The Institute of Digital Games is once again organising the Malta Global Game Jam and while many of you may already have been waiting in gleeful anticipation, allow us to briefly explain what the Malta Global Game Jam entails for the uninitiated.
The Global Game Jam is a creative event where you team up with other people to make a playable game in 48 hours. The 11th GGJ will start at 5pm (in your time zone) on January 25 and goes for around 48 hours through January 27, 2019. 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. Come with a team or on your own to meet your team on location. Come with an idea or come to experiment. It is all welcome at the Malta Global Game Jam. The best way to understand how it works and what it is, is to check out last year’s interview with Malta Today.
A game jam is the perfect opportunity to make your first game from start to finish! You'll team up with people with different skills (programmers, artists, designers, musicians, etc.) and various levels of experience. There is always work to do that you can do. Don’t get hung up on coding, you don’t need it to make a game.
There are many engines that allow a designer to make a game without much coding knowledge such as Gamemaker, RPG Maker, and GameSalad. The Malta Global Game Jam also welcomes board game designers and we have a box full of prototyping materials: dice, playing cards, and lots of paper.
We’re excited to have Tomasz Kisilewicz - Lead Artist at 11 bit studios keynoting this edition of our Game Jam. His keynote Creating Meaningful Entertainment. How do Art and Design come together to question your morality will tackle how we tackle moral dilemmas in video games? How we leave players both disturbed and satisfied at the same time? And how Art and Design departments can learn and benefit from each other to deliver unique experiences? 'This War of Mine' and 'Frostpunk' will serve as case studies as we dive into the world of hard choices, dark moods and moral dilemmas in a pursuit of the light of hope for the video game industry.
Game Jam Ludum Dare is a pretty popular game jam, but we like to think that the Malta Global Game Jam follows pretty closely. In all seriousness, our jam is a small but fertile and creative ground for teams to get together and actually produce a game. In some cases this can be developed further, as for example, ‘...and then we held hands’, born at the Malta Global Game Jam went on to be a $60,000 success on Kickstarter. The turnout has been dramatically increasing and as can be attested to in last year’s post-mortem, we barely have place to fit all the jammers.
We have consciously removed the element of competition in the hopes that it will encourage experimentation and free people to take more risks. That being said we do have a popular vote winner at the end of the game jam. Last year’s popular vote winner was a team that included two MSc in Digital Games graduates. Check out their game Cpl. Cottontail & the HMSS FriendShip in: Space Panic! and all other games made last year at the Malta Global Game Jam.
When can you start? Registrations for our payment portal open soon, but keep an eye out on the Malta Global Game Jam Facebook, for real time updates and tips on surviving the game jam. Once registrations open you can register at the Malta Global Game Jam website. While you wait for registrations you can check out the amazing poster by Marvel and DC illustrator Guillermo Ortego.
So prepare your playlist and come to the Institute to make the game you’ve always wanted to make, or at least a smaller version of it. It may take a while to craft that perfect playlist, because 48 hours included a lot of songs and don’t even think about allocating time for sleep. I’m joking, getting enough sleep is a tip often stressed by veteran jammers.
We hope to welcome you here at the Institute of Digital Games in January!
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