This weekend is the Global Game Jam 2016!
What is the Global Game Jam 2016?
The Global Game Jam 2016 is a game hackathon held every year where developers from all over the world challenge themselves to make a game in 48 hours.
You are not allowed to bring in a game ahead of time, and your game must fit within a “Theme” that will be announced at the start of the event.
You can read more about the jam and its history on its website.
What skill level is required?
Everybody is welcome! This is the perfect place to sit down with like minded developers and learn a new tool, platform or skill.
Do I need to be a programmer?
Nope! We’ll need lots of artists, animators, audio people, and designers.
If you are interested in being part of making a game, you should come!
Why should I go?
You don’t have to take my word for it!
Check out this blog post from Unity on why you should participate!
To Learn – Your first game jam you are going to learn about Scope, cutting features, dirty hacks that saves hours of “doing it properly”. Everything will take 4 times longer than you planned which makes getting the bare minimum the key task done in the allocated time.
Learning a new language or technology could be a big motive for you, the very first time I used Unity was for GGJ 2012 and I’ve never looked back ;).
You might be a programmer wanting to art or an artist wanting to try your hand at a dab of programming, now is the time to learn. It doesn’t matter what level you consider yourself, everyone will learn something new during the jam.
To meet new people – The best game jams for me are the ones people participate in person, not online. It forces you to interact with people, create a team of strangers, share creative ideas and make crucial group decisions to complete the game on time. You might meet members of your next development team over this period.
Experimentation – Try weird and wonderful things, crazy ideas you’ve had for a long time, custom controllers, anything that you’ve not got round to prototyping, now is the time! You’re going to think of lots of ideas and end up scraping 90% of everything, but remember to write those down for inspiration later on other projects.
Opportunity – some of the most successful indie titles stemmed from Game Jam prototypes, one of the most notable is Surgeon Simulator by Bossa Studios back in 2013. Many commercial games were conceived at game jams, maybe yours will be the next hit! How often are you going to have so many game developers in the same place ready to play your game and give constructive feedback where you can take it next?
Have Fun! – Remember to have fun, what other form of entertainment can consumers interact with so much? Being a game developer is awesome and seeing how it can all come together in such a short amount of time is rewarding as hell. It’s not a contest with each other, you’re making the best game you can possibly make against the time.
Where do I go?
You can find a location near you on the Global Game Jam 2016‘s official site, or as I mentioned if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area head right on over to 680 Folsom Street in San Francisco and join us at the Microsoft Reactor!
See you there!