We are going to hold Global Game Jam at Broadview Entertainment Arts University again this year! Thank you for everyone that helped with the venue last year and we look forward to another great experience here!
Come check it out, it's going to be a great event!
== Sponsors ==
Thank you to Broadview Entertainment Arts University for hosting and being a major sponsor!
Thank you to Utah Geek Events for sponsoring food and drink, and for helping with promotion this year!
Thank you to Brett Unzaga for pitching in some food this year!
Thank you to The Game Crafter for sponsoring board game prototyping materials this year!
Thank you to GAME_CON SLC for sponsoring volunteers this year!
== Event ==
The keynote from the first year (watch this!):
A documentary from the first year:
== Venue Notes ==
Alternate map: http://beau.broadviewuniversity.edu/why-beau/campus-overview
If you like you may email the organizer at [email protected] for his mobile phone number beforehand in case you get lost!
You can park on the north, east, and south sides of the building (but avoid west and southwest).
We will be restricted to the 3rd and 4th floors. However, there is a room on the fourth floor that we need to avoid using- Room 419 aka Game Computer Lab. That room is for BEAU students specifically.
The doors will be locked during night hours. It is a good idea to get someone's number before you leave in case the doors are locked or you can't find your way back.
Check the schedule to see which meals are sponsored, and which you need to take care of yourself. Plan to bring or buy food from nearby stores. There are vending machines on site, as well as a fridge and microwave you can use. NOTE: Everyone is expected to clean up after themselves!
For year 2015 at BEAU:
The common area (can fit 3-4 teams) will be available for the duration.
We should be able to make other rooms available on the day.
We should avoid room 415 as there will be a class in there at some point during the weekend.
== Equipment ==
As you develop, you will probably find it useful to use a computer or other equipment to complete your game and contribute to your team.
IMPORTANT: The entire event will be WIRELESS ONLY. None of the ports will be unlocked for us. This of course also means latency will be higher and so it is even more important that we limit how much streaming and bandwidth usage we try to use.
This year for 2015, there will be USB wireless access dongles available to check out if you'd like to come but don't have wireless access for your computer. Awesome!
The school will provide access to their wireless network. The IT department at BEAU is going to shut off all the wired ports in the walls for the event.
"I am told that all ports on the 3rd and 4th floor will be shut down after 10 pm on Friday for security reasons. However, wireless access will be available continually via the "special events" network."
The SSID (wireless network name) is "Special Event". Due to the length requirements, the password is now "specialevent" - no quotes (WPA2 Secured). All nearby wall ports will be disabled, so users will need to use wireless, or ad hoc/LAN connect to someone that can share their wireless connection. They will not make any exceptions.
"The network is limited to 150 clients for both wireless and physical connections. I wanted to give you a heads up on this, because it’s getting more and more common for people to have cell phones, tablets, and a laptop. Please note each device connected is considered a client. This is important because it’s pretty easy for one user to take up 3 IPs without realizing it (Connecting all their devices at the same time.)"
So, be sure to bring wireless access for your computers!
Also, bring extras like mouse pads and powerstrips if you can- someone always forgets something at a LAN event like this. :)
For board game designers, if you have some prototyping materials you don't mind sharing, please bring those as well!
== Schedule ==
NOTE: Schedule is subject to change!
Note that the meal times are simply guidelines and this schedule subject to change. Meal times not marked as Sponsored are meals you need to take care of yourself. Note that there will be a fridge and a microwave available for use. Or you can invite a few others you don't know to go get some food together and meet new friends. Plan for breaks to stretch often and rest your eyes. Don't depend too much on energy drinks.
Friday, January 23rd
4-5pm Check in
5-6pm Early work/setup
~6-7pm Dinner - Sponsored by Utah Geek Events
7-8pm Opening ceremonies, keynote, warmup, theme announcement, idea pitches, group forming
8-9pm Get to know your team and bounce rooms to try a new team if you like before team lockdown
9pm Team Lockdown - teams less than 5 cannot refuse anyone, everyone should have a team and should know them and have had a chance to at least start on a prototype
10pm Everyone should have already gotten a team and started to work by this time- if not, see the organizer!
9am Breakfast break - bagels/fruit provided by Brett Unzaga!
1pm Lunch break - On your own
6pm Dinner break - On your own
(note: some teams opt to finish Saturday - these teams can stop by for presentations Sunday, send a representative to show their game, or send the organizer instructions on how to show their game for them along with notes and comments for their postmortem comments- or they can share at a future Indie Night or IGDA meeting)
10am Breakfast break - On your own
11-1pm Work - home stretch!
1-2pm Lunch break - On your own
2-4pm Finish work
4-5pm Sharing/feedback, uploading
5-6pm Presentations, certificates, and farewell
== Groups ==
You can come with or without a group, but if you come with a group, please be flexible in taking in someone that still needs a group by the end of the group forming process.
