They create it to play it

Gaming is a major pastime for young people, but the students that gather in COSC 1505 every Thursday go beyond the basics.

The Game Development Club provides an opportunity to design and develop games for Pierce College students.

“I started the club because there wasn’t a community for people that like game development. I was in shock, and said that there should definitely be a club,” Club President Joshua Arco said.

The club’s mission statement is to design and create games in an “inclusive and collaborative environment.”

“Why isn’t there an environment with other people that like making games? There are people that like playing games, which is cool, but I want to make it,” Arco said. “I want to bud off of what other people know. I want to collaborate. That is my goal, to make it a collaborative and inclusive environment, to teach other people and also learn myself.”

Club members are given basic tutorials that help them learn how to develop a game. According to Arco, the club members can develop different genres of games.

“If you want to develop an MMO you can certainly develop one,” Arco said. “Action based games require you to use a lot of physics sometimes, but if you want to do something super simple you want to set your bar at the right location so that you could achieve it.”

Marissa Forn has been a part of the club since its inception.

“We were all friends,” Forn said. “Josh was the one that came up with the idea. I’m one of the founders.”

The Game Development Club set up a game demo as part of their Club Rush booth on Sept. 30th. Interested students could try out a game developed by Arco to get a taste of the projects produced by club members.

“That was my little passion project,” Arco said. “I did Battle Wheels. It’s not official yet so it’s just called “Project” in the meantime.” 

Arco began to develop an interest in game development through his programming experience, he said. 

“When I first tried to write my own engine I was just having a blast even though I was not getting pretty far. Since I started programming, I’ve loved programming,” Arco said. “I got into game developing, it is more addicting than playing games. I love playing games, but making them is way better.”

Karl Strayhorn is a new member of the club and already likes being a part of it.

“I stopped by and watched, and I started getting into it,” Strayhorn said. “I have had previous experience with game developing.”

But club members don’t need to have an extensive background in programming and game development to join, according Forn.

“We have to take things as they come,” Forn said. “There are always going to be new students that need to learn the fundamentals.”

The club is currently looking “into game jams” that the club could be a part of in the future.

“A game jam is like a hackathon,” Arco said. “It’s fun when they add rules. For example, you could only use this software. They add challenging constraints.”

Michael Bradley is one of the members that began the club with Arco.

“I was in it since the beginning. It is actually a good time spent doing the work,” Bradley said. “I’ve been working on games in the club, but I haven’t finished working on them. The tutorials are pretty easy and Josh is a great teacher.”

“Game developing is a lot of fun,” he continued. “You start and you never want to stop.”

The Game Development Club meets Thursdays from 4:15-5:15 at COSC 1505.