What is a game jam

What is a game jam?

"Jam" is a reference to musicial jam sessions. Similarly, the goal with a "game jam" is to come together and make a videogame, or a non-digital (analog) game like a board game or card game. Participants rapidly prototype game designs and inject new ideas to help inspire and grow the global game industry. We share a common theme and constraints. We ask participants to create a game from beginning to end in a prescribed time. The brief time span is meant to help encourage creative thinking which results in small but innovative and experimental games, some of which have been developed beyond the GGJ into a commercial success.

What is the Global Game Jam®?

The GGJ mission is to empower individuals worldwide to learn, experiment, and create together through the medium of games.  The organization oversees various efforts both globallly and locally to encourage communities to join together to make games. The GGJ provides unique opportunities for people to create, collaborate and practice their game creation skills, and invites everyone of any skill level to take part.

The organization is best for its cornerstone GGJ event in January every year, the world's largest game creation event, as well as GGJ NEXT - a game jam designed for younger creators (12-17 year olds). We also partner with various organizations to organize and host game jams of various scale to help promote cultural connection and the exploration of game education.

When is the Global Game Jam®?

The Global Game Jam® is an annual event, usually occurring in January. GGJ Online, the 13th GGJ, will start at 17:00 (in your time zone) on 27 January 2021 and goes for around 120 hours through 31 January 2021.

Participants work concurrently around the globe; we rally around a central theme, and then have 48 hours to create a game. It's our hope that we will see some very experimental prototypes that you can continue to work on after the jam. Many games developed in previous Game Jams have become fully realized games. 

To accommodate the online format we have allowed for 5 days for the jam this year which allows Site Organizers to freely choose which 48 hours to have their jam. When those 2 days are depends on which jam site you attend as a participant.

Site Organizers may provide support at other times/moments of course, though officially they should at least provide support for their 48 hours, starting from the starting date they applied with as SO.

If participants are up to jam from the 27th to 31st, there's no issue really and that's totally fine! The theme will be announced globally prior to the jam. Participants are then free to jam from the 27th until the submission deadline on the 31st. Participants who choose to only jam 48 hours will not need to regard GGJ Online 2021 as a 5 day event.

The 48 hour "limit" is more so for Site Organizers to not feel overwhelmed, and the 5 days also allows for participants to jam earlier than usual in case of interruptions while jamming at home.

5PM on January 31st (for each timezone) is the deadline for submissions globally.

The GGJ is open source, hardware and software agnostic, and all projects are released under a Creative Commons license. We encourage people to try out new ideas and push themselves, within reason. We also strongly encourage participants to be aware of their mental and physical wellness during the event (to eat and sleep!), so they can stay at their creative best!