Game-jamYesterday, thanks to Champlain College's spiffy new email newsletter, I found out about this Microsoft Game Jam and Hackathon at the school's Game Studio at the Miller Center on the Lakeside Campus. The Miller Center is a new building across from the former General Dynamics that also houses the Emergent Media Center and the Patrick Leahy Center for Digital Investigation.

Some details from John Pile Jr., assistant professor of game programming:

Since 2011, the Game Studio at Champlain College has hosted Microsoft on campus twice a year for a day-long training event. The most recent event was last October when the topic was how to create games for Windows 8 using HTML5 and Javascript. This Friday, the event starts with a short training on how to use "Construct 2" (an application that makes it very easy for anyone to make simple games). For the next few hours, participants will break into teams and use the remaining time to create a game. Prizes will be awarded at the end for completed games in various categories.

The event is free and open to the public and no prior experience making games is necessary, however, space is limited and participants need to bring their own laptops. 

The training will be taught by Microsoft's Principal Technical Evangelist, Chris Bowen. Space is limited, so anyone interested in attending should register for the event online.

It's not mentioned on the website, but there will also be a second advanced training event in the evening. The training will be on DirectX11, a professional game development package for creating 3D games and applications using the C++ language. This advanced training assumes prior knowledge in either OpenGL or previous versions of DirectX. It will be taught by Microsoft Technical Evangelist Michael Cummings. Space is even more limited for this event, but if anyone is interested in attending, they can contact me.

Both Chris Bowen and Michael Cummings are based out of Boston.

Both events align with the recent launch of the Windows 8 "App Madness Challenge," which awards students $100 gift certificates for every game or application they release to the Windows 8 marketplace. 

I couldn't find more info on the Champlain game program website, but there's the link, just in case. And here's where you register for the Game Jam.