What happens when game developers and enthusiasts get together for a weekend to create a game? Is it possible? What can they possibly create? These and more are what the annual Global Game Jam seeks to answer.
Every year towards the end of January, game developers, game studios, gaming enthusiasts, writers, programmers, designers, illustrators and other creatives gather for a full weekend to create a new game from scratch, in 48 hours.
This year’s Global Game Jam will happen from January 31st to February 2nd worldwide. As is the tradition, a theme for the game will be announced on Friday, the first day of the jam. Jam Sites across the world will then get to work ideating, and creating a game based on that theme.
The Global Game Jam is a great way for gaming communities across the world to network and collaborate. in that collaboration, participants can find opportunities to grow and expand skillsets, find exciting new jobs and be more deeply entrenched in the local gaming community.
Global Game Jam 2019 Locations in Africa
Africa is not left out of the thrill of this game hackathon. 37 (an increase from last year’s 33 ) jam Sites have registered to participate in 20 countries (an increase from last year’s 18 countries) across the continent. Each location has specific rules governing them so be sure to click on locations close to you to read them.
In Ghana, where we’re based, there are four jam sites. Namely, Leti Arts, The Den in Tema, Ashesi University, and Phare Hill in Accra.
Below are the jam sites across Africa.
Epitcech Benin organized by Johanne Bruffaerts
Egypt Game Jam 2020 – ITI/Cairo organized by Nader Medhat Albert
d5gamejam organized by Kirubel Girma
Enter Africa Game Jam organized by KEM Gaming Hub
Leti Legends Jam
Global Game Jam Tema
Global Game Jam Tema organized by Gasbros Gaming Network
Paradise Game Global Game Jam organized by Paradise Games
Passion 4 Humanity Faravohitra organized by Raharison Mika
Nairobi Game Jam organized by Ludique Works
Lakaz d’Art organized by Guillaume Clarisse
Casablanca Global Game Jam
Casablanca Global Game Jam organized by Abdellah Alaoui Mdarhri
From Zero to Hero
FromZeroToHero organized by Elkoursi Elalaoui Hicham
Game Global Game Jam Namibia organized by Tutaleni Ilonga
GGJ 2020 Kigali organized by Robert Mugisha
Enter Africa Lagos
Enter Africa Lagos organized by Olorunfemi Adedeji (Enter Africa Lagos)
Futa Game Jam
Futa Game Jam organized by Akinfemisoye Ifedayo
IBBUL Jam Site
IBBUL Jam Site organized by Mohammed Ibrahim
Ibadan Global Game Jam
Ibadan Global Game Jam organized by Ibrahim Lukman (Deeptech Africa)
Microsoft Lagos Jam Site
Microsoft Lagos Jam Site organized by Onome Ofoman and Adedeji Ogundipe
Global Game Jam Ilorin
Global Game Jam Ilorin organized by Oluwatosin Ogunyebi (Throne of Gamers)
Dakar Global Game Jam organized by Sidick Bakayoko and Julien Herbin
Global Game Jam Sudan organized by Sudanese Game Collective
Vega School Cape Town organized by Jean-Jacques Rossouw
Vega School Pretoria organized by Adam Jerrett
Global Game Jam TBS 2020
Global Game Jam TBS 2020 organized by Sellami and Aymen Mohsni
Global Game Jam Tunisia 2020
Global Game Jam Tunisia 2020 organized by Anoir Bennour
SIV HQ organized by Zoubaier Aouadi
BantuLabTech organized by Chaiwa Berian (BantuLabTech)
Global Game Jam Ndola
Global Game Jam Ndola organized by Jabu Mulenga
Global Game Jam Uganda organized by Andrew Cara
GGJ Bulawayo organized by Jabulani Sibanda, Kudakwashe Muchirahondo and Lindelwe Mgodla
2020 Global Game Jam Theme
Every game jam is guided by a theme. 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.
Last year’s theme was Transmission and the year before, Waves. Other themes in the past were:
- 2009 – “As long as we have each other, we will never run out of problems”
- 2010 – “Deception” (plus extra timezone-specific themes, including “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain”)
- 2011 – “Extinction”
- 2012 – An image of Ouroboros.
- 2013 – Sound of a Heartbeat
- 2014 – “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
- 2015 – “What do we do now?
- 2016 – “Ritual”
- 2017 – “Waves”
- 2018 – “Transmission”
- 2019 – “What home means to you”
It will be a long weekend so best go prepared with enough change of clothes, snacks and your computer(s). Some venues offer free snacks while others sell them. Again, read the rules and descriptions of each location to get a sense of what’s in store for you. Pack some toiletries, water and your own snacks for comfort.
That’s it! Have fun with thousands of game enthusiasts across the world creating something beautiful.
GGJ20 is sponsored by Microsoft (headliner), Unreal Engine (champion), Buildbox (Champion) and Sony Interactive Entertainment (champion), and in partnership with Houdini Indie, Poki, DDM with support from Overclocked Legal, AirConsole, Valve, Plan of Attack, Tripple Topping and Prosearium.net. Learn more about these sponsors and partners here.