GGJ 2024 @ IGDA Utah


    • UPDATE: We are going to merge sites with the Pleasant Grove location! Please join this site:

      We are currently without a venue so we'll plan to hold the entire thing online in Discord (link on the left, look for the Assembly Hall voice channel in the utahgamedev discord server). If anyone knows a venue that would sponsor the event, please let the organizer know!

      == Sponsors ==

      Thank you to the Christa McAuliffe Space Center ( for sponsoring the Pleasant Grove location! Check out their awesome starship simulator and planetarium!

      Thank you to The Game Crafter for sponsoring board game prototyping materials!

      Thank you also to all the tireless volunteers from the IGDA Salt Lake City/Provo Area Chapter and the Utah Indie Games group.

      == Event ==

      Basic info:

      The keynote from the first year (watch this!):

      A documentary from the first year:

      == Venue Notes ==

      No physical location this year.

      == 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.

      For board game designers, if you have some prototyping materials you might want to pull those out as well!

      == Schedule ==

      No food is provided. 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.

      Some teams opt to finish Saturday - these teams can have someone log on as a representative to show their game, or send the organizer instructions on how to show their game for them along with notes for their postmortem comments- or they can share at a future Indie Night or IGDA meeting.

      Friday, Jan 26th
      7:30pm Check-in/setup/introductions
      8pm Opening ceremonies, keynote, warmup, theme announcement, idea pitches, group forming
      9pm Get to know your team and bounce rooms to try a new team if you like before team lockdown
      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!

      before 12pm Work
      12pm Deadline to create game and set up your team on
      after 12pm Work

      before 4pm Work - home stretch! (Seriously, you should have someone start reviewing the packaging procedure.)
      4pm Sharing/feedback, prepping your final presentation screenshare in Discord, uploading (Your game must be uploading by 4pm.)
      5pm Final Presentations, cleanup, and farewell (Uploads should be done and presentations should be ready before closing ceremonies starts at 5pm.)

      == 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 (or perhaps before) watching the keynote, 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 (or Direct Message) whomever they are sitting next to. They get 5 minutes to come up with one or more ideas that fit the constraints. After 5 minutes, each team gets no more than 30 seconds to pitch each idea to the entire room (with an organizer being time keeper to keep this moving along). You may post/screenshare a sketch of the idea if you like.

      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. Please do not leave the channel before 8pm so we can help everyone find a team.

      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, a writer, 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 default order, 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 of the event. Team Lockdown will go into effect at the time specified in the schedule above which means everyone should focus on helping get teams consolidated.
      2) While Team Lockdown is in effect, teams with less than 5 people may not refuse any cooperative participant. This rule means that all the teams should be finalized shortly after it goes into effect. If it is an hour after Team Lockdown and you still do not have a group, see an organizer and they will get you into a group.

      For the online participants, you basically do the same thing but chat with people in voice channels and message people who pitched ideas or post in the text channel for group forming or opening ceremonies/assembly hall.

      Often we 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:
      More detailed instructions here:

      If your team doesn't finish, but there is still something to upload, 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:

      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 plan to come and work on pencil and paper the whole time. For board games, someone should have 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 the Internet access at venues is usually slow wireless-only access. 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:
      Dot Big Bang
      Unreal Engine
      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)
      Scirra Construct
      Adventure Game Studio
      RPG Maker
      ...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. This means no proprietary Unity packages, for example.

      All of the initial GGJ editions of the games will be released under this Creative Commons license:

      You also give the Global Game Jam the right to show the first version of your game on their website.

      You will need money if you plan to go out to eat with your team before or after the in-person event. Check the venue details above for rules about bringing food if there is a physical space.

      Please come cleaned up. No one wants to sit next to someone who hasn't showered.

      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 or asset without a free version 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 have 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 not be required to register on the website.

      Q: Can I participate remotely?
      A: Our site does usually allow complete remote participation. If there is a physical space, 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). Generally you must be in Utah or at least have team members in Utah.

      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 guardian with them throughout the jam.

      Q: What should I bring?
      A: Here is a list summarizing the suggestions:

      Computer with wireless access for dev and uploading
      Prototyping materials (pencil and paper, etc.)
      Camera (for documenting, team picture, and perhaps gameplay video)
      Phone (to call someone if you need help)
      Money for parking and food (if there is a physical venue)
      Food (if not provided)
      Sleeping Bag and Toiletries (if planning to stay all night and the venue allows it)
      Blanket (sometimes the venues get very cold)

      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 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 longer 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: There is a contact link at the top of this page, or you can just email: [email protected]
    • Event Start Time
      Event End Time

      English (English)

      Age Restrictions
      18+ only (or minors with a guardian)
      Entrance Fee
      Maximum Capacity
      Open for entire 48 hours
      Who Can Participate
      Anyone supporting the game dev industry in Utah
    • Font Awesome Icon
      Welcomes Boardgame Creation