Becoming a jammer

Is GGJ an online jam / Can I take part from home?

No, you can’t take part in GGJ online. You need to sign up at one of the many, many local sites around the world in over 108 countries and participate on-site together with all other registered participants. There you will form teams and create a game over the weekend. If you don’t see any sites registered near you, consider becoming a Site Organiser!

If you don’t want to travel to a site to jam for the weekend, there are many online game jams you can take part in. See the itch.io jam page for jams going on right now, or consider taking part in Ludem Dare.

Part of that makes the GGJ event different and special from other jams is the need to attend a site in person. Participating in GGJ from home is sort of like listening to a tape recording of a concert. Yes, you can get the general idea, but it isn't even CLOSE to the experience of being there in person. It is not uncommon for a group of determined jammers to cross state or country lines, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles, to reach a jam site. These experiences are awesome to hear about, and the GGJ would be less special if they didn't happen. And let's be honest, if it were too easy to just participate from home, far too many people would use that as an excuse to not show up to a site. And the GGJ experience would be far poorer for it. So, we do actively discourage this practice. Make the effort to get to a site. Trust us, you'll be glad you did.

We occasionally make exceptions to this rule, but only in extenuating circumstances. If you feel like you might quality for this consideration, get in touch with us and we will try and help.

Is GGJ a competition?

No, Global Game Jam encourages innovation, collaboration and creativity. We find competition often diminishes collaboration and sense of community at a jam. 

Do I need to come to the event with a team already formed?

There is no need to come to the Jam with a team. Ideally everyone forms teams on the Friday and get the chance to work with new people. You will have some time to think and pitch an idea. Make new friends or jam with peers you admire.

Do I need special skills to participate in the GGJ?

Experience is not necessary. Designers, developers, artists, musicians, knitters, gardeners, architects and anyone is welcome to try their hand at making a game during the GGJ. You can lean many new skills and support your team by contributing ideas, playtesting, and giving moral support. You could work on a non-digital game, and then there's no need for code!

DO I HAVE TO USE ENGINE/TOOL/SOFTWARE XYZ?

No! At GGJ you can use any engine, tool, piece of software, person or physical object to make your game. We encourage diversity and are platform agnostic! We do however sometimes have free tools and offers from our sponsors, as well as recommendations from the community. See our jammer resource page!

Do I need to register on the Global Game Jam website?

Yes, everyone taking part in Global Game Jam must register on the website. Many sites will have a local site registration requirement, and so make sure you check to see if you need to sign up there too. You will also need your global registration to join your site online and upload your game.

How do I create an account on the website?

Registration for jammers normally open in mid-November, you won’t be able to register for a new account until then. Once sign ups are active, you will see a button on the home page of the website which says ‘Register as a Jammer’ become active. Click this button and fill in the form to create an account. Sometimes sites won't allow you to join their page on the website yet. If this is the case, contact the site organiser to find out how you sign up.

How do I edit my account information?

General information

To edit your general site information, log into your GGJ website account, click the 'My Profile' eyeball in the top right of the page, and then click the edit tab. Much of the information assocaited with your account will be editable here. 

Name/email

If you want to change your account username, real name or email address associated with your account, you will need to contact us at [email protected] from the email address associated with your GGJ account, sending a URL to your user account, and your request. We will action this request within 30 days.

How do I delete my account information?

Please email [email protected] with your request, and we will action it within 30 days. If you have previously created a game with your account, we will need to anonymise all the information instead, so your game will still be preserved. 

Who owns the intellectual property of games made during GGJ?

The team/makers of the game hold all IP rights. However, the Global Game Jam® may use the games for demonstration as it sees fit. All games must be posted in the condition they are in as of the close of the GGJ event (Sunday), including both executable and source code (or equivalent). All participants and all games entered for GGJ must agree to a Creative Commons, share, alter, no sell license. Third party tools and software may be used in the projects and must not be uploaded or shared. Clear instructions must be provided as to how to obtain and install any third party software that is necessary for further development.

Please note that creative commons license has been updated to a version 4 since this page was made, so you can either choose the above v3 license or go with this v4 Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 version.

See also: the Content Policy. 

To check when jammer registration opens, check the important dates page

Liability

The Global Game Jam® is supposed to be fun and collaborative, with a goal to keep things very simple. We provide structure, guidance and help for all locations participating in the GGJ. As a rule, we expect that no team/makers of a game will illegally exploit others' IP, and that in turn, everything created becomes part of the public domain. All participants agree that their participation in the Global Game Jam® will hold no one liable for any loss or damage.

The Global Game Jam® reserves the right to refuse to allow anyone or any jam location to participate at any time for any reason or no reason at all. This includes after the game jam has already started.

What software should I use to make a game?

You can develop using any tools for any platform that you want. If you don't know where to start, check here for a list of Jammer Resources. The list contains some special deals such as free software downloads for all GGJ participants, and community-made lists of other resources, and is definitely worth checking out!  

Can I make a board game, card game or other physical game instead of a videogame?

Yes! Global Game Jam® supporst the making of non-digital games. Talk to your local site organizer. Some hints for how to create and upload board games an be found here.

How can I make my game accessible to gamers with disabilities?

Over 20% of gamers have some kind of impairment that may affect their ability to play a game. Avoiding the barriers they face not only means more players, it also makes a real difference to people's quality of life. Independent access to recreation, culture and socialising may not be easily available, and games can help to provide that.

There are four main types of impairment: visual, motor, hearing and cognitive. Considerations for them range in complexity and not all are appropriate to all game mechanics. But whichever one/s you choose to design for, there's a huge opportunity for innovation, new approaches that haven't been tried before. Check out the Game Accessibility Guidelines website to help guide your consideration as to how you can make the games you create more accessible to all.