Global Game Jam 2012

The Game Creation Club participated in the Global Game Jam 2011 at Tracermedia, and now we are proud to host one of the 200+ jam locations for the 2012 Global Game Jam at OSU!

[tab:About, Rules and Procedures]

The details:
The Global Game Jam is a 48-hour event where groups try to make games from the ground up. While making a fully-functional game in 48 hours is a worthy goal in itself, teams are encouraged to experiment and have fun. Games will be built around a specific theme to be announced at the start of the Jam. Additionally, teams can opt to go the extra mile and satisfy certain OPTIONAL goals (achievements) in their game (some of the more fun ones from last year included making a game that could be played without your hands, making a game with Cubist-style art, and make a game using existing online data (like Google Maps or stock market info)). The jam is not intended to be competitive – it’s more an exercise to see how much you can do in a short amount of time!

This year’s Game Jam is January 27th – 29th (the 27th is a Friday). On Friday, we have Central Classrooms Campbell Hall room 209 to work in, starting at 5:30, running until 11 PM. On Saturday, we are in the Tanya R. Rutner room in the Ohio Union from 9 AM to 1 AM. On Sunday, we are in the same room from 10 AM until the jam ends (technically we have it until midnight, so we will hold some kind of an after-party for anyone interested).

We do not have space for a continuous 48 hours of jamming. We are limited by university building operating hours. This should not be a problem, however – the situation was the same at last year’s GGJ Columbus location (at Tracermedia). We assume that most of the time off will be spent sleeping anyway, and if you still want to work after-hours, as long as you can find an alternate location, that is completely allowed.

You will have to bring your own tech to work on your games. Sorry! The few labs we have at OSU that could possibly accommodate us require special arrangements, and I don’t think any of them are open all night, let alone an entire weekend. To say nothing of the security precautions and extra red tape needed to be dealt with. Again, this is the same situation as last year’s jam – bring your laptops! Desktop computers are discouraged, especially Day 1. But they will be allowed.

If you don’t have a team, by all means, come and jam with us! We want all programmers, artists, musicians, and more! The more the merrier. The beginning of the jam will have activities in order to group people with others if needed.

Please note that we are limited to 30 people. Preference will be given to the people who register on the Global Game Jam website (http://globalgamejam.org/) and choose OSU as their jam location in advance.

GGJ FAQs: http://globalgamejam.org/wiki/ggj-wiki

[tab:Event In Review]

For the Jam, there were 15 registered attendees, and four games came out of our location (A fifth one was made, but that wasn’t an official jam game). About half of the attendees were a group from Ball State University in Indiana who decided to come over for our Jam. In addition to the regular keynotes, the jammers also got some great advice from Ian Schreiber, the worldwide manager of the Global Game Jam who just so happens to be a Columbus native and thus dropped by for both the opening and closing of the Jam (he also helped us out with some hiccups on the first day, so huge thanks to him!). For the theme of the Jam, participants were simply shown the picture in this post, and left to figure the rest out for themselves. The professor from Ball State identified it immediately as an Ouroboros symbol. The Ouroboros represents an ongoing cycle of life and infinity (thanks Wikipedia!). People around the world interpreted the picture in different ways. The most common form was a snake, and indeed, a lot of the resulting games featured snakes in some form. Others included circles, alchemy, or cycles into their games. Most of Friday night was spent brainstorming ideas, but at least one group started to get to work that night.

At the end of the Jam, we had a presentation which we recorded on Ustream, you can see that here. The presentation consists of sharing the five games. I recommend playing the games for yourself, and you can do that here.

You can also read a writeup from Ball State professor Paul Gestwicki on the Columbus GGJ (and his game Auralboros) here, and read a liveblog from jammer Evan Todd (on the GGJ and his game Snakes In A Tower) here.

Brian Orchosky also has a small album of pictures from the Jam on Facebook, and you can view those here

The event was a ton of fun, and you can expect more Game Jams from the GCC in the future.

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