What's the Global Game Jam?

The 6th annual Global Game Jam will take place between Friday, January 24th and Sunday, January 26th. With thousands of participants worldwide, across hundreds of sites, it is shaping up to be the largest concurrent game jam in history. And if you're in or near Bloomington, Indiana you can be a part of it!

The way it works is pretty simple -- you register for the event, and show up by 4pm on the 24th. We show the Global Game Jam keynote, reveal this year's theme (past themes have been "Extinction," an image of an ourobouros, and the sound of a heartbeat), and then attendees organize into groups of three or four per team.

Then... you make a game! Please check out the official Global Game Jam site for more info.

But, it's as simple as this: All attendees work hard in groups for 48 hours to design, create, playtest, revise, and upload a game to the Global Game Jam site by Sunday afternoon. Digital games of all sorts are preferred, but if you'd like to make a board game or an RPG, please still show up. All kinds of game designers are welcome.

We'll be meeting at the excellent Sproutbox space at 300 West Hillside Drive, and our site in Bloomington will be able to accomodate up to twenty Jammers.


We do have limited space, so you must register to be assured a spot. Registration is now open!

Location & Schedule

Again, the site for this year's Global Game Jam in Bloomington is Sproutbox's "The Box" space at 300 West Hillside Drive, in Bloomington.

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Jammers will meet at Sproutbox at 4:00pm EST on Friday, January 24th -- show up on time to be sure you get a spot in our Jam site. At 5pm sharp, we'll show the keynote and reveal this year's theme. Overall, this will be a pretty casual site, no extra lectures or scheduling through Saturday and Sunday, though organizers will be present to encourage teams to help playtest for one another. We will, however, hopefully feature a tutorial or two on game creation for those interested in learning about different development environments -- more on that soon.


Still working on this, and will have more updates soon!


Is game design experience necessary?

Well, it can't hurt. On the registration form, you'll be asked to let the organizers know your game design experiences as well as your skills (programming, art design, sound design, playtesting, etc). Novices are welcome, and experienced game designers as well. Jammers should expect a variety of game design experiences on each team.

What should I bring?

First, bring anything you'd need to make a good game -- laptops, iPads, Android devices, Wacom tablets, musical instruments, paper prototyping materials, etc. And all software that you'll be wanting to use. Sproutbox is generously offering us the space, but it's up to you to bring what you need to make the games you want to make.

What about food?

We'll provide you some snacks and caffeine, and will help you find good food to order. We aren't providing any meals (but might go get a bag of Bloomington Bagels sometime over the weekend). Bring foods you might want, as we'll have a kitchen and refrigerator available for participants. Oh, and there's beer.

So, can I just bring my friends and make a game with only them? I don't like strangers.

Oh, get over yourself! This is an opportunity to meet new people, make games with folks you might never have considered making a game with, and push yourself into making new kinds of games you might never have considered before. So, sure, bring your friends, but expect to work with people you don't already know!

Can I just work by myself?

Seriously, get over yourself. No, you'll be on a team. If you want to design a game by yourself, please do some other time -- Ludum Dare is probably the Jam for you!

Okay, cool, where will I sleep?

Sproutbox will be open for the entire weekend, and we'll have a kitchen available for you to use. If you don't have somewhere else to stay, you're welcome to bring a sleeping bag and curl up in a corner -- treat it like "geek camping." We do strongly recommend that participants get plenty of sleep throughout the weekend, though; staying up for 48 hours straight is just plain stupid, and ends up making for some crappy games. Work hard, but get rest in whatever way you can!

Finally, this is for gamers, so... this is, like, a competition, right?

Nope! It's just a fun way to make games with other people. If you want, you can think about it like a good single-player game: Can you make a good game in 48 hours? If that isn't good enough for you, then maybe you should go back to corpse camping teenagers and leave the game-making to those who have the right mindset.

Okay, cool, I get it now. So, that's a lot of text. What's the tl;dr?

Name: Bloomington Global Game Jam
Register: Coming soon!
Time: January 24th-26th; Starting the 26th @ 4pm
Site: Sproutbox - 300 West Hillside Dr, Bloomington, IN (Ph: 888 417-9341)

Bring your own game design materials, food, maybe a sleeping bag, and ready to work with others!


If you have any questions, please email the event organizer (Nathan Mishler) at nathan@studiocypher.com