscilinary club with only one criteria, a love for video gaming.

“We want it to be broad enough that any major can join,” says Perez.

The club plans on pulling from all departments, including the new Digital Humanities minor, the English department and the Communications department.

“A lot of people think it’s a niche thing but once you go out into the real world you see how interdisciplinary video game development is,” said Perez.

The club meets twice a week on Mondays and Tuesdays where they focus on teaching game theory, game history, programming and artificial intelligence concepts.

They will then move on to how game development process works from implementation to distribution.

Currence says that it is important to get all disciplines together in this club since everyone has a different strength, you can’t just create a video game only knowing code and nothing else.

There are variables that art and English students have the upper hand in such as story, dialogue, art and music.

“Computer science majors need them and they need us if they want to develop a video game,” says Perez.

A few secondary goals the club has to instruction are reaching out to local gaming companies such as Route 76 and Midnight Status to create networking opportunities and getting people to attend the Pixel-Fest, the Hampton Roads area gaming convention.

The club hopes to teach how to create a text-based game and then move on to teaching the development of a 2D game.

“We want to teach the fundamentals and let the members take them and run,” says Currence.