What is a game jam?
A game jam is a gathering of people for the purpose of making video games. Participants of a game jam are asked to create a game from start to finish in 48 hours. The game jam is an opportunity to get creative, meet new people, and make the game you’ve always dreamed of.
Many popular games have actually started out as game jam projects. Make games like Fingle, the Twister game for you fingers, or a game where you race against a rainbow, dance with someone when you’re both holding the same phone, an endless runner that changes depending on your sanity, games that play with time or let you unleash your inner bro, or a game where you play as a bat. The possibilities are endless!
When is the game jam?
Check out the schedule.
Who is the event open to?
The event is open to everyone, but is typically attended by University of Saskatchewan students, particularly computer science students. We are always looking for more diverse participants, however, as teams with participants of diverse skills work well together. For example, individuals interested in art, sound design, or music make a great addition to a team of programmers.
Additionally, participants of all ages are welcome, however, we don’t have the resources to supervise younger participants, so if they want to participate a parent or guardian should accompany them.
What if I’ve never done this before?
We offer tutorials before the game jam. We recommend attending them as a way of determining whether or not you’d like to participate in the game jam itself. Keep in mind that the tutorials focus primarily on the programming of the game, which may not apply to those interested in contributing artistically.
Do I need to be an expert programmer to participate?
Not at all – the focus is having fun and learning about game development.
Game development isn’t all about programming. To make a great game, you need team members with a range of skills: art, music, design,problem-solving, programming, and more.. If you don’t have a lot of programming experience, you can keep your game simple and still have a lot of fun.
Do I need to come with a team already formed?
You are not required to form a team beforehand. Participants without a group will be sorted into teams on Friday.
How does a team code collaboratively? Are we going to have to pass a bunch of USB keys around to share files?
It’s great to have a team to share strengths and weaknesses. However, sharing code can be a little more difficult if you don’t have the right tools. We’ll be showing you how to use a version control system, Git, to keep up to date with everyone else in your group’s code changes. Don’t worry if you haven’t used Git before, it’s not too difficult, and it’s much easier than USB keys.
Is food provided at the event?
Pizza lunch will be provided on both Saturday and Sunday. Snacks will also be served at the Friday keynote.
Do I need to bring any equipment?
The Game Jam will have lab computers available with all the necessary game development tools installed. If you prefer to bring your own laptop, the labs have individual power ports at almost every desk. Temporary credentials will be available for all participants in order to connect to the local U of S WiFi network and/or lab computers.
Will there be any special equipment available?
Participants will have access to a limited number of Logitech and XBox 360 controllers, Android tablets/phones, and Kinects for those interested in developing with them. We simply ask that you trade in a piece of ID (student card, drivers license, etc.) while you borrow the equipment. Participants are welcome to bring their own special equipment as well. If there is anything you would be interested in using and would like us to provide, contact us and we’ll see if we can accommodate.
What game-making tools do you recommend?
Feel free to use any game engine or tool that you prefer. Our tutorials will focus on using Unity and Construct 2. Free resources are also listed on the Resources page. Using the right tools can save a lot of time when tinkering and prototyping new game ideas.
Who owns the intellectual property of games created at Game Jam?
Each team holds all rights to their game. However, by entering Game Jam you grant the University of Saskatchewan and Game with US a world-wide royalty free license in perpetuity to display images, videos, and live demonstrations of your game for promotional purposes only. This includes, but is not limited to, images and videos showcased on the University of Saskatchewan website, print media, and more. Bottom line: we want to showcase your awesome game, and give you props for it.
We encourage participants to foster growth in the game industry by licensing their game under an open license such as Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org/choose/) or the GNU GPL (https://www.gnu.org/licenses/). However, doing so is not mandatory.
How do I submit my game?
Instructions on game submissions will be provided during the Game Jam weekend.
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