After watching the keynote, we will follow with some social exercises to get people relaxed and comfortable (especially in cultures where people are shy by nature)- no more than half an hour on this. After people are relaxed, we will start with the constraints/themes and idea pitches and group forming.
The way pitches work is that people form two-person teams with whomever they are sitting next to. They get 15 minutes to come up with one or more ideas that fit the constraints. After 15 minutes, each team gets exactly 30 seconds to pitch each idea to the entire room (with an organizer being time keeper to keep this moving along). You may bring paper and tape if you like. Here is a photo of what this might look like from NGJ 06: http://www.nordicgamejam.org/06/report01.html
After all ideas are pitched, the owners of each idea are trying to sell their ideas while other participants are shopping around for an idea they would like to attach themselves to. For idea owners who are unable to sell their ideas, they will have to give up on their idea and join someone else's group. If you had your idea on paper, you may take your idea, and attach it to yourself.
This idea brainstorming continues until everyone has a tentative group - no one may leave until everyone is part of a group! Note that the initial idea of the group does not necessarily have to be the final game your team makes- it is more about finding people you will work well with. Everyone will use this time to get their team and their tasks organized. If your team decides to leave before 8pm for any reason, please note that we may be forced to have someone assigned to you without the chance for you to talk with them first.
Also, groups should pay attention to skill sets, to make sure that they have all the skills they need (generally at least one person with programming skills, one with art skills, and one with game design skills, or someone with a combination of these skills). Optionally groups can look for a producer, an audio designer, some testers, or whatever else you would like.
If you get to your work area and find that the team you signed up with is heading in a different direction than you wanted, you are free to "bounce" - go to the next group room (in clockwise order on each floor, and in an organized fashion- wait your turn if the group is already speaking with another wandering participant, etc.) and see if this group is a better fit. You are free to continue bouncing or go directly to another group if you need to, but the following rules limit the shop around process:
1) You may only "bounce" during the first few hours (until 10pm) of the event. Team Lockdown will go into effect at 9pm which means everyone should focus on helping get teams consolidated.
2) While Team Lockdown is in effect, no teams with less than 5 people may refuse any participant. This rule is in effect after 9pm and means that all the teams should be finalized shortly after. If it is 10pm and you still do not have a group, see an organizer and they will get you into a group.
Note that these times may be adjusted depending on the schedule.
We will most likely again have a few experienced developers helping out as well. Please don't hesitate to ask them for their help and opinions!
== Teams and Submissions ==
On the GGJ website, each participant should have their own individual account. Each jammer needs to sign in, get an account, and fill out a profile to associate themselves with a specific location. Participants can do this at any time, even at the start of the event, but we encourage them to do it early.
Once a participant has signed up, they will be able to create a "game" object on the GGJ website. Once that object is created, the user can add any other users at the same location as collaborators. So, teams are basically formed around games.
Game submissions are handled on the website as well: there is a Web form that can be filled out to upload the game and supporting info. There will be a progress bar while uploading, so you can tell the difference between it just taking awhile and it totally freezing on you. Another advantage of the form is that the games will be available immediately after they are uploaded! In case of HTTP failure, we will also provide an FTP backup- just contact your organizer.
Someone on the team will need to be able to package the game according to the instructions on the website: http://globalgamejam.org/wiki/hand-procedure
Updated/more detailed instructions here: http://globalgamejam.org/ggj15gamesubmit
If your team doesn't finish, but there is still something to show, those are still welcome. We also still expect a final presentation, sharing what you learned, as a post-mortem, regardless of whether you finish a playable prototype. This is not a competition! What is important is that you learn more about game development and have a chance to express and discuss game ideas with others.
Once the event is over, GGJ participants have all the rights to their game project and can use them in portfolios and resumes, and will have opportunities to show them at events including Utah Indie Game Night and IGDA Chapter Meetings (keep an eye out for future announcements here: http://groups.google.com/group/igda_utah).
The global website and GGJ HQ are sponsored by several great companies. Some are offering special deals for the jam. Learn more by exploring the GGJ website.
== Requirements ==
You will need a computer, unless you are doing a board game or plan to come and work on pencil and paper the whole time. For board games, someone should bring a machine to do the images/pdf and uploading of the final print-and-play version. For video games, computers are needed to create and upload the final prototype with its final code, art, and design. Keep in mind that our venue has a wireless network, so bring a wireless device if you can. If you don't already have all the software you'll need installed, you'll also need Administrator rights to install software on your machine.
You generally will need a game engine or library to make video games at the Global Game Jam, and ideally you should bring one that you are already familiar with. The same goes for any tools, such as GIMP or other free graphics tools to make images for your game.
