Ever create a game in 48 hours? That’s exactly what we set out to do this weekend as we celebrated Global Game Jam 2017 at Unity’s HQ in San Francisco!
A three-day event, the Global Game Jam is a special “hackathon” style gathering for tens of thousands of game developers at jam locations across the globe. Participants have 48 hours to team up and make any kind of game representing a yearly secret theme, and the final results are showcased together online. This year’s event took place between January 20 — 22 in 702 jam sites across 95 countries!
Unity has been a headline sponsor of Global Game Jam since 2008 and we’ve been excited to spend another year jamming with our international community. Even better, our move to the new Unity HQ in San Francisco meant we had the perfect jam site at the ready — so we created the first official Unity HQ jam site just in time for GGJ 2017!
Day 1 of GGJ 2017 at Unity San Francisco commenced with an exciting whirlwind of jammer arrivals and preparation as we waited for the year’s GGJ keynote and theme announcement. Participants came from many different backgrounds — artists, programmers, designers, and more. Many were first-time jammers, and others were seasoned game jam pros. After being greeted by Unity staff, including our CEO John Riccitiello, the keynote began and the theme was finally revealed, games had to be inspired by WAVES — oceanic, sound, or otherwise! Jammers grouped up quickly and got to work, seventeen teams in all. Most went from brainstorming to prototyping in just a matter of hours.
Jammers soldiered on through Day 2 of the jam, distilling their exciting ideas down to manageable pieces for their teams. Collaborations and friendships grew stronger as teammates helped each other learn skills they could apply to their contributions. Thanks to tools like Unity Cloud Build and Collaborate, teams were able to sync well with each other throughout development. Unity staff jamming along worked with participants to get their games up off the ground. It was exciting to see staff and veteran developers helping newbies learn Unity — and even more exciting to see said newbies developing on their own by the end of the jam!
By the morning of Day 3, jammers were scrambling to finish their games by the 5PM deadline. Some teams came down to the wire but all games were uploaded in the nick of time! After a brief celebration, jammers got to playtest each other’s work and present their efforts on stage. Seventeen games emerged from our jam site — contributing to the 7000+ games made across the globe during the jam! Here’s a list of the games from our jam site:
AssasSound — Balls All the Way Down — Bath Buddies — Battle Boards — Bugs & Monsters — Catsumo Wave — Cozmo’s Tentacles and Waves — Gemstone — Halfway Night — High Sine — Lucid Screaming —
Night In W A V E S. — Piper — PirateAR — Turtle Rush — Undulatus — Wavery
Yet another wonderful Global Game Jam has come and gone but that doesn’t mean the fun is over! Whether you made great friends during the jam or left with your next big game idea, the adventures from GGJ 2017 continue long after the event is over. We’re excited to see where they take you next and how Unity can support you along the way.
Worked on a Unity game during this year’s GGJ? Post it on Unity Connect with the tag #GGJ17 and let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear how your local jam went and we’ll be picking a random winner from the collection to win 12-months of Unity Pro. Thanks again for another great GGJ, be sure to mark your calendars for next year — Global Game Jam returns on January 26 — 28, 2018!