At a glance

The Global Game Jam is a 48-hour long event that brings together artists, designers, musicians, engineers, programmers and writers to join a global community of game-makers for a weekend of creative expression and play.

UCI participated in 2018 as the 3rd largest jam site in California (and the 37th largest in the world out of 804 jam sites), with over 140 people involved in creating 27 games in a single weekend. 

In 2019 we grew to over 300 people, making us the 2nd largest site in the US, and the 8th largest site in the world!!  

This year, we’re capping participation at 300 due to space limitations so register early to reserve your spot!

The GGJ at UCI is unique because we have so many professional game developers in the surrounding community.

Our game jam has always been an inclusive space where anyone can learn how to make a game and contribute to a team, regardless of experience, ability, or background. Whether you’ve never made a game before, or are an industry veteran, there is a place for you here!

This year we’re excited to be partnering with UCI IlluminationsThe IGDA of Orange County, LCAD, and UCI’s Video Game Development Club for the Global Game Jam.

Special Guests:

Information for Jammers

Click here to register for the GGJ at UC Irvine!

If you register, and then decide that you don't want to participate this weekend for any reason, please remove yourself from the site.

Click here to join our Discord Channel!

All participants at the UCI site must join our discord server, where we will be posting important announcements throughout the event.

  • Code of Conduct: The UCI GGJ site is an inclusive environment that welcomes a diverse group of participants!  Please read and abide by the official GGJ Code of Conduct.  Please respect the facilities and clean up after yourselves as needed. We reserve the right remove jammers who violate either the letter or the spirit of this policy.
  • Parking: While the GGJ at UCI is free for any and all participants, unfortunately parking is not.  A map of parking kiosks and their hours can be found here. The closest parking garage is the Anteater Parking Structure. Permits can be purchased for up to 24 hours at a time (the countdown starts when you purchase the permit) with a maximum cost of $14/24 hour period. We strongly encourage you to carpool with friends, or to take transit if possible.
  • Arrival and Keynote: We will be checking people in at 5:00pm, outside of 4011 in Donald Bren Hall. The keynote will begin at 6pm in room 6011, and will run for about an hour, followed by time to get into teams and meet people. Do not worry if you are going to arrive late – we won’t turn anyone away tonight! Along with the Keynote we will also reveal the official Theme for this year’s jam. Please do not post or transmit the theme to anyone outside of our site until the final keynote in Hawaii is finished.
  • Overnight Hours: We close at 1am and reopen at 8am
  • Meals and Snacks: As with previous years, we will be providing a vast array of snacks and drinks. There are also plenty of places to eat nearby. Most notably, University Center is a short walk or drive from the jam site, and The Bluffs is a short drive away.
  • Internet Access: We will be providing internet access via the UCI campus WiFi network. Information about registering your device is here. Please note that we cannot guarantee wired/ethernet connections in the rooms, so plan accordingly if you are bringing a desktop computer.

Global Game Jam


When is the Global Game Jam?

The Global Game Jam runs for 48 hours, from January 31- February 2, 2020  We will be starting our Jam at 5:00 pm on the 31st.

Where is the Global Game Jam?

The Jam site at UC Irvine will be in Donald Bren Hall. Registration will be on the ground floor of Donald Bren Hall starting at 3pm and the Keynote will be in room 6011 starting at 5pm.

Who can participate in the Jam?

The UCI Global Game Jam site is open to to everyone with an interest in making games, not just UCI students.  We encourage participation from all potential Jammers from the broader games community at UCI including members of the games industry who are interested in a chance to do something wild and creative with their spare time. For liability reasons our jam site is 18 and up, unless a young Jammer is accompanied by a parent, guardian, or other responsible adult.

Does the Jam cost anything?

Nope – it’s free! If you are driving a car onto campus, you will have to pay for parking. We encourage ridesharing and carpooling.

How can I participate in the Jam?

Every Jammer needs to register on our Eventbrite site here:

Should I come to the Jam with a team of people I want to work with?

Actually, part of the fun of the Jam is getting a chance to connect with other designers and gamers, so we strongly discourage doing any teambuilding before arrival.  Think of the Jam as a chance to stretch yourself, to meet new people, and to explore game design ideas that you might not get to explore under other circumstances.  The GGJ is a great environment to take risks and learn new things, and there is usually a very broad range of skills and talent in the room to work with.  We have found it helpful to arrive with a sense of what you are interested in doing: are you a writer? an artist? a programmer? a designer? a musician? a playtester?  You don’t have to be an expert at any of these things to have a good time, although it is very helpful to be at least familiar with games, and to have some experience with either game design, or with production and development more broadly.  We will do our best to match people up into teams that have a good balance of skills and experience, so that everyone has a chance to succeed, but it is important to remember that the central objective of the GJJ is to find the fun in game design.

What if I’m not a programmer?  Can I participate in the the Jam?

Games require a very broad range of skills and abilities: not just programming.  We’ve been to game jams where none of the participants were programmers, and all of the games that were made were pen & paper games, card games, and board games.  Chances are there will be many people at the Jam with programming skills, but also plenty of people there who are good at other things.  Everyone should be able to participate in a meaningful way, and we will work to help you find a spot where you can make a contribution.

Can I bring a work in progress to the Jam?

No.  Technically we have no way to stop you from doing this, but it isn’t really in the spirit of the event.  This is why we have an inspirational keynote at the beginning, and a top secret theme that we don’t reveal until you arrive.  The goal is for people to imagine and create a new game from nothing in a weekend.

What happens to the games after the Jam?

One of the conditions of participating in the Global Game Jam is that any games you make on the weekend are Open Source, and shared on the GGJ repository.  This is another reason why Jammers are discouraged from bringing existing works and intellectual property.  The GGJ as an organization isn’t interested in getting involved in any IP disputes over copyright or ownership.  We also want to make the jam a safe place for professionals within the industry to express their creativity without creating any conflict-of-interest with their day-jobs and employers.

What Should I Bring to the Jam?

We will be providing the following:

  • Internet Access for all Jammers
  • Power for computers, laptops, chargers, equipment, etc.
  • A space, and tables and chairs to work at.
  • Snacks and beverages.
  • Lunch on Saturday and Sunday
  • Sleeping Bags, Pillows, and other comfy things.

Jammers should plan to bring anything that they think they might need to make their games.  This could include computer systems with appropriate development tools and software installed, sketching and art supplies for brainstorming and concept development, audio recording gear and music making tools, dice, cards, tablets, styli, and any other creative tools that you use or would like to use to help create your games.