The Global Game Jam (27th-29th January) is just around the corner, so MCV spoke to Melbourne IGDA rep Giselle Rosman about what to expect.
What is the Global Game Jam all about?
The Global Game Jam is an international event where game developers from all over the world celebrate their passion for games development by spending a weekend with the single minded objective of making a game from start to finish in just 48 hours.
This year there will be more than 100 jammers attending – making the Melbourne event one of the ten largest out of more than 200 Global Game Jam sites worldwide. These jammers represent an enormous range of experience from budding new developers to industry veterans.
Why should budding (or experienced) developers take part in Game Jam?
Both new and experienced developers learn a lot from the process of making a game from start to finish in just 48 hours. New developers are exposed to the game development process and can learn from their more experienced team mates. Industry veterans also have much to learn from the 48 hour development timeline as such a short time frame forces them to be more efficient and focused on their goals.
The learning experience is enormous, some games go on to find commercial success, some teams collaborate on a more permanent basis. Every jammer has a great time and the right to say that they managed to make a game in just one weekend.
What are the major changes to the Melbourne Game Jam this year?
Better food for one thing. Thanks to our sponsors Microsoft, AIE, and Immersive Technologies, jammers this year will have a much better diet.
La Trobe University are providing the space for over 100 jammers to compete this year along with computers and some technology for them to make some awesome games.
What direction is this year’s event taking?
A major focus for us this year is team formation. We’re making a strong effort to create teams with mixed experiences and talents. We’re bringing together designers, programmers, and artists who may never have worked together before, into small teams that share a common vision.
We are also very aware of the importance of expert feedback to the jammers and so a number of highly respected members of the Australian games industry are donating their time to be judges and mentors.
How is the competitive element of the Global Game Jam run and judged?
The focus of the weekend is for everyone to make great games. However we’re game makers, so we can’t resist the urge to spice things up by making it a bit competitive and so in the interests of fun and of recognising excellence we do award prizes for several categories.
To reflect more accurately the role of the judging panel, we’ll be looking at them as a tasting panel after a long weekend in the kitchen – our “Jam Tasters” are many and varied and include local indies Simon Joslin, Creative Director at The Voxel Agents, along with Tin Man Games and League of Geeks. There will also be tasters from media and education including Conor O’Kane who jammed last year and will be releasing the results Last Flight of the Bumblebee (pictured), with added polish, on the app store for free during the Global Game Jam.
The awards ceremony will be held in traditional Australian style, over a bbq and a beer at La Trobe’s Eagle Bar. Industry and media are encouraged to get in touch for an invite.
Thank you for your time.
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