IGDA Salt Lake City
We are going to hold Global Game Jam at Broadview University again this year! Thank you for everyone that helped with the venue last year and we look forward to another great experience here! One change this year is we will be doing more of a "shop around" group formation rule this time, which should allow for participants to get to know their team for up to 2 hours before they are locked in.
Also new this year is an optional form you can fill out to facilitate group forming.
Fill out self: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEk1VHNKWVVUdVBzNENtLUZ1b2h3MUE6MQ
Look up others: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkRPeAKJ3zJDdEk1VHNKWVVUdVBzNENtLUZ1b2h3MUE
(Thanks to Michael Daly and Derek Jensen for this contribution!)
Thank you to Broadview Entertainment Arts University for hosting and being a major sponsor!
Thank you to Smart Bomb Interactive for providing mentors!
Thank you to all the volunteers from the IGDA Salt Lake City/Provo Area Chapter and the Utah Indie Games group.
The keynote from the first year (watch this!):
A documentary from the first year:
Alternate map: http://beau.broadviewuniversity.edu/about/contact/
Email the organizer at vazor222gmail [dot] com for cell phone beforehand in case you get lost!
There will be special parking arrangements, and we will be restricted to the 3rd floor. When you arrive, park in the back and come in and get your pass at the check in on the 3rd floor, then go put it on your car so they know you're a participant. The doors will probably be unlocked this year (thank you BEAU!), but it is still a good idea to get someone's number before you leave in case you can't find your way back. There will hopefully be one or two of the meals sponsored, but plan to bring or buy food from nearby. There is only a candy bar machine on site.
The school will provide access to their wireless network and a few ethernet cables and switches for us to use.
Bring as many wireless access cards/devices as you can, since those are simple to connect versus the limited wired ports in the walls. Bring extra cables, switches, mouse pads, and powerstrips if you can- someone always forgets something at a lan event like this. :)
For board game designers, if you have some prototyping materials you don't mind sharing, please bring those as well!
Note that the meal times are simply guidelines and this schedule subject to change. Meal times not marked as Sponsored are meals you need to take care of yourself- why not invite a few others you don't know to go get some food together and meet new friends? Plan for breaks to stretch often and rest your eyes. Don't depend too much on energy drinks.
Friday, January 27th
4-5pm Check in
5-6pm Early work/setup
7-8pm Opening ceremonies, keynote, warmup, theme announcement, idea pitches, group forming
8-9pm Dinner - eat and get to know your team and bounce rooms to try a new team if you like before team lockdown
9pm Team Lockdown - teams less than 5 cannot refuse anyone, everyone should have a team and should know them and have had a chance to at least start on a prototype
10pm Everyone should have already gotten a team and started to work by this time- if not, see the organizer!
10am Breakfast break
1-2pm Lunch break
6pm Dinner break
(note: some teams opt to finish Saturday - these teams can either stop by for presentations Sunday, or they can just wait to present at the March IGDA Meeting)
10am Breakfast break
11-1pm Work - home stretch!
1-2pm Lunch break
2-3pm Finish work
3-4pm Sharing/feedback, uploading
4-5pm Presentations and farewell
You can come with or without a group, but if you come with a group, please be flexible in taking in someone that still needs a group by the end of the group forming process.
After watching the keynote, we will follow with some social exercises to get people relaxed and comfortable (especially in cultures where people are shy by nature)- no more than half an hour on this. After people are relaxed, we will start with the constraints/themes and idea pitches and group forming.
The way pitches work is that people form two-person teams with whomever they are sitting next to. They are handed a piece of paper and something to write with. They get 15 minutes to come up with one or more ideas that fit the constraints. After 15 minutes, each team gets exactly 30 seconds to pitch each idea to the entire room (with an organizer being time keeper to keep this moving along). After presenting the idea, it is posted on the wall with all other ideas. Here is a photo of what this might look like from NGJ 06: http://www.nordicgamejam.org/06/report01.html
After all ideas are pitched, the owner of each idea takes their idea, and attaches it to themselves. At this point, idea owners are trying to sell their ideas while other participants are shopping around for an idea they would like to attach themselves to. For idea owners who are unable to sell their ideas, they will have to give up on their idea and join someone else's group. This continues until everyone has a group - no one may leave until everyone is part of a group! Everyone will use this time to get their team and their tasks organized. If your team decides to leave before 8pm for any reason, please note that we may be forced to have someone assigned to you without the chance for you to talk with them first.
Also, groups should pay attention to skill sets, to make sure that they have all the skills they need (generally at least one person with programming skills, one with art skills, and one with game design skills, or someone with a combination of these skills). Optionally groups can look for a producer, an audio designer, some testers, or whatever else you would like.
If you get to your work area and find that the team you signed up with is heading in a different direction than you wanted, this year you are free to "bounce" - go to the next group (in clockwise order, and in an organized fashion- wait your turn if the group is already speaking with another wandering participant, etc.) and see if this group is a better fit. You are free to continue bouncing or go directly to another group if you need to, but the following rules limit the shop around process:
1) You may only "bounce" during the first few hours (until 10pm) of the event. Team Lockdown will go into effect at 9pm which means everyone should focus on helping get teams consolidated.
2) While Team Lockdown is in effect, no teams with less than 5 people may refuse any participant. This rule is in effect after 9pm and means that all the teams should be finalized shortly after. If it is 10pm and you still do not have a group, see an organizer and they will get you into a group.
Note that these times may be adjusted depending on the schedule.
We will have a few experienced developers helping out as well. Please don't hesitate to ask them for their help and opinions!
