This year’s Global Game Jam weekend exceeded our expectations once more! Congratulations again to the winning teams behind Digimancers, Witches Brew and 7 – respectively placing 1st, 2nd and 3rd in our local #GGJ16 Belfast competition, with a special mention from the judges for the beautiful The Path.
Global Game Jam at Farset is back once more for 2015, in partnership with Northern Ireland Screen. The Game Jam will run from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th January, and is a chance to meet some great people and develop a fun game with a theme. The theme will be announced on the Friday night; there will be plenty of people there to team up with to create something interesting and, most importantly, to have fun!
How do I enter?
Register on the Global Game Jam site to participate, and reserve your seat on our Eventbrite listing for the game jam. The event is free, and meals are catered! The theme will be announced at 5pm on Friday 23rd January (to accommodate Hawaii) so we recommend all participants to be in Farset before that time, or send word if you will be arriving later on. We look forward to seeing you all for this, as it should be a great weekend!
What do I need?
There is no required skill level or barrier for entry; we welcome programmers, artists, musicians and anyone else who might be interested in being involved! Bring yourself and your equipment – the organisers recommend that participants wait until the beginning of the event to form teams. We have found that this worked well in the past and gives interesting results.
Brought to you to in partnership with Northern Ireland Screen, and with support from Iglu Media.
What is Global Game Jam?
Global Game Jam is essentially a hackathon, focused on games of all sorts, from full-scale console productions to mobile, web-based and embedded games, as well as non-digital productions like board and card games. Some will be frivolous, others developed for solid causes, such as social impact in the case of the Games For Change movement. There are already a number of large sponsors involved in this year’s global event, including Facebook, Unity and Github.
The first Global Game Jam ran in 2009, and this year there are already over 480 individual Jam sites registered around the world. We will be live streaming video from sites all over during the 48hr event. There will also be an opportunity to see and play other teams’ games at the end of the event. The details of the venue are also available on our Global Game Jam listing.
Here’s another first for the local tech community: Farset Labs is proud to announce becoming Belfast’s first and only official site for Global Game Jam, set this year for 25-27 January. This is the biggest event of its kind in the world and brings some big name sponsors like Microsoft, Facebook and GitHub. Farset will be open for the full 48-hour period, as each participant team competes to build a game in a weekend. The event is being hosted in conjunction with the University of Ulster Office of Innovation, who will be providing refreshments so entry will be free. Belfast’s hackerspace is calling out to all kinds of creative and technical people to take part, as game development brings together the likes of writers, artists, coders, character designers, production managers and many more roles.
Global Game Jam is essentially a hackathon, focused on games of all sorts, from full-scale console productions to mobile, web-based and embedded games, as well as non-digital productions like board and card games. Some will be frivolous, others developed for solid causes, such as social impact in the case of the Games For Change movement. We expect some exciting announcements on the day from the sponsors and organisers as to what data and platforms they’re going to let us play with, and we have plans to put some mileage on our new 3D printer.
The first Global Game Jam was run in 2009. Last January, 242 locations in 47 countries created over 2,000 games in one weekend to become a Guinness World Record. But sites for this year’s event have already been registered in around 300 locations in over 60 countries, so your involvement will be part of a new world record. Farset’s Andrew Bolster is the official organiser for the event in Belfast and has been collaborating with other organisations to make it a special occasion.
As part of the Jam, participants (or ‘Jammers’) will have access to a range of materials provided by corporate sponsors. The details are on the GGJ page, but there are a few that deserve highlighting:
- $100 credit on the Joyent high performance cloud, a perfect place to host your online games,
- Corona Labs are giving away 3 months of it’s full Indie SDK, perfect for building and hosting mobile games and social applications,
- Mixamo, the film-grade character animation suite with simple import and export to a range of applications including Blendr and Unity, are opening up loads of toolkits for Jammers,
- YoYo Games are also giving away licenses to their GameMaker:Studio software for developing cross-platform mobile games, and finally
- GitHub, the heart and soul of so many developers, are giving $70 credit to each location, and we’ll be putting it up as a ‘Peoples Choice’ prize on Sunday Evening
A few key considerations:
- You don’t need any specific skills to participate, although having a coder in your team may prove useful.
- You don’t need a team. In fact, the organisers discourage the formation of teams in advance, and suggest working that out at the time.
- A secret theme will be announced at the start, by which all the games will be influenced.
- Kick-off will be at 17:00 on 25 January. There will be video presentations from some big industry players to get everyone going.
So… maybe you’ll head down to Farset Labs to play your hand in a world event that is set to be a real game-changer.