GGJ2013 Global Game Jam informational presentation


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Informational presentation about Global Game Jam 2013 at the University of Denver, Colorado, USA. Information drawn from This information is intended for local consumption, but draws on the global wisdom.

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  • Global Game Jam 2013hosted locally by the University of Denver
  • What is a Game Jam?The goal is to come together and make a video game, or non-digital game like a board game or card game. Participants rapidly prototype game designs and hopefully inject new ideas to help grow the game industry. We share a common theme and constraints. We ask participants to create a game from beginning to end in a prescribed time (maximum of 48 hours). The brief time span is meant to help encourage creative thinking to result in small but innovative and experimental games.
  • What is the Global Game Jame?The GGJ brings together talented individuals from within your community. It is a unique opportunity for people to push their skills and challenge their way of working. Participants work concurrently with developers around the globe; we rally around a central theme, and then have 48 hours to create a game. It's our hope that we will see some very experimental realized prototypes that you can continue to work on after the jam. Many games developed in previous Game Jams have become fully realized games. The GGJ is open source, hardware & software agnostic and all projects are protected under a Creative Commons license. We encourage people to try out new ideas and push themselves, within reason. We also strongly encourage participants to remember to eat and sleep, to stay at their best!AboutThe Global Game Jam (GGJ) is the world's largest game jam event. Think of it as a hackathon focused on game development. It is the growth of an idea that in today’s heavily connected world, we could come together, be creative, share experiences and express ourselves in a multitude of ways using video games – it is very universal. The weekend stirs a global creative buzz in games… while at the same time exploring the process of development, be it programming, iterative design, narrative exploration or artistic expression. It is all condensed into a 48 hour development cycle. Although the event is heavily focused on programming, there are many other areas where people who don’t code can contribute to a game.The structure of a jam is usually that everyone gathers on Friday late afternoon, watches a short video keynote with advice from leading game developers, and then a secret theme is announced. All sites worldwide are then challenged to make games based on that same theme, with games to be completed by Sunday afternoon. In January 2012, we had 242 location in 47 countries created over 2000 games in one weekend and became a Guinness World Record! GGJ 2013 is January 25-27 at a location near you… if not you can make one of your own. The jam is known for helping foster new friendship, increase confidence and opportunities within the community. The jam is always an intellectual challenge. People are invited to explore new technology tools, trying on new roles in development and testing their skills to do something that requires them to design, develop create, test and make a new game in the time span of 48 hours.The GGJ is not a competition.GGJ is organized by the Global Game Jam, Inc., an international non-profit corporation based in San Luis Obispo, California, with a mission to foster game design and game education through innovative events. The current board of directors:ZuraidaButerElonkaDuninSusan Gold (President)FoaadKhosmood (VP / Secretary)Gorm Lai (Treasurer)Ian SchreiberDustin Clingman (IGDA)The GGJ depends on the generous work and support of many other people including sponsors, jam site organizers, and volunteers. Please see the credits page for a more comprehensive list of contributors. HistoryThe Global Game Jam was the brainchild of Susan Gold, in collaboration with Gorm Lai and Ian Schreiber. GGJ was founded in 2008, inspired by the many game jams before it, such as the Indie Game Jam, Ludum Dare and Nordic Game Jam. GGJ was a project of the International Game Developer's Association (IGDA) from 2009-2012. Starting with GGJ 2013, the event is managed by Global Game Jam, Inc. The 1st annual Global Game Jam was held January 30-February 1, 2009 to much critical acclaim and success. With over 1600 participants in 23 countries, and a theme of "As long as we have each other, we will never run out of problems," the GGJ produced 370 games. In 2010, the number of participants increased to over 4300 with 900 finished games on the theme of "Deception" (see the 2010 recap). In 2011 there were 6500 participants in 44 countries, who created over 1500 games, and in 2012 the numbers soared to over 10,000 participants in 46 countries, with over 2100 games made in a single weekend!GGJ is a volunteer-run organization, built upon the very hard work of its leadership, site organizers and of course the participants. 
  • Do I need to come to GGJ with a team already formed?Do not come to the Jam with a team. Everyone will have some time to think and pitch an idea. Collaborate with new friends or peers you admire.
  • Although having computer skills is helpful, code experience is not necessary. Designers, developers, artists, musicians, and anyone is welcome to try their hand at making a game during the GGJ.
  • The spirit of the the event is thinking on your feet, and creating quickly. We won't know the theme until shortly after 5:00 pm local time on Friday January 25, 2013. It will be difficult to predict what kinds of assets, visual or otherwise, to have on hand. Pragmatically, if you have elements that can be adapted or reconfigured quickly, then you will have something useful in hand.
