Q: How will you operate during COVID-19?
A: Open Alpha will operate in-person for Fall 2021. The last two semester have been major successes, and we expect a seamless transition back to in-person club activities in accordance with university guidelines.
Q: What’s the time commitment?
A: We’ll have official meetings Thursdays 7-8:30 pm, with bonding activities and our cohort retreats on the weekends. It’s like a really close group of friends who always want to hang out, especially on Thursday evenings. Usually, our members spend an average of 2-6 hours per week, but it's totally up to you; you get out what you put in. Close to release, that number tends to increase.
Q: What kind of majors do you accept?
A: All majors are welcome! English? Biology? Philosophy? Great developers are inspired by a range of different subjects.
Q: Do I need to have any experience? Are there any other requirements to join?
A: No experience required! We’re looking for people with a drive to learn and a passion for making games! We recommend taking CTIN 488: Game Design Workshop if you’re interested in design, and if you want to program, we suggest having some previous experience.
Q: What does "cohort" mean?
A: If accepted, you'll join the cohort - the group of people who work on that semester's game. This means that for 1 semester, we'll guide you through the game-making process and help your cohort bring a game from conception to an open alpha release. After that semester, you'll have the opportunity to return as a part of a future cohorts, helping to onboard new members and help them learn the nuts and bolts of game development. You can return for a total of 3 semesters, at which point you'll become a legendary. As a legendary member, you won't work directly on the semester cohort games. Instead, you'll be invited to work on games led and developed by and with other legendary members. And of course, you'll be invited to retreats and events just like when you were working in the cohorts.
Despite whether or not you choose to return as a part of a future cohort or participate in legendary member activities, you'll be invited to all social events, retreats, and networking opportunities — in perpetuity. No matter how long ago you joined, you'll always be a part of Open Alpha.
Q: What kind of games do you make? RPG? Action?
A: We won’t make VR, mobile, or console games. Other than that, we’ll decide on the genre and platform together with the cohort.
Q: How do you pick the game?
A: At the beginning of the semester, the entire cohort will brainstorm together and pitch their favorite ideas. The cohort’s favorite idea will be chosen and worked on for that semester.
Q: What engines and programming languages will you use?
A: We primarily design our games in Unity, utilizing C# for scripting.
Q: Is everyone slotted into roles on the team?
A: Members will choose the sub-team they want to work with the closest (art, programming, design, etc.), but are encouraged to move around to experience different parts of the game development process. Every part of the game’s development will be accessible to every member. We’ll also have sub-team leads to provide leadership opportunities to students who want to focus on just one aspect of the game’s creation.
This semester (Fall 2021), we are planning on implementing a Playtesting Team that will organize our game's playtests for the semester. If you apply and are accepted for this team, during your first semester in the club, your primary responsibility will be to the playtesting team. However, we encourage all playtesting team members to involve themselves with secondary sub-teams during their first semester as well.
Q: How much are dues?
A: All members must pay a $50 membership fee prior to taking part in any organization activity per semester. This fee will go directly back to members in the form of cohort shirts, social events, production costs, and other club activities.
However, money should never be a barrier to entry--members who are not able to pay are encouraged to petition for scholarship or ask to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the executive board and club advisor.
Q: Do you have any interest meetings?
A: Yes! We will have interest meetings before applications close every semester. Come learn more about the process, hang out with the board, and ask any specific questions you have!
Q: When and where can I apply?
A: You can apply on this website as the beginning of each semester. Applications open the first day of class (August 23rd, 2021). Additionally, the board will review applications in the first 2 weeks of each semester.
The application submission period ends August 31st, 2021 at 11:59 pm pst!
If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org