The Global Game Jam (GGJ) is an annual game jam that takes place across the world in real life. The official history of the "game jam" idea itself is debatable, but this particular contest was inspired by the Nordic Game Jam created by members of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) in Copenhagen in 2006. The first official GGJ was launched in late January in 2009.
The IGDA estimates that in January 2013, at least 319 teams met across 63 countries, and created 3,248 independent games within the allotted time.
Global Game Jam
The GGJ itself is a challenge to create a single, working game within 48 consecutive hours. The games will be based on a theme revealed only at the start of the jam, though it is up to the participants how liberally they wish to interpret that theme within their games. The games themselves can use any video game engine or even simple pen and paper.
The only restrictions are that the resources used must be things that the participants own or can be found through open source or Creative Commons sources. Also, the game must be freely available and open to all interested parties (though creating a different version to be sold later is still possible).
It is not necessary to be an IGDA member to start one's own official GGJ site, but the proposed site must fulfill certain requirements: Internet access for everyone involved, access to development resources, an event coordinator, food and drink or at least nearby sources where they can be acquired, round-the-clock availability of the location, and security for belongings.
Who can participate?
Anyone can participate regardless of skill level or experience. Veteran game developers and newcomers alike have completed games at GGJ. Participants can work in groups or by themselves, though the recommended team size is around 3-4 people. Participants are encouraged to meet each other before the GGJ officially starts to form teams, pitch ideas or designate project roles. There is no rule against one person being involved in multiple game projects if he/she wishes to float between them.
In his Global Game Jam 2014 Keynote video, Richard Lemarchand (former Lead Designer at Naughty Dog) told independent developers that they should take risks, create experimental games, and not be afraid to fail. He also mentioned that Tale of Tales' The Graveyard, which was completed at a previous GGJ, was a big influence on the peaceful village sequence in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
|2009||"As long as we have each other, we will never run out of problems|
|2010||"The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain" and "Deception"|
|2012||An image of Ouroboros.|
|2013||Sound of a heartbeat|
|2014||"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."|