Teams and Submissions
On the GGJ website, each participant should have their own individual account. Each jammer needs to sign in, get an account, and fill out a profile to associate themselves with a specific location. Participants can do this at any time, even at the start of the event, but we encourage them to do it early.
Once a participant has signed up, they will be able to create a "game" object on the GGJ website. Once that object is created, the user can add any other users at the same location as collaborators. So, teams are basically formed around games.
Game submissions are handled on the website as well: there is a Web form that can be filled out to upload the game and supporting info. There will be a progress bar while uploading, so you can tell the difference between it just taking awhile and it totally freezing on you. Another advantage of the form is that the games will be available immediately after they are uploaded! In case of HTTP failure, we will also provide an FTP backup- just contact your organizer.
Someone on the team will need to be able to package the game according to the instructions on the website: http://globalgamejam.org/wiki/hand-procedure
If your team doesn't finish, but there is still something to show, those are still welcome. We also still expect a final presentation, sharing what you learned, as a post-mortem. This is not a competition! What is important is that you learn more about game development and have a chance to express and discuss game ideas with others.
One thing new this year is that we are planning on giving GGJ participants a special chance to show their projects at an official IGDA Salt Lake City Meeting. The meeting will be in March (more details will be announced after GGJ on the IGDA mailing list: http://groups.google.com/group/igda_utah), and we will have pizza and professional developers from local companies there to see how your game progressed since the GGJ version.
The global website and GGJ HQ are sponsored by several great companies. Some are offering special deals for the jam. Learn more by exploring the GGJ website.
You will need a computer, unless you are doing a board game or plan to come and work on pencil and paper the whole time. For board games, someone should bring a machine to do the images/pdf and uploading of the final print-and-play version. For video games, computers are needed to create and upload the final prototype with its final code, art, and design. Keep in mind that our venue has a wireless network, so bring a wireless device if you like. If you don't already have all the software you'll need installed, you'll also need Administrator rights to install software on your machine.
You will need a game engine or library to make video games at the Global Game Jam, and ideally you should bring one that you are already familiar with. The same goes for any tools, such as GIMP or other free graphics tools to make images for your game.
Some game engines you may consider:
XNA (or just plain old C#)
Game Salad (only makes Mac/iPhone games, but reportedly very easy to use)
Game Maker (only makes PC games, but also easy to use)
Flash (not free, but you can download a 30-day trial)
SDL (for C++ developers)
Adventure Game Studio
...and many more!
Keep in mind that learning an entirely new programming language is an especially tall order for a 48-hour event, so coders should really use what they are already comfortable with.
Unlike tools, the game engine/framework source must be able to be released along with the game code.
All games will be released under this Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
You also give the Global Game Jam the right to show the first version of your game on their website.
You will be required to sign a release form. We would like to use your likeness (videos of the event) and we don't want you to sue us or our venue, thank you kindly.
You will need money if you plan to buy drinks/snacks on site or go out to eat. There will be a guide for nearby restaurants. You are also free to bring a cooler of food for yourself if you prefer.
Q: Is it allowed for participants to use an existing framework, code library, game engine, etc.?
A: Yes, under certain conditions. All games must be released under Creative Commons, so any other code used must be legally releasable in this way (i.e. a proprietary game engine should not be used for GGJ).
Q: Are board games allowed?
A: Yes! In fact we have several members of the local Board Game Designer's Guild who have expressed interest in participating this year, so now is a great time to come and try your hand at board game design as well!
Q: Do participants have to sign up as part of a team ahead of time?
A: No, and in fact we strongly encourage you to form teams made of total strangers. Game jams are a wonderful opportunity for participants to expand their horizons, challenge themselves, and meet new people. These benefits are greatly lessened if participants sign up in a group with their friends.
Q: Is there a required minimum or maximum team size?
A: There are no official limits. In practice, you want each team to have all skill sets covered (especially programming, art, and game design) so it will usually not be practical to have a team of less than 3 people. Once team size starts to get over 5 or 6, communication gets to be an issue.
Q: Are spectators allowed?
A: Yes, but they will be expected to be silent and non-disruptive during the work period. If there is a slight chance you would participate, don't be surprised if you are pulled in during the idea pitch phase. Be prepared to run home for your computer! Spectators will still at least be required to sign the release, but they will not be required to register on the website.
Q: Can I bring my child with me?
A: No, unless you can guarantee they will not be disruptive, and you are willing to take them out if there are complaints. Participants age 10 and above will be treated as regular game jammers if they are able to contribute and not be disruptive. Participants under legal age 16 must have a parent or guardian available to sign the release.
Q: Will the games be showcased anywhere (GDC, IndieCade, etc.)?
A: We will certainly propose this at the major conferences, but of course it is up to the conference organizers and not us. Whether this happens or not, all games will still be available on the GGJ website.
Q: Will there be a global "winner"?
A: To be clear, GGJ maintains a focus on collaboration, not competition. This is not a contest. As far as we are concerned, the experience matters as much as the games. However for our local chapter we will have prizes if any are available from sponsors and we always have a "cheer" rating at the end to see how much the crowd likes each game. Also you can always ask the mentors for their feedback, which is very valuable if you are able to learn from it.
Q: What happens with my team/game after the event is over?
A: Whatever you want! You still own the game and you can continue to polish it or work with your team on a longer project if you like. The Global Game Jam has helped spur many success stories from indie startups to launching game careers.
Q: How can I help make this event better?
A: If you or anyone you know would like to volunteer and/or sponsor, let the organizer know.
Q: What if I have other questions that aren’t covered here?
A: Email the local organizer with any questions or suggestions.
Q: How do I find the local organizer?
A: This page lists contact email at the top: vazor222gmail [dot] com