FAQ

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Hello?
What is Game Creation Society?
How can I become a member?
I am not affiliated with CMU. Can I still participate in the club? Can I join the Facebook group?
How often does GCS meet?
What happens at GCS meetings?
I don't have any experience making games, but I want to learn. Will you teach me?
What do I need to work on a game?
How exactly do GCS Projects work?
I have an awesome idea for a game! How do I lead a project?
Can I pitch a project as soon as I become a member?
Which platforms are GCS games made for?
What programming and languages and tools do you use?
What if I can't afford tools?
Can I sell a game I made within GCS?
Are GCS projects limited to games?
How long do projects last?
Can I pitch a game that will take more than a semester to make?
But I really, really want to make a game with GCS that can't be done in semester!
Do I have to work on a project to be part of the club or attend meetings?
What happens to projects at the end of the semester?
The semester is over, but my game isn't finished. What do I do?
I don't want to work on a big project. What else can I do?
Where can I find finished games?
Will you make this game for me/my organization?
What are your game competitions?
Are there prizes?
Can I get the source code or assets of your games?
I have other questions. Who do I contact?
Okay, I got to the end. Where is my goddamn cake?

Hello?
Oh, hello! Welcome to our lovely F.A.Q page! At the end, there will be cake.

What is Game Creation Society?
Game Creation Society (GCS) is a student-run organization at Carnegie Mellon University dedicated to learning about videogame development. The club makes projects, has discussions, hosts competitions, and has a lot of fun! It's a place for people passionate about making games!

How can I become a member?
Simply swing by a meeting, join our mailing list, hang out on the Facebook group, or join a project. There is no formal membership process or requirements, although we recommend that you be awesome.

I am not affiliated with CMU. Can I still participate in the club? Can I join the Facebook group?
Absolutely! If you're in the Pittsburgh area, feel free to stop by – we welcome everyone! If you are located elsewhere, our Facebook group ise open for discussion about our projects and game development in general. Feel free to make a thread or participate in discussion!

How often does GCS meet?
We typically meet weekly on Friday afternoons at 5:00 pm (EST), in one of the academic buildings on CMU's campus. The meeting location for this week can be found on our website, and can also be found in our weekly emails.

What happens at GCS meetings?
At meetings, we have announcements and updates from current projects. We also often hold discussions about game development and related topics, and host competitions related to game development. Occasionally, we also have talks from speakers from the industry or alumni.

I don't have any experience making games, but I want to learn. Will you teach me?
Yes! Many members come into GCS with very little experience. We have many experienced people willing to give talks and tutorials and answer any questions you may have. However, you must be willing to put in the effort to learn - we can't do the work for you.

What do I need to work on a game?
Dedication! As long as you are determined, GCS has a role for everyone – from programmers to artists, from musicians to writers, and from zookeepers to swordsmen. As long as you are interested in making games, we can find a role for you!

How exactly do GCS Projects work?
Groups work on projects in their spare time during the semester, presenting updates each week to the club and publishing a finished game at the end. Projects are run by one of more project leaders, who are responsible for managing the schedule and scope of the project and creating a productive environment for their team members.

I have an awesome idea for a game! How do I lead a project?
Towards the beginning of each semester, we dedicate an entire meeting to pitches – all you have to do is pitch your game to organization members and gather some people into a team. After that, you have a meeting with our Director of Development to get you off on the right track, and then you are a GCS Project!

Can I pitch a project as soon as I become a member?
Yes, you can. However, we encourage you to work on someone else's team first to get a feel for how GCS projects are generally run. Leading a project is a heavy responsibility that takes a lot of time and effort, and you should know what you're getting yourself into. Remember that the project isn't all about you – you'll have an entire team counting on you to deliver.

Which platforms are GCS games made for?
Whichever ones you want! Most projects generally support at least Windows, but we've had games for other systems and consoles.

What programming and languages and tools do you use?
Anything that suits your project. We've had projects that used Python, Flash, C, C#, Java, and non-programming tools such as Gamemaker. We'll be happy to give advice on which might be best for your project.

What if I can't afford tools?
It's entirely possible to get by with completely free tools. Carnegie Mellon also has several useful tools available for students, and GCS has a few things it can provide to students.

Can I sell a game I made within GCS?
Unfortunately, no. Student Activities, the School of Computer Science, and various affiliated companies give us tools which we use to create our projects. As a result, we don't have the rights to sell any of the games we make. If you are interested in making commercial games, however, feel free to share your experience with us!

Are GCS projects limited to games?
Technically, no. While the main focus of the club is the making of games, a game does not have to be the end result of a project. In the past, a few people tried working on engines or tools. But remember – this is not “Engine Creation Society” for a reason; we've found that projects are much more focused and exciting when the objective is a full game.

How long do projects last?
Typically, groups develop projects over the course of a single semester. From experience, we've found this to be the most practical length for busy undergrads.

Can I pitch a game that will take more than a semester to make?
We highly discourage longer projects. The focus of GCS is learning, which we feel is easier through small, well-planned projects. Longer projects are more difficult to plan and manage. If you think your project will take longer to make, it may be overambitious for our scope. We can work with you to scale it down if you really want to pitch it, or you can get a team together to work on it outside of the club. GCS is about learning, not making the next Final Fantasy or Halo.

But I really, really want to make a game with GCS that can't be done in semester!
One idea that has worked in the past is breaking the project into pieces, each a semester long. The group presents a finished product at the end of each semester, then builds off of it the next semester.

Do I have to work on a project to be part of the club or attend meetings?
No, you do not have to work on a project. If you want, you can just mope around like a schlub. Really, we have no problem with that. And when you get tired of moping, we periodically host competitions for the entire club to participate in!

What happens to projects at the end of the semester?
They go up on our website. Some groups choose to continue to work on their projects beyond the semester, to add polish and general shininess – however, our general goal is to have them finished by this point.

The semester is over, but my game isn't finished. What do I do?
As long as your project is functional, you may continue debugging and polishing it in the months after the deadline. If your project is far from finished, you really want to continue working on it, and you feel that it can be finished in another semester, you may choose to extend the project. Whether a project is worth extending depends on how dedicated the team is to finishing it. We generally don't encourage project leaders to do this because extending a project limits the learning experience of its team.

I don't want to work on a big project. What else can I do?
First, projects don't have to be big. We encourage very small projects! But if you don't want to do that, there's plenty of other stuff. You can participate in competitions, contribute resources to other projects, or share your knowledge and experience with the club during meetings or on the forums.

Where can I find finished games?
See our games section.

Will you make this game for me/my organization?
GCS does not do contract work. This is a club about learning and having fun developing games; we are not a games studio. Members work on projects of their own choosing.

What are your game competitions?
Our competitions are generally based around a theme and deal with one element of game creation – for example, design or music. Participants usually have one or two weeks to submit their entries, after which members of the club vote on and critique the results.

Are there prizes?
Our eternal love should be sufficient reward. But… yes, sometimes there are prizes.

Can I get the source code or assets of your games?
Most games host their version control systems on our server, and all are publicly accessible. However, all code and assets are copyright their original creators, so please don't use them without permission! Some code and assets are released under open licenses, which are usable under the terms of the license.

I have other questions. Who do I contact?
See the about page for email addresses. Alternatively, you can swing by a meeting or post in the Facebook group.

Okay, I got to the end. Where is my goddamn cake?
You took too long getting here. We ate it all.