Have your say about the GG17 diversifiers

Do you have some interesting ideas for constraints or inclusions for jammers that could make their games more original, more diverse, or more accessible? We are currently seeking submissions for a set of diversifiers for next month’s jam.

Diversifiers are a kind of voluntarily difficulty setting for Global Game Jam ®. They cover a wide range of topics, including accessibility for players with disabilities, representation of minorities within gameplay or storytelling, limiting your game to particular platforms or interfaces, incorporating unusual themes, and much more. New jammers are encouraged not to take on the extra burden of diversifiers, but more experienced teams may elect to incorporate one, or even several.

These constraints serve several purposes. First, they games easier to find: when the jam is done and prospective players are browsing the completed games, they can select a diversifier that interests them and browse every project with that tag. With so many games made all over the world in 48 hours, this greatly aids discoverability.

Diversifiers also encourage jammers to take their ideas in interesting directions. A team in a hurry might find that several diversifiers taken together make up almost a complete game design. Working within these enforced conceptual and technical constraints may also inspire jammers to think in entirely new design, interface, and storytelling directions.

More than anything, though, diversifiers do exactly what their name suggests: aid in the creation of diverse games. Every GGJ17 game will be inspired by the same theme, so our diversifiers will push teams in different directions, helping to foster the wonderful, vibrant diversity that GGJ is famous for.

Some of the diversifiers from past jams include:

  • The game can be played with only one hand.
  • The game that has no graphics or text and only outputs audio.
  • The playable character can only move forwards, never backwards.
  • The storyline or design incorporate works that have just entered the public domain.
  • The game aims to raise awareness of the effects of hate speech.
  • The game runs on an old game console or a console emulator.
  • A second screen, such as a phone or tablet, is incorporated into gameplay.
  • The game passes the Bechdel Test.
  • The jamming team must work cooperatively with a team at a different GGJ site.

The full list of past diversifiers can be found on the GGJ website. If you have a great idea for a diversifier to include in GGJ17, please share it! Fill in this online form to submit your concept for consideration. The more suggestions we get, the more interesting and, yes, diverse our list will be.