The 6th edition of the Global Game Jam (GGJ) was hosted in the ULT University in Tunis at the initiative of the Tunisian Game Developers (TGD) Association and sponsored by the National Centre of Cinema and Image (CNCI).
The TGD is the first non-profit association in Tunisia, representing the video game development industry. It was founded in February 2012, to advocate for the development of video games and promote industry collaboration in Tunisia.
Houssem Ben Amor, co-founder, president and head of sponsoring at the Tunisian Game developers Association said that the event is a Hackathon, a 48 hours game making marathon for developing games, on January 26- 28, 2018 along with the same event all around the world. At this moment the same Hackathon is held in France, USA, China and so on, he went on saying. Participants among young university graduates, students, professionals and engineers stay together all the weekend, from Friday to Sunday and work on developing video games on a specific theme, he noted.
The event in Tunisia is also an opportunity to make an overview of the experiences of the video games and the startups in this field. These young people, students and professionals are allowed to establish direct contact and make the most of the different experiences of each one of them, Ben Amor indicated.
Houssem Ben Amor pointed out that the event is a win-win initiative by making known the recent video games development carried out by Tunisian skills among amateur and students and an occasion to provide assistance so as to learn about new techniques of video games development.
This gathering is based on the collaboration of students and professionals from different universities and higher institutes gathered in one single space to exchange experiences and find solutions for difficulties met by some participants. It is a kind of collaboration networking and creation of opportunities, he said.
Nabil Ben Attia computer engineer gave a lecture on this occasion during which he made an overview of his own experience in establishing his start-up Wanna games. He said wanna games which were founded in 2016, is the first platform of products placement in video games in the world and it is one hundred per cent Tunisian startup.
Ben Attia announced the opening of the platform for video game developer to subscribe for free and integrate their games and concurrently allow companies to put their products advertisements and pay the developers while having a commission for these activities. It is a kind of match-making between the brands and the developers, he said.
Winner of Mitacs Canada Award for Outstanding Innovation Houssem Zouaghi who is also a university teacher at ISAM and one of the founder of GALATECH startup said that the Global Game Jam is an international three-day event during which the participants develop video games and learn how to present their projects with the assistance of skilled engineers specialise in the field of video games.
Multimedia engineer Houssem Zouaghi who is also one of the Managers of the Global Game Jam said that the projects presented at the end of the Hackathon will be assessed by the closing of the event along with an award to the winners and their projects will be placed and ranked in the website of the GGJ.
The industry of video game is the second in terms of earning money in the world, Houssem Zouaghi said, reminding that the TGD association is the first in Tunisia which created this concept of a video game.
The TGD is an association that started in a club in a private university then it has become open to all youths and students who are enthusiastic about video games, he went on saying.
Zouaghi noted that attendees of the event are guests from private and state universities, industrialists and startuppers who came to make their projects known, namely representative of the National Centre of Cinema and Image (CNCI) and Brie Code CEO and creative director of TRU LUV, a video game studio making games.
As a coach manager and trainer in TGD, Houssem Zouaghi gave an overview, at the opening session of the Hackathon, about his experience and talked about his startup GALATECH which a video game startup studio in Tunis that develop games.
“We must never underestimate intelligence, just start everywhere and what matters is where you will finish and think big”, he advised the young participants.
In another connection, the Global Game Jam opening ceremony was enhanced by the presence of ULT Director Sadok Belaid, who highlighted this initiative of the Tunisian Game Developers (TGD) Association for organising this event of video game development the Hackathon. He described it as the new world of tomorrow that exceeds reality urging youth to go through the virtual world. He described the event as supermodernism for youth in particular and for humanity in general. “It is a new world that you will invade and dominate” speaking to the young participants of the Hackathon.
Mr Belaid voiced delight that Tunisian youths, in general, are highly gifted in this field of video games development. ”We want to strongly contribute as a private university to the development of this sector because it is a necessity, “ he said.
He noted that 40% of future jobs are unknown. “It is you who will create them, create the idea and implement it. It is a new world of movement”, Belaid exhorted the young students.