  • your first idea likely won’t be your most innovative ideaspirit of collaboration, not competition
  • Who owns the intellectual property of games made during GGJ?The team/makers of the game hold all IP rights.However, the Global Game Jam may use the games for demonstration as it sees fit. All games must be posted in the condition they are in as of the close of the GGJ event (Sunday). If the team/makers of the game wish to upload subsequent versions, they are welcome and we will host and archive them. All participants and all games entered for GGJ must agree to a Creative Commons, share, alter, no sell license.See also: the License and Distribution Agreement.All projects are submitted on one of the the Creative Commons licenses. In short, this means that what is uploaded can be modified, copied and used for non-commercial purposes by anyone who downloads the game. The team retains all commercial rights, however, and no-one except the creators can charge money for anything which builds upon the original code and assets. Please note that the team is required to upload source code as well as assets along with the executable when they deliver their game. The reason it is this way, is because the game jam is about sharing and learning, but we also don’t want anyone to not be able to develop their game further.
  • Is there a cut-off date as to when we can join the Global Game Jam?Site registration normally opens in October, and we encourage all sites to sign up by November 15th. After December 1, it may be more difficult to register. Because there is a fair amount of preparation needed to put together a jam, we think you should plan as far ahead as possible and register before December 1.
  • You sign up on the site as an individual. Registration for jammers normally opens about November 15th. Create a new account or login using Facebook connect
  • Physical space for the duration of the jam to comfortably seat participants (you can choose how small or large you want your event)Reliable Internet access (either wired or wireless) for all participantsAccess to common game development tools and/or ability to download and install softwareLocal IT support in case of problems with computers or internet connectivityAt least one local official organizer to coordinate the event *Access to all space and computing resources around the clock over the weekend of the GGJCoffee and beverages & easy access to foodOptional auditorium space to do a post Jam presentation on Sunday of the JamSecurity (safeguard against theft of belongings)* The organizer must be a part of all email correspondence, participate on BaseCamp (our project management software) and oblige us with meeting all due dates.The GGJ will provide you with tools to organize your local event, hands-on guidance before & during the Global Game Jam, a web page on the GGJ site, local & international promotion etc… For more information on hosting a site, check the manual.
  • Site registration usually opens in October. In the meantime, you may wish to read the manual to be prepared.While registration is open, in order to list your location we need you to do the following:1) go to and create a new account – you will receive your password via email.2) once you get your email and sign-in to the page, Select "Jam Site 2013" from the Navigation menu on the top/right.3) Follow the directions – fill out up-to-date and correct information. Make sure you understand and acknowledge your responsibilities as an organizer. You may come back and update the public details any time.4) Once you fill out the application for a Jam Site, it will be processed and OK’d by GGJ and it may take a few days. The reason for this is to make sure we do not get duplicates for the same location, the organizers are responsible and understand GGJ values and responsibilites. We really are trying to push for community and collaboration and trying to avoid having multiple locations in the same vicinity. If you see that a location is already posted in your city, please contact us and we will try to help you collaborate with the other location. Note, many major urban areas will have more than one location. You can see a list of approved Jam sites if you click on the “Locations” icon at the top of the page, which goes to: After your Jam Site is approved, go to your account page and update your profile (under “My account” -> edit) and specify the Jam site. Please also direct all your local Jammers to make accounts and create profiles as well.6) Once you've created a GGJ page for your site, you can use it to link to your own webpage for your site, or you can use GGJ website to handle your sign-ups, etc… Participant sign-ups usually open around November 15th or so. Even if you have your own webpage for signups, all of your jammers must register at as well, by the Saturday of the jam itself.
