Global Game Jam

Global Game JamFor the 13th(!) year in a row, UMBC is the Baltimore host site for the Global Game Jam!

Where: Online this year!
When: 5 PM January 27 – 5 PM January 31, 2021
Cost: Free, but advance registration is required (register at globalgamejam.org)

What is a Game Jam?

In a game jam, participants come together to make a video game. 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 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 hundreds of host sites across the world.

The Global Game Jam will start 5 PM local time Wednesday, January 27th and end 5 PM local time Sunday, January 31st, 2020. All participants in the Global Game Jam 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 #ggj21 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 100% online this year, so not limited by location or space as in an in-person year. None the less, the UMBC site will be run on US EST (Baltimore) time. We are also limiting to to 50 total participants, to make sure we’ll be able to do online-versions of our UMBC-site traditions of pitching all game ideas to everyone at the beginning of the jam, and demos of all of the games at the end.

What you should “bring”

Yourself. Your creativity.

A computer and internet connection: since we are online, you’ll have to be able to connect with the rest of us for the duration of the jam.

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!