Running a jam
The GGJ will provide you with tools to organize your local event, hands-on guidance before & during the Global Game Jam®, a web page on the GGJ site, local & international promotion etc. For more information on hosting a site, check the manual. If GGJ 2023 is your first time hosting an online jam we have created this beginner's guide to help get you started.
What are the minimum requirements to host a jam location
- At least one local official organiser to coordinate the event. The organiser must be a part of all email correspondence, participate on the GGJ Slack (for project management and communication) and oblige us with meeting all due dates.
- Secure a space (digital or physical) to host your jam for the duration of the jam. You can choose how small or large you want your event to be depending on the limitations of your venue and how many volunteers you have to support your jammers.
- Sign the SO agreement and choose one of three available formats for your jam site.
- Choose official start time and date. This year sites have the flexibility to host a longer jam. Sites can choose to start their jam anytime Monday January 30th to Friday February 3rd.
- The ability to host a pre-jam networking event, a jam kickoff event to watch the keynote presentation and facilitate team formation and a jam closing event to showcase the games made at your site.
- Compliance to all GGJ and local regulations with regards to hosting the event.
How many jammers do I need in order for my site to run?
Any number of jammers will do, from 2 to 2000! Running a small jam when you are getting started is an organiser it totally fine. We want as many people as possible to feel confident running a jam site in their location if there isn't a GGJ Online site in your area.
Are there any other requirements to host a jam site?
A jam site does not require these items for being part of the Global Game Jam®, but are things you might want to consider for your participants as well:
- Site Orgainziers (SO) are strongly encouraged to have a support team for the jam to help plan and coordinate the event. For guidelines, GGJ asks that SOs commit to have at least 1 jam staff member per 50 Jammers available throughout the jam event.
- SOs may set geographic requirements for jammers, such as asking that they be located within a certain distance of their jam site’s city or within the site’s timezone.
- Access to common game development tools and/or ability to download and install software. You should encourage jammers to download this software onto their machines before the GGJ date to minimize the time spent on preparing their work environment during jam hours. Also be aware of the resources many companies make available to jammers, listed here.
- Mentors with game jam or professional game development experience to answer quesitons from your jammers specific to the development process (game engine related, art/audio tools related, etc)
Do I need to register on the Global Game Jam website?
Yes. In order to create a site you will need an account on the GGJ website. When applications for jam sites are open, just click the 'Start a Jam Site' button on the homepage, and this will allow you to create a new site, or log in as existing user.
Where can in find the GGJ Logo and brand guidelines
Take a look on our media page for the latest logos and brand guidelines.
Can I make a poster/t-shirt/mug/website/cross stich for my jam site?
We encourage you to get creative with your jam site and create posters, t-shirts, websites, banners, mugs - whatever you like! We politely request that you include the Global Game Jam® logo, including the Global Game Jam name and listing of or link to the website on any promotional material, digital artifacts and physical object you create in association with your event(s). All brand guidelines and image files you might need can be found on our media page.
Who are the GGJ sponsors this year?
All of our current sponsors can be found here. Check back often for our most recent list of amazing sponsors and partners.
If you know anyone who might be interested in sponsoring GGJ, please contact us!
Sponsors also provide us with a bunch of resources, courses and freebies each year, so make sure you check out the jammer resources page to make sure you take advantage of this.
What is a typical day to day schedule for the GGJ event?
