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Ask any seasoned developer about game jams and their eyes will light up with sheer joy and their consciousness will drift off into the fondest of memories from their participation in these awesome events. So with the globaliest of game jams occurring January 29 – 31 in the form of Global Game Jam, we encourage anyone with any form of interest to take part!

A game jam is a gathering of game developers in person or online that creates a game in a short amount of time, usually between 1 and 3 days. You can participate as an individual but it’s much more fun in a team consisting of different game development disciplines such as programmers, artists, designers and audio engineers.

Game Jams teach you the full development process of a game (planning, designing, developing, testing) in a stupidly short amount of time. The term “trial by fire” comes to mind. You receive the theme (a rough guideline you interpret for your game) at the beginning of the jam and work from there.

So why should I go?

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.

Global Game Jam 2016

So we at Unity are gearing up for Global Game Jam and being a global sponsor. We have various employees across the world taking part.

I’ll be visiting Asset Jesus aka Kenney Wings at Kenney Land in Kerkrade, my alter ego (no one has ever seen us in the same room) Andy Touch will be at the Hamar Games Collective in Norway and many other Unity people will be in various other destinations around the world.

Our EMEA team will be in the UK (Brighton, York, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Hatfield, Oxford), Norway (Hamar), Netherlands (Kerkrade), Denmark (Copenhagen) and Lithuania (Vilnius).

Our America’s team will be in N.America (New York, Seattle), Canada (Montreal, Vancouver), Mexico (Guadalajara) and Brazil (Curitiba).

And our Asia teams will be in Japan (Shibuya), Australia (Melbourne) and Taiwan (Taipei).

All and all, we have about 40 Unity staff helping at #GGJ16 around the world!

Other Game Jams

The Global Game Jam is not the only game jam worth taking part in. Our evangelist team visit and take part in many game-jams each year. here’s a few notable ones.

  • Nordic Game Jam
  • Splash Jam
  • Train Jam
  • Ludum Dare (Online)
  • One Game a Month (Online)
  • 7DFPS (Online)

So if you’re thinking about ever doing a game jam in person or online, do it!

Check out our Learn site for our game jam menu template to save some development time.

Josh is one of our EMEA evangelists who spends the majority of his time connecting with our community online and in person.

Relevant posts:

Nordic Game Jam 2015

Global Game Jame 2015

Unity developers shine at Ludum Dare 30

Train Jam 2014

Global game Jam 2014

17 replies on “Why you should take part in GGJ”

[…] out this blog post from Unity on why you should […]

I have a question offtopic please. Unity3d is still being used for alot of games, I’m using firefox 46 and its not working anymore. are there any plans to fix this coming in new versions of firefox46? or should i just download a old version or is unity planning something so we don’t have to install unity to play those games or is everyone just moving to mobile?

To get rid of the warnings in Unity 5.3 when importing the Game Jam Menu Template:

1. In the EventSystemChecker.cs
–>erase line 20

2. In the StartOptions.cs
—> Insert at the top the following line
using UnityEngine.SceneManagement;
—>Replace line 77 with
SceneManager.LoadScene (sceneToStart);

Thanks Ippokratis. We’re going to see if we can push a quick update to address those warnings to the Asset Store package. It’s worth noting that the package does still work, even with the warnings, it’s just letting you know that in 5.3 there’s a new API for doing scene changes.

I know this will just be deleted like others, but would be awesome if you could talk anything about what is the plan for Visual Scripting on Unity.
I know it’s in research stage, but would be cool know something about.
Any piece of information would be cool ;D

Guys , This post is motivational, Yes It’s assumed that you have heard about it and just need to be motivated. The website can be found on google easily, date is last sat-sunday of the month and you should register online and go to one of the sites available in your city or create a site.

It’s awesome and you’ll gonna love it hell lot. It’s pure awesomeness!!!

Is it too late to join the game jam, or do people just kind of show up? I haven’t done a game jam before, so I’m not quite sure how they work, but I don’t see any sort of registration to participate in it on the site. I’ll be doing the one in Seattle if that helps (although, I haven’t found the address of where it’s being hosted either).

Moderator should put this link into the first passage of the post so people could go straight to the site.

Information not included in this post:

– WHEN Global Game Jam takes place

– WHERE it takes place (or even if it’s a place at all – is it an event with a place or online?)

– What WEBSITE I can go to to find out more information. There’s a lot of links, but as far as I can tell you’ve omitted the most important one.

I guess the assumption is that we all know all these things about GGJ and have actively decided not to participate?

if you’re not able to copy and paste “Global Game Jam” into Google, please do us a favor and don’t come.

Looking on how kind and nice people are going to join is better to don’t come.
If you write and article on any event that 3 points are a must.
Is the same also creating games. You can’t say to a player that if something is not explained in the tutorial you can google it otherwise is better to don’t play the game!

Information not included in this post:

– WHEN Global Game Jam takes place

– WHERE it takes place (or even if it’s a place at all – is it an event with a place or online?)

– What WEBSITE I can go to to find out more information. There’s a lot of links, but as far as I can tell you’ve omitted the most important one.

Comments are closed.