Some game engines you may consider:
XNA (or just plain old C#)
Game Salad (only makes Mac/iPhone games, but reportedly very easy to use)
Game Maker (only makes PC games, but also easy to use)
Flash (not free, but you can download a 30-day trial)
SDL (for C++ developers)
Adventure Game Studio
...and many more!
Keep in mind that learning an entirely new programming language is an especially tall order for a 48-hour event, so coders should really use what they are already comfortable with.
Unlike tools, the game engine/framework source must be able to be released along with the game code.
All of the initial GGJ editions of the games will be released under this Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
You also give the Global Game Jam the right to show the first version of your game on their website.
You will be required to sign a release form. We are all just volunteers and we don't want you to sue us or our sponsors.
You will need money if you plan to buy drinks/snacks on site or go out to eat. There will be a guide for nearby restaurants. You are also free to bring a cooler of food for yourself if you prefer. There is a vending machine on-site. There will be a fridge and microwave on site as well that you can use if you want; just be sure to clean up after yourself.
If you plan to stay all night, you will need the usual toiletries and personal hygiene products to keep yourself clean and presentable (even if you don't have access to showers, you can still bring deoderant and other similar tools to make it easier for people to be around you). You will probably also want a sleeping bag and pillow.
Also you should be aware that there is a code of conduct and a general atmosphere of treating people with respect. Please come planning to have fun, but also be professional.
== Q&A ==
Q: Is it allowed for participants to use an existing framework, code library, game engine, etc.?
A: Yes, under certain conditions. All games must be released under Creative Commons, so any other code used must be legally releasable in this way (i.e. a proprietary game engine should not be used for GGJ).
Q: Are board games allowed?
A: Yes! We have had plenty of great board games created during the jam in past years, so come and try your hand at board game design and share in the awesome GGJ community!
Q: Do participants have to sign up as part of a team ahead of time?
A: No, and in fact we strongly encourage you to form teams made of total strangers. Game jams are a wonderful opportunity for participants to expand their horizons, challenge themselves, and meet new people. These benefits are greatly lessened if participants sign up in a group with their friends.
Q: Is there a required minimum or maximum team size?
A: There are no official limits. In practice, you want each team to have all skill sets covered (especially programming, art, and game design) so it will usually not be practical to have a team of less than 3 people. Once team size starts to get over 5 or 6, communication gets to be an issue.
Q: Are spectators allowed?
A: Yes, but they will be expected to be silent and non-disruptive during the work period. If there is a slight chance you would participate, don't be surprised if you are pulled in during the idea pitch phase. Be prepared to run home for your computer! Spectators will still at least be required to sign the release, but they will not be required to register on the website.
Q: Can I participate remotely?
A: Our site does allow complete remote participation; just email the organizer your intent so we know not to be worried when we see you signed up on the website but nowhere to be found at the venue, and so we can take care of any sponsorship offers you'd like to take advantage of (for example, tools or engines that require site organizer checkout).
Q: Can I participate for only part of the time?
A: Absolutely; partial participation is just fine, but be prepared to face the possibility that you'll have to be on your own team because of your limited availability. However it is possible there would be a team that would be willing to work remotely. Like in real life, you would have to be extra communicative and extra strict on what assignments/tasks you take on for the group.
Q: Can I bring my child with me?
A: No, unless you can guarantee they will not be disruptive, and you are willing to take them out if there are complaints. Participants age 10 and above will be treated as regular game jammers if they are able to contribute and not be disruptive. Participants under legal age 16 must have a parent or guardian available to sign the release.
Q: What should I bring?
A: Here is a list summarizing the suggestions:
Computer with wireless access for dev and uploading
Money or food for meals that are not sponsored
Prototyping materials (pencil and paper, etc.)
Sleeping bag and toiletries (if staying all night both nights)
Camera (for documenting, team picture, and perhaps gameplay video)
Phone (to call someone to let you in if the doors are locked)
Q: Will the games be showcased anywhere (GDC, IndieCade, etc.)?
A: GGJ HQ will certainly propose this at the major conferences, but of course it is up to the conference organizers and not us. Whether this happens or not, all games will still be available on the GGJ website.
Q: Will there be a global "winner"?
A: To be clear, GGJ maintains a focus on collaboration, not competition. This is not a contest. As far as we are concerned, the experience matters as much as the games. However we always have a "cheer" rating at the end to see how much the crowd likes each game. Also you can always ask the mentors for their feedback, which is very valuable if you are able to learn from it.
Q: What happens with my team/game after the event is over?
A: Whatever you want! You still own the game and you can continue to polish it or work with your team on a longer project if you like. The Global Game Jam has helped spur many success stories from indie startups to launching game careers.
Q: How can I help make this event better?
A: If you or anyone you know would like to volunteer and/or sponsor, let the organizer know.
Q: What if I have other questions that aren’t covered here?
A: Email the local organizer with any questions or suggestions.
Q: How do I find the local organizer?
A: This page lists contact email at the top: [email protected]