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GGJ Archives 2009-2012

Awards, Presentations

Awards

Gamejams are about making games; they're not about winning. Participating and creating a game should be it's own reward.

However, a bit of friendly competition is always a good motivator and it's great to acknowledge it if people have created something absolutely brilliant during the jam. The keyword here is friendly; a competition should never be so pitched that participants won't help each other across teams or might consider sabotaging each others work. It's up to you to judge the maturity of the participants and whether they can handle a competition.

The Global Game Jam in itself is not a competition. We wanted to focus on the experience, networking and collaboration. We hope to grow our community locally and globally. Yet many people want some sort of award saying great job. We will be posting a certificate on the organizers site so that you can download and print them for distribution.

Here are some ideas for Local Game Jam awards doesn't have to be hard to make. Again, this is not mandatory, just some guidelines. However, the requirements for making them fair can be a bit hard. There's 3 basic types of awards:

The Jury's Award is where a select group of individuals get to pick their favorite game. The jury can be local game developers, educators from game-educations, your keynote-speaker, people from the GGJ-leadership; anybody with experience from game-developement/-education/-media - aka someone with authority on games. It's best to pick an uneven number of jury-members, so they can handle disagreements though simple voting.

The jury will have to be decided on by you in advance and invited to the GGJ. The easiest way to find a jury is to look in your local area and network for jury-members. During the jam they'll have to be presented to all of the games (preferable after Hand-In) with enough time afterwards for them to deliberate in the results.

An easiest award to make is the Organizer's Award. You - the organizer(s) - simply try all the games developed and pick the one that you like the best. The participants might consider you biased, but unfortunately fairness is rather resource-demanding. The advantage is that you'll already be onsite, so you won't have to invite anybody; the disadvantage is that you'll have to take out time during the jam to play the games and evaluate them.

The second-easiest award to make is a Participant's Award (aka People's Choice). The participants vote for their favorite game; this is a cool reward because it is based on the acknowledgment by your peers. It's best to do the voting anonomously, so people won't get heckled for voting on a competing group's game.

Presentations & Award Show

A good way of doing it is to do an "Award Show" at the end of the GGJ. This can be done classic Oscar-style. Each team presents their game to the rest of participants; this presentation should include information about the design of the game and the development of the game - what went right, what went wrong, what have we learned etc. You will have to have the necessary hardware available and (preferably also) a projector or screen that all can see. You can also have them show it on their machine, as sometimes it is hard to get a game to work without all the same software.

The presentations should be a celebration of the effort of the teams, - even if they failed miserably, they should still be applauded for the effort. All games, no matter what state, needs to be posted on the GGJ website.

After all the presentations the jury would deliberate and make a decision - or the audience can vote by applause. Instruct the jury that they should have justification for their choice. While the jury is deliberating, the participant's voting can take place.

Present the awards in classic Oscar style; "And the Ghana Technical University Game Jam 2010 Participant's Award goes to....!" (We all know the format and it's all fun'n'games). Have the teams come up to accept them (and to get the audience's applause). Also, it is a good way for people to network and meet more people in their community.

The Jury should make a justification for their choice and advise the winners why they won.

After this you can wrap up the GGJ, thank people for coming and any follow up announcements. We would like all participants to take a survey about GGJ.

Checklist

Have you:
- decided whether you want to have awards at your GGJ and which type?
If you're making a Jury's Award, have you:
- decided on who to invite into the jury?
- have you invited them?
- outline what criteria you want them to use to judge the games
- have you decided when and how they are going to be presented the games?
- have you instructed the jury that they are going to present the winners and justify their choice?
If you're making a Organizer's Award, have you decided on when you're going to play the games?
If you're making a Participant's Award, have you:
- decided on how the participants are going to be presented to all the games?
- decided on how the voting is going to take place, including when it's going to be and whether it's going to be public or private?
Have you decide how the presentations are going to take place? If you have a large jam, this could be very time consuming.
Do you have the necessary hardware (computers, projectors etc) for the presentations?

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