FAQ

Contents


How can I join/become a member?

Come to one of our weekly meetings! You can find our next meeting time and location on our calendar. We also encourage you to join our community on Discord, where you can chat with us and stay up to date on events and announcements.

How often does GCS meet?

GCS has weekly meetings on Fridays, as well as Office Hours on Sundays. In addition, IDeATe holds Playtesting nights on Wednesday evenings that GCS teams can frequently be found at. For more details on all our meetings and events, check out our calendar.

What happens at GCS meetings?

We have a variety of meeting types! Some of the big meetings are Alpha, Beta, and Pre-Release. At each of those meetings, teams will present their games and exchange constructive criticism. Some meetings are tutorials, like the Unity Beginner’s Tutorial. We also have guest speakers. Between these more serious meetings, we hold game nights and social events to foster a community of game appreciation.

I don’t have any experience making games, but I want to learn. Will you teach me?

Absolutely! Every semester, at least one team will be beginner-friendly. We also have tutorials in Unity and other relevant topics at the start of each semester. In addition, we have open Office Hours every Sunday from 2-6pm where many experienced club members will be available and happy to help. Lastly, we have our own StuCo for teaching you how to create games!

What do I need to work on a game?

All you need is a passion for game creation and a willingness to learn. Most new programmers have taken 15-112, 15-110 or AP-CS. We have a place for artists of all styles and expertise, although new artists may need to spend more time learning about the game asset pipeline.

I have an awesome idea for a game! How do I lead a project?

At the start of every semester, anyone who wants to pitch a game and lead that project has to first pitch their idea to the officers, during the week before Pitch Fair. This is just to make sure that it is well scoped, and that you know what you’re getting into as a team lead. After that, you’ll pitch your game to the whole club, and assemble a team to lead for the rest of the semester.

I have an awesome idea for a game, but I really don't want to lead a project!

Don't worry, that's totally fine! Pitch it to another member in GCS and see if they'd be interested in heading it. You can also still pitch the game at Pitch Fair, and let everyone know you'd like a producer.

What game engines/programming languages/tools do you use?

Most GCS projects are done in Unity, which uses C# as its primary scripting language. But this is not at all required! In the past, games have been made in Unreal and GameMaker as well, and we are always open to other game engines, tools, or languages.

How long do projects last? Can I pitch a game that will take more than a semester to make?

Almost all projects are 1 semester long, but occasionally a project will run over into another semester. However, we discourage pitching games that are initially scoped for more than one semester.

Do I have to work on a project to be part of the club or attend meetings?

Nope! If you want to sit in on any meetings, come to office hours, attend any other events, or otherwise hang out, you’re welcome to!

What happens to projects at the end of the semester?

On the very last week of classes, we have our final GCS Release Showcase, where we show off all the games we’ve been working on. Projects are expected to be finished by then, but teams are always allowed to continue work after that if they’re still invested in it.

Can I sell or monetize my game?

No. We cannot be flexible on this point; because GCS is a CMU club, GCS projects are the university's intellectual property, so you cannot sell or monetize anything you make here. If you want to develop your game for the market, we can discuss the idea with you and post it as an opportunity in our Discord channel, but we cannot feature it at Pitch Fair or make it a GCS project.

Can I get the source code or assets of your games?

Many games have their source code available on GitHub, or another version control system. If you can’t find a link through the game’s page but really want to track down some of the code or assets, feel free to contact an officer and we’ll see what we can do.

What is the GCS Gold Award?

The GCS Gold Award was created to curate a collection of games that stand out above the rest. The official awards given out during Release have changed over the years, but each award winning game is tagged with the respective award on their page. You can also filter by award-winning games.

How can I get my own member page?

As long as you've participated in at least one GCS project (whether you're a current member or alumnus), all you have to do is fill out this form!

How can I become a GCS officer?

Towards the end of every semester, GCS holds elections for the next set of officers. You can nominate yourself and others for one or more of the 6 officer positions. You're welcome to apply for a position as long as you're an undergraduate in a GCS project!

Who are the GCS officers?

The GCS officers are 6 members elected by the club body each Fall to lead the club for one calendar year. Each officer serves a particular role, but they're all here to help everyone have the best possible experience with GCS. The current officers are listed below and can be contacted via the contact page.

President: Sebastian Yang
Vice President: Woody McCoy
Director of Development: Matthew Lucien Komar
Public Relations Lead: Joyce Zhang
Chief of Operations: Jonathan Fischer
Treasurer: David Zelong Fan

What does each officer do?

President: Protects and expands GCS interests, organizes regular meetings, assigns tasks to the other officers, and is the primary point of contact for the club.
Vice President: Serves as second-in-command and jack-of-all-trades, assists the other officers with their duties, and acts as the club historian.
Director of Development: Maintains the club's development framework, acts as Executive Producer for projects, and manages educational resources and events, such as the StuCo.
Public Relations Lead: Promotes the club's image within CMU, advertises and photographs events, recruits new members, and manages the club's social media.
Chief of Operations: Schedules and books club events, maintains and updates the website, and manages the club's physical resources, such as the GCS Cabinet.
Treasurer: Manages and grows club finances, fundraises, approves club budgets, and applies for organization funding every year.

How can I get more involved in game development?

One option is to take a game design course through IDeATe. For example, Game Development, Production and Prototyping is an intense course, but a great introduction to the process. You can also connect with the Pittsburgh Game Makers or Bit Bridge.

What is the "Scope Creep"?

The Scope Creep is our unofficial mascot, and can be seen at the top left of your page next to the GCS logo. It serves as a reminder to keep the scope of your game in check.

How long has GCS been around?

GCS has been a club at CMU since 2004! Since then, the club has gone through a lot of changes, with the core goal - making great games - staying the same. To view the full history of the club, check out our history page.

Who made the Scope Creep?

It was designed by Miranda Jacoby, one of GCS' alumni and former executive officers! Check out more of her work here!

Who made this amazing website?

I'm glad you asked! This website was created in 2018-2019 by Dominic Calkosz, with a bunch of help from Adrian Biagioli, and all designs done by Jessica Cao and Sophia Qin. Special thanks also to Jan Orlowski, Joey Perrino, and Sebastian Yang, for helping to transfer all of the games from the old website.

What is the GCS resume book? How do I get into it?

The GCS resume book is a collection of the resumes of GCS members. As such, we have resumes for many different disciplines, and we send them out to companies interested in GCS. At the beginning of every semester, we ask for resumes from our members, but to enter the GCS resume book, you need to both have participated in a completed project and have a member page on this website.

I'm in the games industry. How do I speak at GCS or use the resume book?

Thanks for your interest! We'd love to have you speak at a meeting or send you the resume book. Send one of the officers an email or contact us here so we can get in touch!

I have other questions. Who do I contact?

If you can’t find the answer to your question here, or on the about page, feel free to send one of us an email, or chat with us on Discord!