Students created video games in 48 hours at Chillennium 2019

[See the 2019 Chillennium website] (

A giant ballroom at Texas A&M’s [Memorial Student Center] (,-96.3435016,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x8646839854d18149:0x90311327f8c2221d!8m2!3d30.6123103!4d-96.3413076) was packed Oct. 4-6, 2019 with college-age students developing video games at [Chillennium] ( , the world’s largest student-run game jam.

The annual event, hosted by the Texas A&M [Department of Visualization] ( at the MSC’s Bethancourt Ballroom, drew nearly 400 registered contestants in 2018 from across the nation aiming to win coveted game software licenses, develop their digital skills, meet fellow developers, and network with industry professionals who roam the game jam floor advising participants.

At the outset of this year’s Chillennium, the event’s theme was announced, and contestants had 48 hours to develop games alone or in teams of up to four members using their own hardware with programming languages available online, loaded on their computers, or provided by contest organizers.

After the 48-hour game development period, industry professionals, event sponsors and game players played and ranked the games in a variety of categories, including innovation, quality, completeness, design and sound. Contest organizers awarded prizes that included highly-sought licenses for high-powered, professional-grade gaming software.

The event was run by visualization students headed by André Thomas, who teaches Texas A&M visualization classes in game development and leads the department’s LIVE (Learning Interactive Visualizations Experience) Lab , a university game development hub.

Chillennium’s success has enhanced the national prominence of the game design program at Texas A&M’s Department of Visualization.

In 2018, game design school rankings published by Animation Career Review, an online career resource for aspiring animators, game designers and digital artists, Texas A&M landed in the No. 7 spot among public schools and colleges and No. 21 among public and private programs nationally.

Richard Nira

posted September 25, 2019