GGJ Archives 2009-2012

Basic Questions


Who is this site for?

This website is for the Global Game Jam. It is used to direct people to information about individual game jams around the world, to collaborate, and to get excited about the upcoming event. It is also used to upload, modify and archive games produced by GGJ participants for GGJ events. If you want to participate in the Game Jam, you will need to create an account and affiliate with a location – sign-up is available online after November 15th. If you are a site manager (site registration usually opens in October), your account and instructions should be mailed to you by GGJ organizers.

When is the Global Game Jam?

The GGJ is an annual event. The 2012 GGJ will start at 5pm (in your time zone) on January 27th and goes for ~48 hours through January 29, 2012.

What is a Game Jam?

The goal is to come together and make a video game, or non-digital game like a board game or card game. Participants rapidly prototype game designs and hopefully inject new ideas to help grow the game industry. We share a common theme and constraints. We ask participants to create a game from beginning to end in a prescribed time (maximum of 48 hours). The brief time span is meant to help encourage creative thinking to result in small but innovative and experimental games.

What is the Global Game Jam?

The GGJ brings together talented individuals from within your community. It is a unique opportunity for people to push their skills and challenge their way of working. Participants work concurrently with developers 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 realized prototypes that you can continue to work on after the jam. Many games developed in previous Game Jams have become fully realized games. The GGJ is open source, hardware & software agnostic and all projects are protected under a Creative Commons license. We encourage people to try out new ideas and push themselves, within reason. We also strongly encourage participants to remember to eat and sleep, to stay at their best!

Do I need to come to GGJ with a team already formed?

Do not come to the Jam with a team. Everyone will have some time to think and pitch an idea. Collaborate with new friends or peers you admire.

Do I need special skills to participate in the GGJ?

Although having computer skills is helpful, code experience is not necessary. Designers, developers, artists and anyone is welcome to try their hand at making a game during the GGJ.

Is the GGJ only for professionals?

Everyone is welcome.

What is required to host a location (jam site)?

Physical space to comfortably seat participants (you can choose how small or large you want your event)
1. Reliable Internet access (either wired or wireless) for all participants
2. Access to common game development tools and/or ability to download and install software
3. Local IT support in case of problems with computers or internet connectivity
4. At least one local official organizer to coordinate the event **
5. Access to all space and computing resources around the clock over the weekend of the GGJ.
6. Coffee and beverages & easy access to food
7. Optional auditorium space to do a post Jam presentation on Sunday of the Jam
8. Security (safeguard against theft of belongings)

* We prefer your location to be open for the entire 48 hours, but we can accommodate those that cannot -- it is just less time for your site participants to make their games.

** The organizer must be a part of all email correspondence, participate on BaseCamp (our project management software) and oblige us with meeting all due dates.

The GGJ will provide you with tools to organize your local event, hands-on guidance before & during the Global Game Jam, a web page on the GGJ site, local & international promotion of the swag, etc… For more information on hosting a site, check the manual

Why is the GGJ held often at many universities?

Schools have access to large labs and space that are not always available at studios. Educational institutions also have the best access to broadband Internet. But there is nothing exclusive about location types. Companies, Game collectives, community meetups and other types of venues are all welcome.

What is the typical day to day schedule for the GGJ?

Day 1 – Arrival

* Registration
* Talks
* Group forming

14.00-19.00: Check in
14.00-15.00: Tech/Art Talks
15.00-16.00: Tech/Art Talks
17.00-18.00: Announcements & Keynote
18.00 -?: Group Forming
Social Get to Know Each Other Exercises
Group Forming

Day 2 – Work
09.00-10.00: Breakfast
11:00 Deadline to create user profile and game page
13.00-14.00: Lunch
19.00-20.00: Dinner

Day 3- Work
09.00-10.00: Breakfast
13.00-14.00: Lunch
15.00-16.30: Deadline for handing in the games is 15.00
16.30-19.00: Presentations – Each team has 10 minutes to do a short show-off

How do I log into the site?

You sign up on the site as an individual. Registration normally opens on November 15th. From the top of the front page, choose “create new account” and you will be asked for a username and password. The account is for an individual person and every GGJ participant needs to have one. Once you receive your confirmation via email, you can login to the GGJ website.

