Global Game Jam Part Deux

It’s happening again!  UCI Is hosting a site for the Global Game Jam!

UPDATE: Huge thanks to our sponsors this year!


Blind Squirrel Games!


UC Irvine Institute for Virtual Environments and Computer Games

UC Irvine Institute for Virtual Environments and Computer Games

When is the Global Game Jam?

The Global Game Jam runs for 48 hours, from January 29-31, 2015  We will be starting our Jam at 5:30 pm on the 29th.

Where is the Global Game Jam?

The Jam site at UC Irvine is located in Donald Bren Hall on the UCI campus.  This year everything is happening in 6011, which is on the 6th floor. The venue will close every night at 1am and reopen at 8am, so make certain you have a place to crash at night.

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.  We currently have no age restriction on participation, however we ask that all minors be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Does the Jam cost anything?

Hopefully not!  We’re talking to sponsors now about this. If you are driving a car onto campus, you will have to pay for parking.  The nearest parking structure to the venue is the Anteater Parking Structure, which is $10 a day. We encourage ridesharing and carpooling.

How can I participate in the Jam?

Every Jammer needs to sign up for the Jam though the official GGJ website. Please be aware that spaces are limited so sign up early!

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.

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.