Members of the GDDC meet for their scheduled Friday workshop to work on projects to showcase at their summit in May. (Ashly Hernandez / The Poly Post)

Working to play at the Game Design and Development Club

Single player. Multi-player. Online. Console. Mobile. Hand-held. Action. Adventure. Sandbox. Platform. Role-play. Puzzle. Simulation. Two-dimensional. Three-dimensional. With so many genres and subgenres games can have, and so many technologies gamers can use to play them, the door is wide open for video game developers. 

Cal Poly Pomona’s Game Design and Development Club (GDDC) creates an environment for students to put their coding skills and design efforts into play — pun intended.

“This semester specifically we’ve got groups of students in the club and there’s five projects going on, so we give them a space to [scrum],” said Brennan Zuber, a fourth-year computer science student and president of the club.

“Scrum is basically an agile development framework … part of the agile methodology for developer communication. It’s a way for people to communicate about problems they’re having and speeds up development time.”

The club holds general meetings on Tuesdays during U-hour in Building 6-227 and holds workshops on Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. in Building 163-1005. This time is for the groups to work on projects and share information.

A couple of the projects that groups in the club are working on include a 2D gravity platform game and a monster girl dating simulation game.

All five projects will be showcased at the Student Game Developer Alliance Summit on May 25 in the Bronco Student Center.

Members of the GDDC meet for their scheduled Friday workshop to work on projects to showcase at their summit in May. (Ashly Hernandez / The Poly Post)

The summit hosts professionals from the gaming industry and other game development clubs from around the area. 

There are panels for professionals to speak about the business and there are opportunities for recruitment. 

Anyone is welcome to attend the event and the club hopes to reach those who are passionate about gaming and game development, even if there isn’t a lot of confidence in the skill. 

“I attended the summit and it was a kick in the butt to start doing stuff,” said Jonathan Fong, a fifth-year computer science student and club secretary.

“I watched tutorials and took classes online to learn and get better. I want to help others get more involved in the club like how it was with me.”

Fong says the first club meeting of the year is always packed. 

Students will sit in between desks and stand off to the side of the room. 

However, the numbers dwindle down and leave those dedicated to pick up a project with a group.

Each member has his/her own story as to why s/he pursues game development. 

Some have a favorite game such as Super Mario Sunshine, Astroneer or Half-Life 2, to name a few. These games have inspired future game developers. 

“I never get tired of doing it. There’s a passion for it that I never get tired even after staring at a computer screen for hours,” said Henry Ding, a third-year computer science student.

Ding and first-year computer science student Celine Mangahas discovered the GDDC at freshmen orientation. 

Other members came across the club after searching on myBAR. 

Members of the GDDC are close. They have hangouts outside of the club and they get along during their projects. 

They help each other with homework and work together to achieve success. 

“I already wanted to do game development because I learned how to code,” Mangahas said. 

“It was spurred even more by Jonathan. [He] said that anything is pretty much possible as long as you put your mind and effort into it.” 

Video games are huge today. People watch YouTube videos of other people playing video games. 

There’s also the world of E-sports, or electronic sports. 

It includes leagues and tournaments for games at even international levels.

Recently, there have been big layoffs from video game companies like Activision, Blizzard and ArenaNet, but Zuber stated that it’s all part of the business. 

It also doesn’t stop members from doing what they love and pursuing careers as game developers. 

Members of the GDDC meet for their scheduled Friday workshop to work on projects to showcase at their summit in May.


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