Over the weekend of the Global Game Jam, I headed back to my roots and attended three jam sites in Scotland, with around 400 game jammers split across the venues. This year’s theme was ‘Ritual’ which proved to be a versatile topic, with OCD to Black Friday to Sacrifices to Potato Peeling all on the board.
The Glasgow Game Jam Site
The adventure started in Glasgow Caledonian University, which provided an amazing creative space for jammers; teams had plenty of space to form and work, two meals a day were provided, there was a chill out gaming section to play local indie games and mini competitions for steam vouchers, plus local industry dropped by to meet, chat and give advice to the teams.
Glasgow Chill Out Area provided by We Throw Switches
Abertay Global Game Jam Kickoff
After a late night helping out the Glasgow jammers, it was a short train ride through rain, sleet, snow and sunshine to Dundee and up to Abertay University. Having worked late in to the night, all the teams had made substantial progress into their games and this reflected in the jovial yet focused atmosphere, which was made all the more apparent by the jammer-picked music playing from the overhead speakers. With a mixture of classic rock, rick-rolling and pop it aided the fun atmosphere with, at one point, the teams spontaneously erupting into the YMCA.
Abertay was enjoying the puns!
Late that afternoon, it was a quick stop by the Dundee MakerSpace jam site, before hopping back on a train to Glasgow to round out the jam. I was greeted by some delicious home-made bread and jam made by the wonderful David Farrell because every game jam needs game jam jam!
Global Game Jam Jam
Another evening disappeared all too quickly, as it does when you are having fun, and it was soon time to head home. It was inspiring to see the quality of work and the dedication of the jammers throughout the tour. The thing I have always loved about game jams, is the sheer diversity of concepts, inputs, art styles and game mechanics that are created during game jams. And this year was no exception! Below is a compilation reel of some of the UE4 games that I got to see in development during the Global Game Jam 2016. A massive thanks to the organisers Brian McDonald, Ryan Locke and their teams, and to all the jammers. I hope to see you all again, and more, next year. Keep jamming!