How do I tell the system my location and full name information?

Every user must fill out a profile which is available from your account page. The profile asks for your full name and has a drop-down menu to choose your location. Additionally, you can write a public mini biography about yourself.

My Jam Site isn’t in the list of locations in my profile!

Locations are created by a site organizer. Talk to your site organizer (your local Jam organizer) and ask him/her to create the location. Once the location is created, you can fill out your profile and choose it.

I am the site organizer, how do I register my location?

Site registration usually opens in October. In the meantime, you may wish to read the manual to be prepared.

While registration is open, in order to list your location we need you to do the following:

1) go to http://globalgamejam.org and create a new account – you will receive your password via email.

2) once you get your email and sign-in to the page, Select "APPLY FOR: Jam Site"

  • Site registration for 2012 closed on January 20, 2012, though if there's an emergency, please Contact us.

3) Follow the directions – for the “Jam Site” title, do not use a geographical name like a city or country to your site name. There is another place to specify city and country.

4) Once you fill out the application for a Jam Site, it will be processed and OK’d within 48 hours or less. The reason for this is to make sure we do not get duplicates for the same location, or individuals don’t create a location in their flat. We really are trying to push for community and collaboration and trying to avoid having four locations in one city. If you see that a location is already posted in your city, please contact us and we will try to help you collaborate with the other location. Note, many major urban areas will have more than one location. You can see a list of approved Jam sites if you click on the “Locations” icon at the top of the page, which goes to: http://globalgamejam.org/Locations

5) After your Jam Site is approved, go to your account page and create a profile (under “my account” → edit) and specify the Jam site. Please also direct all your local Jammers to make accounts and create profiles as well.

6) After your Site is approved, we will add it to the big flash map on the Locations page.

7) Once you've created a GGJ page for your site, you can use it to link to your own webpage for your site, or you can use GGJ website to handle your sign-ups, etc… Participant sign-ups usually open around November 15th or so. Even if you have your own webpage for signups, all of your jammers must register at globalgamejam.org as well, by the Saturday of the jam itself.

8) We encourage you to blog about your site, your preparations and any great things you have organized for your location. Some hosts have tech talks, you can host a Q&A session, what have you, the portal is there to support collaboration. If you tweet, use tags such as #ggj or #ggj12, and it will automatically get included in our twitter feed on the mainpage.

I am a site organizer, but my site page already exists on GGJ website. How can I gain access to it?

If there is already a 2012 Jam Site registered on the locations page, please get in touch with the site organizer to see how you can help or be involved. If your site was a participant in Global Game Jam 2009, 2010, or 2011, a new 2012 Jam Site still needs to be created from scratch. Site registration normally opens in October.

I am a site organizer, how do I create team accounts?

There are no team accounts in GGJ 2012. Only individual accounts that are associated with location and game projects.

Who owns the intellectual property of games made during GGJ?

The team/makers of the game hold all IP rights. However, the Global Game Jam may use the games for demonstration as it sees fit. All games must be posted in the condition they are in as of the close of the GGJ event (Sunday). If the team/makers of the game wish to upload subsequent versions, they are welcome and we will host and archive them. All participants and all games entered for GGJ must agree to a Creative Commons, share, alter, no sell license.

See also: the License and Distribution Agreement.

Is there a cut-off date as to when we can join the Global Game Jam?

Site registration normally opens in October, and we encourage all sites to sign up by November 15th. After this date it may be more difficult to register. Because there is a fair amount of prep needed to put together a jam, we think you should plan as far ahead as possible. However, we have seen sites organize in a week or less.


As an initiative of the IGDA, the Global Game Jam is supposed to be fun and collaborative, with a goal to keep things very simple. We provide structure, guidance and help for all locations participating in the GGJ. As a rule of thumb, we expect that no team/makers of a game will illegally exploit others' IP, and that in turn, everything created becomes part of the public domain. All participants agree that their participation in the Global Game Jam will hold no one liable for any loss or damage.

The IGDA and the Global Game Jam reserves the right to refuse to allow anyone to participate at any time for any reason or no reason at all. This includes after the game jam has already started.


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