Global Game Jam Diversifiers

The GGJ Diversifier system is aimed at providing motivation for experienced game jammers, and making it easier to search for different types of games among the thousands that are created. In a sense, the diversifiers are a free-for-all voluntary list of secondary constraints, that the individual teams can choose to go for, or not, as they please. If they do go for one or more diversifiers, they get to check off those diversifiers as fulfilled when uploading their game. Diversifiers are absolutely voluntary, and no points are given for using them, or taken away for not using them. If you are a first-time team of students, we recommend that you focus primarily on the overall constraint (the theme that will be announced on Friday), and only add in extra diversifiers if you feel sure you will have something to hand in on Sunday.

Why do we have “diversifiers”?

  • They ease the discoverability issues of the GGJ site, making it easier to search
  • To let experienced jammers push themselves in interesting directions
  • To help jammers ideate with a fast track
  • Creativity is born from constraints. :)

A diversifier must be self-evident so that anyone who downloads a game, can verify that the game fulfills the diversifiers it claims.

How many Diversifiers can I choose?

You can assign a maximum of four (4) diversifiers to your game. You can of course use more if you want, but you can only link a maximum of four on the GGJ site. You can choose any number up to four, and of course don't have to choose any diversifier at all! Diversifiers are mainly meant as extra challenges for the experienced jammers and to ease discoverability of games on the site.

How do I add a Diversifier to my game?

The diversifiers for a given game are listed on the game page. You select them by checking the boxes for the diversifiers you used.

Are the Diversifiers secret?

No, the diversifiers are not secret. Feel free to announce them to your jammers and discuss with your colleagues.

Remember the diversifiers are voluntary, and secondary to the theme!


The 2014 diversifiers were:

  1. Back to the 1885. The game could have been built and played in the 19th century.
  2. Can You Come And Play? The game has a local multi-player mode.
  3. Design, Create, Play. All the content in the game is procedurally created, including graphics and sound.
  4. Hackontroller. The game must use a custom controller invented by the team, or use an existing controller in unconventional manner.
  5. Homo Sapiens are Boring. The game is meant to be played by cats.
  6. Honor Aaron Swartz. The game only uses materials found in the public domain.
  7. I am who I want to be. The game has characters, but nothing in their design suggests a gender.
  8. Inclusive. The game is specifically designed to be accessible to one or more groups of gamers with disabilities - vision, motor, hearing or cognitive impairments.
  9. Rebels Learns it Better. In this educational game a hidden learning path is provided for those who oppose the given rules.
  10. Round and Round. Rotation is one of the primary mechanics in the game.
  11. The Ultimate Bechdel Test Survivor. The game survives all three conditions of the Bechdel test.
  12. You Only Live Thrice. The player only has 3 lives and each level starts over when you die.
  13. You Say it! The game utilises audio produced by the player either recording or instructing player to make sounds.

​The 2015 Diversifiers were;

  1. Noise Generator: The mechanic of the game is based on players having to stay in constant communication with each other.
  2. Folk: The game uses a folk or indigenous art style of your region.
  3. NES: Make the game playable on an old school console, either directly or through an emulator.
  4. Wrist Watcher: The game is playable on a smart-watch, or uses wearable technology in some way.
  5. Clueless Parents: The game helps kids teach something to their parents or other family members.
  6. Batch Job: The game is a batch file from any operating system, using command line tools found in an out of the box installation.
  7. Chimera: The game is played partly as a digital and partly as a non-digital (board, card, etc.) game.
  8. Hyper-Local: The game is set in your town/city and contains elements locals can identify, while still being entertaining for a global audience.
  9. Can I Try?: Any spectator of the game automatically becomes a player as well.
  10. This is How it Feels: The game raises awareness of how hate speech or unfair accusations feel, and what kind of effect they have on their targets.
  11. Stephen Hawking Can Play This: In the game everything (including any menus) can be navigated with one button, without any need for quick / precisely timed presses.
  12. Eagle Ear: The game is primarily visual, but is also playable by visually impaired  players, either through audio design, or through a screenreader (VoiceOver, Talkback, JAWS etc).
  13. Relatively Speaking: A game based on the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which explained that massive objects cause a distortion in space-time, such as light bending around black holes.
  14. Public Domain Class of 2015: Make a game based on the works entered to Public Domain on 1st January 2015 - for instance works of Wassily Kandinsky, Edvard Munch, Edith Sitwell, Piet Mondrian, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Felix Nussbaum, Filippo Tommaso Emilio Marinetti, Glenn Miller, Flannery O’Connor, and Ian Fleming (cough, James Bond, cough), depending on your country.
  15. Code for Good (Sponsored by Intel): Make a game with the goal of improving literacy, or inspiring interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The diversifiers for 2016 were:

  1. Comic book colours Your game uses only 4 colours, with an emphasis on contrast 
- Accessibility, Art, Design, Pervasive
  2. LEGO Got It Right There are no spoken or written words in this game. This is even true in the instructions 
- Pervasive, Accessibility
  3. The Bard's Tale 2016 was 400 years since the death of Shakespeare. Build a game around one of his works - Content
  4. A local game for local people Make a game that features your country, city, or people that jam around you 
- Content, Theme
  5. Where in the world is…Gameplay or art changes depending on the player's geographical location (GPS, IP location, etc). The game experience is therefore significantly different for players all around the globe - Art, Content, Design, Pervasive
  6. Crowd sourced Anyone who is watching it can play along!
- Design
  7. No retreat, no surrender! The protagonist is unable to go anywhere but forward, in every situation 
- Art, Content, Design, Theme
  8. Capture and Play - Bluetooth - Make a game with Bluetooth capabilities in which any bluetooth device near the PC that have the game would interact with something inside the game. (More items, more enemies, another challenger player, or instant co-op, etc)
 - Code
  9. Take Control Instead of the usual keyboard and console controllers, your game must use a custom controller
- Design, Accessibility
  10. Marco Polo Create a game that contains no graphical output -- all information is conveyed to the player through audio 
- Accessibility, Audio
  11. Gandhi’s Game This game must have zero violence in its game play. Conflicts must have resolutions based on logic 
- Design, Theme
  12. One hand tied behind my back Create a game that can be played with only one hand. On mobile just one hand holding and playing at the same time i.e. just play with your thumb. Desktop, mouse only or keyboard only 
- Accessibility, Design, Serious
  13. Multijammer Work cooperatively with other GGJ sites within your own timezone 
 - Meta
  14. Story Mode No cutscenes, textboxes or interruption of gameplay. Use player actions for all your storytelling - Content, Design, Accessibility
  15. Infinite Your world is procedurally generated 
- Code, Content
  16. Loudmouth All audio assets are created by sounds from your mouth
 - Audio
  17. What was that? Any sound featured must not be sourced from the object in the game making that sound 
- Audio
  18. Work and Play The game requires the player to code/learn to code to progress - Code, Serious
  19. Won’t somebody think of the children? Your team must use the works from a child or children - Meta
  20. Companion screen The game uses a mobile device as an additional screen to show a different mode or portion of the game - Code, Design
  21. Common Ground Make a co-op game playable by players who have very different levels of ability to each other - Accessibility
  22. Twitch Plays (sponsored by Twitch) Create a live streamed game intended to be played concurrently by the masses on Twitch.
  23. Do You Even Care? (sponsored by iThrive Games) Drawing from guidance materials from iThrive's subject matter experts, make a game that teaches empathy to teens.