We are going to hold Global Game Jam at Utah State University in Logan, Utah this year! Please read carefully as things have changed up this year!
This year will be a women's focused event! Utah has the lowest rate of women graduating college across the country. To help build awareness and encourage learning and experience for women, this event will have two unique requirements.
1) Invite anyone you know that may be interested! As we're inviting people, let's make sure we're reaching out to people that we might not normally think are interested based on gender. Wouldn't it be great if we had more gender diversity on every team? Let's show that anyone is welcome to love creating games! Too often an event like this has a male-dominated atmosphere, which can discourage some from trying new things or even showing up. Anyone that you think might be interested would at the least appreciate an invitation, even if they can't make it work this time. Perhaps some may come to just do a couple hours of work. This is not a hard rule, don't feel like you need to divide up to fill any quotas or anything.
2) Every game created must have either an A. women-empowering or B. gender equality theme or prominent feature. These prototypes will be used to showcase women's rights and equality, help bring understanding of male privilege to the viewers, and of course help women gain real-world Art, Design, and STEM experience in a team environment.
USU CWG Logo: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9y2yIUpwYWtOWhHQzBrOG1jaG8/view?usp=sharing
CWG Stripe Logo: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9y2yIUpwYWtNjF3ZWdBODJ0UTQ
If you include one of these logos or a mention of the USU Center for Women and Gender in your cover/splash screen and/or credits, they may use it in future promotions, showcases, or events!
== Sponsors ==
We are excited to bring you this great event for free once again! Please support our generous sponsors who make it possible:
Thank you to the Center for Women and Gender for hosting and sponsoring food and equipment!
Thank you to the USU College of Engineering for providing venue space, projector, and lab computers!
Thank you to The Game Crafter for sponsoring board game prototyping materials!
== Event ==
The keynote from the first year (watch this!):
A documentary from the first year:
== Venue Notes ==
If you like you may email the organizer at [email protected] for his mobile phone number beforehand in case you get lost!
We are in the Engineering Building (NOT the Engineering Lab Building), circled in the middle in blue in the map below.
Global Game Jam 2018 Logan Utah Parking https://imgur.com/a/MZi96
You can park after 5pm in these lots or in visitor parking.
We will be restricted to the 3rd floor area and a few rooms on the 2nd floor. 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 is a microwave you can use but NO FRIDGE this year. NOTE: Everyone is expected to clean up after themselves! Please bring spare trash bags and take trash out.
Other specific room restrictions for year 2018:
ENGR 302 will be open for opening and closing ceremonies and then also teams may set up in there in between.
The labs across the hall (ENGR 301 & 303) are for those wanting to use the lab computers.
There is a work area near the check-in desk in front of the elevator where you can set up your own computer if you bring one.
ENGR 202, 204, and 206 are available for teams wanting a separate room on the floor below.
All other main activity and check in will be held in the central area in front of the elevators.
There will be two quiet rooms for resting and sleeping, just move aside some of the tables if you need to nap or camp out.
ENGR 304 is close by the check in desk, and we have ENGR 201 on the floor below as an alternative. We might be able to designate a third room as well if needed. Also consider the nearby University Inn for a more comfortable stay.
There will be a food area for eating (near the elevator), and food is STRICTLY off-limits in the labs. Bathrooms are near the elevator.
There may be classes in some areas on the 2nd floor. Your team is expected to be respectfully quiet and non-disruptive during these classes if you choose a 2nd floor team room.
Avoid disturbing any other rooms or wandering too far.
== 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.
The lab computers that USU is sponsoring will have a special setup just for our event. They will temporarily have images set up for jamming, which means if you log off or lose power you might lose your work. Plan to bring an external jump drive or hard drive (or copy to an online storage service like Box, Google Drive, etc.) to save anything you want to keep after the event. The images will include these programs (but you can install whatever you need):
Windows 10 1709(build 16299.192)
Visual Studio C++ Runtimes 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017
MS Office 2016 ProPlus
K-Lite Codec Mega Pack
For those bringing a computer and who want to use wifi instead, the guest network SSID bluezone will be setup, and when it asks for a code, use: Brocnath which is our Sponsor Code for wifi for the weekend.
Also, you may want to bring extras like monitor connection cords (for presenting), 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 ==
Meal times not marked as Sponsored are meals you need to take care of yourself. Note that there will be a microwave available for use, but NO FRIDGE this time. 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 26th:
7pm check-in/setup/early work/mingling
~7:30pm dinner sponsored by the Center for Women and Gender
8pm opening ceremonies, keynote, warmup, theme announcement, idea pitches, group forming
9pm everyone should have a tentative team, if the team is not working out, you can bounce rooms to try a new team if you like
10pm 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- if not, see the organizer!
Saturday, Jan 27th:
work all day
~9am light breakfast sponsored by the Center for Women and Gender
~1pm lunch sponsored by the Center for Women and Gender
~6pm dinner ON YOUR OWN - try a nearby food option with your team, or bring a packed dinner
Sunday, Jan 28th:
work and final builds
~9am light breakfast sponsored by the Center for Women and Gender
~1pm light lunch sponsored by the Center for Women and Gender
2pm finish work - seriously, you should only be testing your prototype and make sure it works on the projector
4pm deadline! - work must stop, build must begin upload to globalgamejam.org, practice presentation, share and post and mingle
5pm presentations and closing ceremonies (Uploads should be done and presentation should be ready before closing ceremonies starts at 5pm.)
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 presentation.
== 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.
During opening ceremonies, we will have 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 10 minutes to come up with one or more ideas that fit the constraints. After 10 minutes, anyone who wants to pitch an idea and solicit team members gets exactly 30 seconds to pitch each idea to the entire room (with an organizer being time keeper to keep this moving along).
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.
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 opening ceremonies is finished 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 (e.g. at least one person with programming skills for digital games, 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, a tester, 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 10pm 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 10pm 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.
Remember that unlike UIGJ this is not a competition. If you are experienced, please be willing to help answer questions from other teams and help out. If you are learning and have a question or get stuck on something, please don't hesitate to ask for help from the organizer or other teams, and solicit feedback and opinions on your work! Feel free to use the utahgamedev slack channel #globalgamejam (fill out the form now to get the invite) to chat or post questions online as well. Some schedule updates and announcements on-site may be posted there, but a volunteer should always be at the check-in desk or coming around to check up on teams or announce things.
== 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:
If your team doesn't finish, no worries! This is a learning event and we still want to hear 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, for example Utah Indie Game Nights 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 main GGJ website.
== Requirements ==
Be prepared to use whatever is on the lab computers, unless you bring your own computer. 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 only has a wireless network, so bring a wireless capable device. 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. To present, you may want to bring a jump drive and/or a monitor cable to connect to the projector.
You generally will need to prepare to use a game engine or library to make video games at the Global Game Jam, and ideally you should have 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)
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 want you to understand the risks involved and avoid having someone 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 will be a microwave on site (but NOT a fridge) 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 people, communication and time spent merging/integrating work 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 age 18 must have a parent or legal guardian with them during the event.
Q: What should I bring?
A: Here is a list summarizing the suggestions:
Computer with wireless access for dev and uploading
Monitor connector (for presenting)
Money or food for meals that are not sponsored
Prototyping materials (pencil and paper, etc.)
Sleeping bag and toiletries (if staying all night)
Camera (for documenting, team picture, etc.)
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 you can always go off the "clap" meter at the end and see how much the crowd seems to like each game. Also you can always ask more experienced peers 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]