Developing More than Just Games with Aurora

Ashlee Gilley

If a student is looking to get involved in an interactive, creative, group oriented atmosphere, Aurora may be the club for them. Aurora is a game development club that allows students to create their own video games while working in a professional, group oriented setting.

“Aurora is a game development club that prepares its members, our ‘developers,’ to get jobs in the game industry. We do that by making video games from scratch, but also by teaching our developers how to network with professionals and lead peers.” Xander Allen, president of the Aurora club, said.

All activities in the club are group oriented wherein they break off into development teams early into the semesters.

“I’ve made such great friends through Aurora, and the club as a whole has certainly been the highlight of my time at Georgia Southern,” Thomas Anderson, junior computer science major, said.

The members of Aurora go to different game development events and conferences such as SIEGE (Southeastern Interactive Entertainment and Gaming Expo), where they can meet professionals in their field and begin to network. Another event that they went to this semester was the Global Game Jam at The Guild Hall in Savannah where they were tasked with creating two different games in 48 hours.

“My favorite experience [since joining Aurora] is attending the 2016 SIEGE conference with all that it had to offer: presentations, speakers, and panels all dedicated towards games, software, the gaming industry, and anything else you can imagine,” Anderson said.

The Foundation

When Aurora was founded 5 years ago, its founder and now GS alumni, Ron Williams, told Allen he chose the name because it is synonymous with the word dawn and is symbolic for the beginning of the members’ careers. Due to the different skills required to develop games students from all majors are encouraged to join.

“Because of Aurora, I found my passion. I know what I want to do with the rest of my life. The other members are very supportive. We are all one being working together towards our goals,” Sierra Green, sophomore writing and linguistics major, said.

Getting Involved

Writers and artists are just as important to the development process as the actual developers themselves. The club meets every Monday at 7:30 p.m. Students who are interested in joining aren’t required to have any prior skills in order to be accepted as they can be trained at the training group meetings every Wednesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. for new members.

Two events that they have upcoming in the semester are their April Fools Game Night on April 1, and their Spring Showcase on April 26.

“We couldn’t do all of these [events] without our members. They have such a passion for game design and their help makes our events possible,” Allen said,

If a student is interested in joining all they need to do is either email Allen himself at [email protected] or attend any of their club meetings.