Global Game Jam 2019


On Friday parking is NOT FREE before 5pm on Friday and they are known to ticket aggressively. After 5pm the parking is free all weekend, and overnight parking is fine. Your best options are the Tyndall garage or the lots south of 6th. For more info check out the U of A’s visitor parking page.

Jam with us! In collaboration with University of Arizona’s Game Dev Club we are proud to announce Tucson’s third Global Game Jam!

So what is a Game Jam?

From the Global Game Jam site:

The Global Game Jam® (GGJ) is the world’s largest game jam event (game creation) taking place around the world at physical locations. Think of it as a hackathon focused on game development. It is the growth of an idea that in today’s heavily connected world, we could come together, be creative, share experiences and express ourselves in a multitude of ways using video games – it is very universal. The weekend stirs a global creative buzz in games, while at the same time exploring the process of development, be it programming, iterative design, narrative exploration or artistic expression. It is all condensed into a 48 hour development cycle. The GGJ encourages people with all kinds of backgrounds to participate and contribute to this global spread of game development and creativity.

The structure of a jam is usually that everyone gathers on Friday late afternoon, watches a short video keynote with advice from leading game developers, and then a secret theme is announced. All sites worldwide are then challenged to make games based on that same theme, with games to be completed by Sunday afternoon. In January 2016, we had over 600 locations in 93 countries create 6866 games in one weekend! GGJ 2017 is January 25-27 at a location near you… if not you can make one of your own. The jam is known for helping foster new friendships, increase confidence and opportunities within the community. The jam is always an intellectual challenge. People are invited to explore new technology tools, trying on new roles in development and testing their skills to do something that requires them to design, develop create, test and make a new game in the time span of 48 hours.

The GGJ stimulates collaboration and is not a competition.

Does it cost anything?

There is no fee to participate. The 9th Floor of the Gould-Simpson building of the University of Arizona is being provided through the UA’s Game Dev group. Some meals will be provided as well.

Where do I register?

You can register here on the Global Game Jam site.

Is it really possible to make a game over a weekend?

Absolutely! Part of the fun is getting to the core of game creation and trying not to worry about making ‘perfect’ code, art, or design. Just break down some walls and get jamming!

You can see the schedule for the event here.

Who is a Game Jam for?

Aspiring or experienced game makers who generally fall into one of the following categories:

  • Developer – Programmer who can write the logic for the game.
  • Artist – Creating graphics for the game.
  • Sound Designer – Writing music for the game.
  • Designer – Designing levels, story, and game systems.

Children are welcome to jam with their parents by invite only. Many parents jam with their kids and help introduce them to game development using environments such as Scratch. Children under 18 must be accompanied by their legal guardian.

When is it and what kind of commitment can I expect?

The jam takes place over the course of the weekend of January 25th-27th. How much work you want to put into it is up to you! Some people try to work non-stop. Others make smaller games in a couple afternoons. Its up to you.

Will I be working with other game developers?

It is not required but a jam is a social event and a great way to learn from others. You are more than welcome to work on your own, with your friends, or to work in a group. Some people come looking to work with other like-minded developers, others might have a group already.

I know nothing about making games but want to start.

If you don’t feel like you can get jamming right away, let us help! Tucson Game Developers is a monthly meetup where we talk shop and introduce people to the fun of making games. Come to a meeting, or chat with us on Discord!