The Global Game Jam is a 48-hour event where artists, video game developers and programmers create a video game over just one weekend in January. Held in over 120 locations worldwide including New Zealand, it’s creative, cooperative, chaotic and huge fun.
New Zealand gamers will be the first in the world to kickoff, when the theme for the games is unveiled at 5pm on Friday 27 January 2012 and the teams work flat out until Sunday night.
Game Jams inspire upcoming generations of developers and enthusiasts to come up with new game ideas in small teams in an intense jam session.
Global Game Jam is open to anyone interested in making games including programmers, 2D and 3D artists, designers, animators, sound artists, musicians and board gamers. Experience is not necessary. Local gamers will gather at the Media Design School in Auckland, the University of Waikato in Hamilton and in the office of Digital Confectioners in Christchurch.
Register at www.playmaker.org.nz/gamejam
New Zealand Game Developers Association Chairperson Stephen Knightly says you don’t have to be an expert to join in. “Innovation comes from having a mix of people and ideas. There are roles for artists, musicians, writers and game players to layout levels or playtest.”
“It helps if you know games and have some basic knowledge of game development, but the only rule is a willingness to join a team on the night and contribute ideas.”
“On the Friday night you’re given a theme and some constraints and then dive straight in. Sure it's a tight time frame, but it's amazing what crazy and surprisingly fun ideas can come out of it."
The event is now in its fourth year. At the 2011 Jam, 75 local developers produced 15 games around the theme of extinction, ranging from shooters and platformers to role-playing and god games.
The global games industry is worth $90 billion dollars and is the fastest-growing entertainment sector. New Zealand’s games industry grew 46% in the last year and now employs over 360 full time game developers.
The event is organized globally by the International Game Developers Association, the New Zealand Game Developers Association and local volunteers.
Why isn't this available in Wellington? After all Wellington is home to the countries most commercially successful game developer, and also is of course a hub for hi-tech creative industry with all of Peter Jackson's stuff here too...
Fear not Markll! We managed to find a Wellington volunteer to run the GameJam afterall (or were you volunteering to run it too? ;-) ). It looks like the Wellington leg will be held at The Bizdojo creative co-working space on Vivienne Street. Details should be posted here in a few days.
Spread the word to other Wellingtonians.
I guess I just join the group to register?
Yes. If you're registering for Auckland, the global www.globalgamejam.org website isn't that clear. Just join the group and the Auckland organisers will get your details. Expect a confirmation email a few weeks into January.
Hamilton and Christchurch have seperate registration forms.
I might not be able to make it Friday night. Is it ok if I just turn up on Saturday?
I think so. This was in the email that the MDS sent out:
A few people have indicated that they will attend part-time, which is OK but a shame.
You are free to come and go during the weekend, but you are strongly encouraged to be there for the Friday night kick-off so you can be briefed fully and join a team.
Though you should let David know via email if you're not going to be there on Friday or will be late. Did you receive that email rom him?