Global Game JamFor the 15th(!) year in a row, UMBC is the Baltimore host site for the Global Game Jam!

Where: Engineering Building, Room 005
When: 5 PM February 3 – 5 PM February 5, 2023
Cost: Free, but advance registration is required (register at

What is a Game Jam?

In a game jam, participants come together to make a video game (somewhat like a game-focused hackathon). Each participant joins a small team at the jam, and over a couple of day period creates a new, unique and creative video game according to the rules of the jam.

Game Jams are a great way to meet other developers, beef up your resume, or just learn what it takes to make a game. Teams need designers who can come up with a creative game idea according to the jam constraints, artists, programmers and testers, so there is something to do for participants at all levels of experience.

So what is the Global Game Jam?

The Global Game Jam takes place in the same few days all over the world! The first year there were 53 host sites (including UMBC!) in the US, Canada, Brazil, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Turkey, Wales, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Last year had 680 of host sites across the world, covering more countries than there were sites in that first year.

Though the Global Game Jam sites run independently, all participants will be constrained by the same theme and set of rules. After the theme is announced, participants will have the chance to brainstorm game ideas and pitch them to other participants to form development teams. After a few mad days of game development, all the games are demoed and submitted to the global game jam site.

Even if you don’t participate, you can track the action on twitter #ggj23 and #umbcggj, and try out the game submissions after the event is over.

For the full list of sites, more Global Game Jam information, and information on the keynote speaker and other exciting developments, be sure to visit the main Global Game Jam site.

UMBC Site Information

We are back 100% in person this year. Global Game Jam rules for this year allow sites to start as early as January 30, but we will just be open for the final 5pm Friday to 5pm Sunday, matching the time frame of those early jams. We are also space-limited to to 50 total participants.

What you should bring

Yourself. Your creativity.

We do have several Mac computers with a number of art packages, including the Adobe products and Maya; and Windows computers with both Unity and the Unreal Engine installed. However, campus restrictions will not allow you to install additional software on these university computers, so we recommend bringing your own computer. If you do plan to use a campus computer, bring an external USB drive for saving your work.

Don’t come with a pre-planned team. Teams will be formed after the game pitches are made. Also, don’t bring pre-made content (art, code, sounds, etc.) that is not publicly available. The idea is not to see how well you anticipate the constraints, it is to see what each team can create during the Jam!