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 2019 Diversifiers are:

  1. Power of Community - (Sponsored by Mixer) - Make a game where community impacts your game. Players, viewers or streamers can enhance the game, change the outcome, or be a unifying force.
  2. Forgive and Fortify - (Sponsored by iThrive Games) - Create a game that explores how forgiveness strengthens those who practice it.  (Forgiveness kits in EnglishSpanishChinese and Arabic)
  3. Always Room for One More - (Sponsored by Origin Access) - Make a game where new players can join at any time.
  4. Use the Source, Luke - (Sponsored by GitHub) - Use one or more open source tools, game engines or libraries in your game (and thank them in in the Technology Notes section on the submission page).
  5. Party Maker - (Sponsored by AirConsole) - Use AirConsole to make a computer game that uses smartphones as controllers (learn how do to this here).
  6. Puzzle design challenge - (Sponsored by Red Bull Mind Gamers and The Tetris Company®) - Make your game around, or inspired by a real world toy you have played with in your lifetime. (For more information, see here)
  7. Language-Independence - (Sponsored by Valve Software) - Create a game that can be understood regardless of which language the player speaks
  8. Let me show you how it's done! - Make a game that is accessible to or represents your own disability, or that of a member of your team, in the way you feel all games should address it.
  9. Celestial - An option to adjust game speed is included
  10. Keep it simple - Make your game playable by people who can use no more than a D-pad plus 2 buttons, with hardware like an Xbox Adaptive Controller in mind.
  11. It is dangerous to go alone, take this! - The game makes use of one or more system/OS accessibility APIs (PCiOSAndroid, and Xbox).
  12. Thomas Wasn't Alone - Use only simple shapes (cubes, triangles, circles, etc.) to represent every single element (characters, HUD, etc.) inside the game.
  13. In Ink - Use only black and white colours in your design. There should be no other colours, not even grey.
  14. Art of Sharing - You and another team must share art assets, without seeing how the other team uses them.
  15. Mind over matter - Add a voice over narration to the gameplay
  16. 4′33″ - Your game must draw attention to the natural soundscape of the environment in which the game is being played.
  17. Scale With A Song - Your game must last exactly the length of a single music track.
  18. Assetless - Create all visuals programmatically or in the scene editor, and avoid any importing of image files, sprite sheets, 3D models etc.
  19. Mixed Media - Make a physical game that utilises computer code.
  20. Under the Hood - Make some or all of the code visible in your game.
  21. Super Secret Stash - Feature a hidden room within your game.
  22. This is where we came in, right? - Make a looping game and have the player start at a random point in the storyline.
  23. Bolter is jammed! - Make a game where the main action is obviously missing. (platforming game with no jump, shooter without weapons, etc.).
  24. Sticky Finger - The game begins when you place your finger on the screen, and ends when you take your finger away.
  25. In a webpage - Your gameplay is hidden in a seemingly normal web page.
  26. The Guide I was looking for - Your game has a supplementary guide, using a different medium than the game itself, that players must refer to to beat the game.
  27. Ephemeral - Make a game that can only be played once by each player.
  28. Meanwhile - The story of your game takes place on the backdrop of a seemingly-more significant story. While the real heroes fight evil, what happens elsewhere?
  29. Wanderlust - Your game tries to awaken interest in travel and visiting new places, with a focus on your home town.
  30. Russell’s Teapot - The aim of the game is to prove something unprovable.
  31. 20-XIX - Celebrate 2019 by using 19th-century prose and poetry as your narrative inspiration.
  32. The Ancient Folk - The game must include ancient traditions and locations of a community.
  33. Public Domain - Incorporate inspiration from one of the works that became public domain in 2019.
  34. Recycle! - Instead of making a brand new game, start from an existing GGJ game from a previous year, made by someone you don’t know. Improve it and take it in a new direction.
  35. Happy Anniversary - Your game should incorporate 2018's theme (Transmission) as well as 2019's theme.
  36. ADL Identity Framework - Use this framework to explore how to use games and game design to explore identity and better understand yourself and others. (Created by Dr. Karen Schrier and the Anti-Defamation League).
  37. Protect the Oceans - Incorporate elements into your game to raise awareness about marine pollution (Goal number 14 on the UN Sustainable Development Goals).


The 2018 Diversifiers were:

  1. That Kind-a Game - (Sponsored by iThrive Games) - Create a game that explores how choosing kindness transforms the world
  2. Cartographer - (Sponsored by Mapbox) - Use Mapbox's Maps SDK for Unity to incorporate geo-location data in your game
  3. Rumbled - (Sponsored by the ESA) - Use haptics (vibration/rumble) to make your game more accessible to people who have some difficulty seeing or hearing
  4. One tap for all - Create a game which can be played with one single well timed tap/click
  5. I can see clearly now - The game has high contrast visuals, with a contrast ratio of at least 4.5 : 1 (contrast ratio checker)
  6. Basics covered - All of the top four most commonly complained about accessibility issues are addressed: 1. Game has configurable controls 2. Any text is large and clear 3.Game does not rely on being able to hear 4. Game does not rely on being able to tell colours apart
  7. Over to you - Give players options to configure a wide range of gameplay variables, such as speed and size
  8. Let me see - Game has customisable colours, allowing players to change the aesthetics and contrast to their own preferences
  9. Cardboard Challenge - Use pictures of cutout cardboard for art assets
  10. Well-Rounded - Instead of using pixel or voxel art, use round shapes or spheres
  11. Stranger Things - Your game's ambience is inspired by an 80s pop song
  12. My eyes are my ears - All sounds must be visualized in some form. This game shouldn't provide any less informational feedback to a player that would normally be able to hear
  13. Stained Sprite - All art within your game looks like stained glass
  14. Player Remixer - The game should allow the player to remix the sound effects as a core mechanic of play
  15. Beatbox - All sounds for your game must be created using your voice or body
  16. Toot Your Own Horn - Sounds and music must all come from acoustic or real-world sources - no synthesizers or computer-generated sounds
  17. Write The Theme Tune, Sing The Theme Tune - Form a band with other GGJ participants and record a theme tune for your game - with lyrics
  18. A Bold Choice - Compose the music in a style that is completely inappropriate for your game
  19. Otamatone For Your Sins - Use an Otamatone as the lead instrument in your soundtrack
  20. .COM-pact - limit your game file size to 64k or less
  21. Happy Birthday GGJ - Use an emulator or piece of hardware in your game development or part of your gameplay which is over 10 years old
  22. So Sociable - Build a game that uses a social network API
  23. Upside down - One or more game systems programmed by an artist, major art assets produced by programmers/coders
  24. Fractalicious - Your game should predominantly feature the idea of patterns that repeat within themselves as you zoom in or expand the game world
  25. Under the Influence - The main character or vehicle can only be controlled indirectly. Example: placing barriers or obstacles to influence the movement.
  26. I’ll be there in a minute - Your game can be played through in 30 seconds or less.
  27. Nem tão próximos - Make a co-op game where two characters need to perform actions together but can't be too close for too long
  28. Power down - Losing abilities is the only way for your player to progress
  29. Look back - Create a game which uses retro controllers of any type. No modern controllers!
  30. Created by Warren Robinett - Your game contains some kind of hidden secret or Easter egg.
  31. Feathered Friends - Feature a bird as a protagonist or main character
  32. Night and Day - Integrate “night” and “day” modes that must be switched between as one of the game mechanics.
  33. Lost in translation - Make a game which plays differently depending on language selection.
  34. Palindrome - The game story must end the same way it began
  35. Babe, It Just Ain't Your Story - Gameplay must take place from the point of view of a non player character.
  36. Epistolary - Game must be completely in the form of a series of documents such as letters, diary entries, newspaper clippings, etc.
  37. Ever After - Game must take place after the moment where most other games would have ended, i.e. after the princess has been rescued, after the final boss is defeated, after the killscreen
  38. Say That Again - Tell the story in your game using only a made-up language, including in game text, narration and voiceover.
  39. Unbranching? - The game has numerous beginnings, but only one ending.
  40. Hidden Depths - The protagonist isn’t who you think they are at the beginning.
  41. Polyglot - Localize your game in to at least two other languages.
  42. Special:Random - Get a Random Wikipedia Article and include the topic in your game. (Be honest to yourself and don't cheat and redraw another if you don't like the first one.)
  43. Final Countdown - Create AN ADDITIONAL game built and finished in the last hour of GGJ
  44. Inception - Create a totally different game that can be played inside your game submission. Must also relate to the theme.

The 2017 Diversifiers were:

  1. Beyond the doors of perception (Tobii Sponsored) - Use Tobii's eye tracking device to extend your player's view in-game and break the 4th wall! Jammers can incorporate Extended View, Awareness or both effects into their game. - Design, Code  
  2. Don’t say a word (ESA Sponsored) - A multiplayer game that requires communication between players, without relying on text or voice. - Accessibility, Design, Code 
  3. The colour and the shape - A colour-based game that can also be played by people who have any kind of difficulty seeing colour. - Accessibility, Art, Design
  4. I see what you're saying - All audio is subtitled, and the presentation of the subtitles (e.g. size, colour, container) can be customised by player. - Accessibility, Code
  5. Another way in - Allow players to choose which input method they want to use, e.g. choice between mouse or keyboard, choice between tilt, virtual stick or tap, choice between controller or voice. - Accessibility, Design
  6. Spaced - Played using only the spacebar - no mouse, no other inputs. - Accessibility, Design 
  7. Old Masters - The art style of your game is based off of a master artist's style (i.e. Picasso, Klimt, Van Gogh). - Art
  8. Chipping In - The game uses only 8 bit style audio, only 8 bit style visuals, or both. - Audio, Art
  9. Local Lore - Incorporate a local urban legend, myth, lore, or history into your game. - Art, Design
  10. Lost library card - All sound sources are recorded or synthesised during the jam. - Audio
  11. Virtuoso - A physical musical instrument is used as an input device. - Audio, Design, Code
  12. Public information - Use offline or live data from a public API in your game. - Code
  13. NOT THE BEES - The mechanic is based on swarm tactics. - Code, Design
  14. Game Legacy - Each playthrough of the game affects the next. - Code, Design
  15. VRiends - A VR game where people inside VR and people outside VR have to work together. - Design
  16. Crowd Control - Your game must be played by 8 or more players. - Design
  17. Time Lord - Your game offers variations based on the time of day it is played. - Design
  18. To me, to you - The game must have a single playable character that is controlled by two players. - Design
  19. Instrumental - All sound is sourced from variations of a single instrument, e.g. different types of guitar, or different types of piano. - Audio 
  20. Switcharoo! - Two teams swap games halfway through the jam and finish the other's game. - Meta

Pointers for the 2017 accessibility diversifiers 

The 2016 Diversifiers 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.

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 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.