The actual schedule may vary from one site to another, and you are welcome to organise the event as you please, as long as you stick to the few timing rules about the theme announcement and game uploads. As a guide, it could go something like this:
|Day 1 : Friday|
|14:00 - 19:00||Registration / jammer check in | Technical pre-check for community platform|
|16:00 - 17:00||Talks/Keynotes|
|17:00 - 18:00||Welcome announcements and Keynote video|
|18:00 - 19:00||Getting to know each other / ice breakers / group forming|
|19:00 - 20:00||Dinner and social time|
|20:00 - 21:00||Group pitches - what is each group planning to make|
|21:00 onwards||Teams start jamming|
|Day 2 : Saturday|
|09:00 - 10:00||Breakfast|
|11:00 - 12:00||Check in with all jammers and make sure they have an account on the GGJ website, and set up a game project page together by this time|
|13:00 - 14:00||Lunch|
|17:00 - 18:00||Playtest each others games|
|18:00 - 19:00||Social/break out activity|
|19:00 - 20:00||Dinner and social time|
|Day 3 : Sunday|
|09:00 - 10:00||Breakfast|
|13:00 - 14:00||Lunch|
|15:00 - 17:00||Game uploads to the GGJ website|
|17:00 - 19:00||Short presentations - each team does a short presentation or game play video to show the group|
|19:00 - 20:00||Clean up and close|
How do i register my location?
Site registration usually opens as the start of November. In the meantime, you may wish to read the manual to be prepared.
To register your site, head over to the globalgamejam.org homepage, and click the "Start a Jam Site" button. The system will then ask you to either register a new user account, or log in to an existing one. You then will be guided to fill out a form with your jam site details. Please fill in this form as completely as possible. The more information we have the more likely, easier and quicker it will be for us to approve the site. You may come back an edit this information any time.
You will receive an email to confirm your jam site has been submitted. Your Regional Organiser should then be in touch in the next 5-10 days to organise a phone call with you. Please make sure you fill in a valid email address and phone number on the application. Failure to do this may increase the time it takes for your RO to contact you, or result in the rejection of your site.
Why does my site have to be approved?
The reason that we have an approval process is to make sure we do not get duplicates for the same location, and that the organizers understand GGJ values and responsibilities. We really are trying to push for community and collaboration and trying to avoid having multiple locations in the same vicinity. If you see that a location is already posted in your city, please contact us and we will try to help you collaborate with the other location. This year, many major urban areas are combining locations into one large online site. You can see a list of approved Jam sites if you visit the locations page.
When can jammers sign up to attend my site?
To check when jammer registration opens, check the important dates page. You can choose when to open up your jam site page to accept jammers (check box when editing the site page). If you register jammers on a different website, you will need to get them to create accounts on the GGJ website during the Saturday of the jam itself.
What is the site application deadline?
Site registration normally opens early November, and we encourage all sites to sign up by 1 December, as there is a lot of processing and preparation to do. If you have not run a GGJ site before you should try to sign up as early as possible, because it will take longer to approve and support a new site. To check the cut off deadline for us being able to deal with your registration, check the important dates page.
Can I run a private jam in my house?
- Running a small public jam is okay
- Running a private jam for friends and/or family is not okay
- Running a small public jam is not as scary as you think!
House jams are not permitted, and this type of jam will be rejected apart from in exceptional circumstances. It is not okay to run a private jam for just friends and family. If there is a site near you, attend that as a group together. If there is no site near you, or the closest site is full – consider running a small public jam instead. Your Regional Organiser and GGJ community can support you with setting a new site up.
Can I run A JAM CLOSE TO ANOTHER ESTABLISHED SITE?
As a rule, if there is an established site already near by, our first step would be to ask you to consider collaborating with them.
As a site organiser there is a few things to think about when setting up a site:
- Is there a site near me?
- If so, could I collaborate with them
- Reasons you might not want to collaborate
- Site gets full
- Site appeals to a different audience
- You want to run something more specific (board game jam, LARP jam, jam for women only)
No one owns the ‘monopoly’ on Global Game Jam in their region – ideally, we would like everyone to collaborate and bring the community together, but if this is not possible, it may be okay to run multiple public jams in the same city.
Can I run a jam at my company?
Company jams are sometimes okay. If you are a games company and want to run a jam for employees, we ask you to also open up the site to friends and family. If there is a site running local to you, we strongly encourage getting involved in that one, as input from local companies can be really valuable to community events.
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. The decision from the GGJ Regional Organiser team, Executive Committee, or Board is final.