  • created for the 2011 Global Game Jamcontrol scopeplaytest early and oftendon’t be afraid to start overyour first idea likely won’t be your most innovative ideabe sociable & collaboratetake care of yourself sleep eat bathe
  • created for the 2012 Global Game Jamfocused advise for making board gamesprocess is different than for videogamesthere will only be one role, that of the designer/playtester hybridcommunication will be key, avoid the design by committee trapadvocate for the player experience, not for your ideainvolve other teams in a play-test exchangesave art for last (play over polish)everything is prototyping materialdon’t invest too much time seeking the perfect tokenplaytest without knowing all the rulesrapid, organic iterationplaytest early, playtest oftenonce prototype is good, spend time on clarity of rules, and beauty of materialperhaps shoot a tutorial/gameplay video
  • GGJ2013 Global Game Jam informational presentation

    1. 1. Global Game Jam innovation experimentation collaboration 1
    2. 2. What is a Game Jam?• People coming together and making a game (or games) – videogame, board game, card game• in a ridiculously short amount of time• with a shared theme and constraints 2
    3. 3. What is the Global Game Jam?• People all over the world• coming together locally• to make games• with a shared theme• over the same weekend 3
    4. 4. When is the Global Game Jam?• The Global Game Jam is an annual event.• The 2013 GGJ – will start at 5pm (in every time zone) on January 25th and goes for ~48 hours through January 27, 2013. (with minor variations) 4
    5. 5. Do I need to come to GGJ with a team already formed?• no, be open to new collaborations• be respectful• be generous 5
    6. 6. Do I need special skills to participate in the GGJ?• be experimental• be creative• be open minded 6
    7. 7. I’m an artist, musician, do I need to bring any specific assets?• be nimble of mind 7
    8. 8. Tips for Newbies 1• control the scope (KISS)• playtest early and often• don’t be afraid to start over• innovative gameplay trumps polish• be sociable & collaborate• take care of yourself – sleep – eat – bathe 8
    9. 9. Tips for Newbies 2• board game edition – process is different than for videogames – there will only be one role, that of the designer/playtester hybrid • communication will be key, avoid the design by committee trap • advocate for the player experience, not for your idea • involve other teams in a play-test exchange • save art for last (play over polish) – everything is prototyping material • don’t invest too much time seeking the perfect token – playtest without knowing all the rules • rapid, organic iteration – playtest early, playtest often – once prototype is good, spend time on clarity of rules, and beauty of material • perhaps shoot a tutorial/gameplay video 9
    10. 10. Is the GGJ only for professionals?• No. Everyone is welcome. 10
    11. 11. What is the typical day to day schedule for the GGJ?• Day 1 – Arrival Essentials:• * Registration * Talks * Group forming• 14.00-19.00: Check in 14.00-15.00: Tech/Art Talks (if any) 15.00-16.00: Tech/Art Talks (if any) 17.00-18.00: Announcements & Keynote 18.00 -?: Group Forming Social "Get to Know Each Other" exercises Pitches Group Forming 11
    12. 12. What is the typical day to day schedule for the GGJ?• Day 2 – Work Essentials: 09.00-10.00: Breakfast 11:00 Deadline to create user profile and game page 13.00-14.00: Lunch 19.00-20.00: Dinner 12
    13. 13. What is the typical day to day schedule for the GGJ?• Day 3- Work Essentials: 09.00-10.00: Breakfast 13.00-14.00: Lunch 15.00-16.30: Deadline for handing in the games is 15.00 16.30-19.00: Presentations – Each team has 10 minutes to do a short presentation 13
    14. 14. Who owns the intellectual property of games made during GGJ?• The team/makers of the game hold all IP rights. – However, the makers grant the Global Game Jam permission to use the games for demonstration as it sees fit. – All participants and all games entered for GGJ must agree to a Creative Commons, share, alter, no sell license. • See also: the License and Distribution Agreement on website. 14
    15. 15. Is there a cut-off date as to when we can join the Global Game Jam?• I am closing our local registration on January 15, 2013• I am limiting our number to 85 people. 15
    16. 16. How do I log into the site?• – You sign up on the site as an individual. Registration for jammers is now open. – Create a new account or login using Facebook connect. 16
    17. 17. How do I tell the system my location and full name information?• Every user must fill out a profile which is available from your account page. – The profile asks for your full name and has a drop-down menu to choose your location. Additionally, you can write a public biography about yourself under "My account”. 17
    18. 18. What is required to host a location (jam site)?• a person willing to run point• physical space• pervasive access to electricity• pervasive access to internet• a data projector or large monitor• access to food nearby 18
    19. 19. Why is the GGJ held often at many universities?• Schools have access to large labs and space that are not always available at studios. Educational institutions also have the best access to broadband Internet. But there is nothing exclusive about location types. Companies, Game collectives, community meetups and other types of venues are all welcome. 19
    20. 20. I am the site organizer, how do I register my location?• create an individual profile• select “Jam Site 2013” on top right• follow the directions 20
    21. 21. I am a site organizer, how do I create team accounts?• There are no team accounts. Only individual accounts that are associated with location and game projects. All jammers and organizers must have them. 21
    22. 22. Liability• The Global Game Jam is supposed to be fun and collaborative, with a goal to keep things very simple. We provide structure, guidance and help for all locations participating in the GGJ. As a rule, we expect that no team/makers of a game will illegally exploit others IP, and that in turn, everything created becomes part of the public domain. All participants agree that their participation in the Global Game Jam will hold no one liable for any loss or damage.• The Global Game Jam reserves the right to refuse to allow anyone or any jam location to participate at any time for any reason or no reason at all. This includes after the game jam has already started. 22
    23. 23. hints for newbies 1 23
    24. 24. hints for newbies 2 24
    25. 25. GGJ2013 teaser 25