Some students write papers, and some students start companies. 5CollDH Undergraduate Fellow and Hampshire College Student Isaiah Mann’s project, GlowLime Games, is an initiative to promote game development in the Five Colleges through a non-profit development studio run by students, with student conceived projects, and showcasing the interdisciplinary skills of student game developers. This is Isaiah’s first post of three. You can click though to read the second and third installments, or read an interview with Isaiah by Jeffrey Moro.
This past summer I interned at MassDIGI for their Summer Innovation Program. This program is quite unique in that it groups students from across the world into small teams to develop games over the course of a summer. The program stresses agile development, professionalism, and frequent playtesting. One day, I was attending a lecture by the Managing Director, Monty Sharma and dreaming of the games I wanted to make for my Division III at Hampshire College. I quickly realized that all the concepts I had in mind would take far more skill and effort than I alone possessed, plus as many are quick to point out, nearly every game is made by an interdisciplinary team. From the selfish desire to have a readymade game development team, I began forming the concept that would become GlowLime Games.
The initial idea was a development team of students from Hampshire, in their final year, that would agree to work on each other’s Division III projects (comparable to a senior thesis in other under-graduate programs). However, as soon as I mentioned my concept to my Division II Committee Member, Ira Fay, he steered me towards the Hampshire mailing lists. From there, I not only garnered interest from a range of students and alums from Hampshire, but also students throughout the Five College Consortium: a collective of colleges in Western Massachusetts: Hampshire, Smith, Mount Holyoke, Amherst, and the University of Massachusetts: Amherst.
My work for the Fall was largely establishing a foundation to build off of in future semesters. I gathered a collective of skilled students to serve as the management team for GlowLime. I also applied to and was accepted as a Five College Digital Humanities Student Fellow. And finally, I constructed a network of advisors spanning MassDiGI, the Five Colleges, Worcester game development startup Petricore, and Hampshire alumni. All this in service of constructing an organization that could support student game development in the Consortium. Now, as we approach the Spring semester, GlowLime is preparing to launch into development on it’s first three projects.