This weekend from a whole lot of people from around the world will gather together and participate in the 2nd annual Global Game Jam. This year a record number of sites across the globe are participating bringing the total expected number of jammers to easily exceed last year’s 1600.
Game jams are a pretty awesome experience for anyone who hasn’t participated in one yet. It allows industry vets to recharge their creative batteries with short original projects. It allows rookies with little to no development experience a chance to get their feet wet with tons of support around them. And it allows everyone to meet new game developers in their local area and hopefully form new bonds of collaboration. I highly recommend anyone with a remote interest in making their own games check out what sites are available near you and participating if possible.
I’m in charge of running the Global Game Jam for the the Triangle area (Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham) in North Carolina. Right now the Triangle Global Game Jam expecting over 50 participants this year working in the wonderful (freezing) motion capture studio of Icarus Studios, developers of Fallen Earth. We’re expecting a little snow this weekend, but some inclement weather shouldn’t slow us down too much from having a fun jam.
So try it out. And even if you can’t make it to a local jam try dedicating a day or two this weekend with some friends to working on a game project for yourself. You’ll have some fun and learn some new things. And who knows, you may even have a game at the end of the day.