An illustration of a gaming controller, next to a picture of Bit the Raccoon.

The Global Game Jam has returned for its 14th year! From now until January 30th 2022, you can join likeminded game developers online and in-person to create something weird and wonderful in a 48 hour timespan.

Why should I participate?

Jams and hackathons are brilliant ways to collaborate with new people in a no-risk environment. You can work in pre-established teams if your jam site allows it, but don’t be afraid if your team is randomly assigned. The first few jams I participated in were randomised, and it’s always good fun to work with likeminded people who all have different skillsets.

While you’re always aiming to create something playable during the 48 hour period, it’s much more important to get imaginative and creative. If there’s a new technology you haven’t found the time to try out, give it a whirl during a jam. It’s not a competition, so take every opportunity you can to be experimental.

Of course, there’s no pressure to make a digital game either; paper-only games and experiences are welcome and encouraged! Even for digital games it’s often worth bringing out pen and paper during the planning steps, especially if you’re working with a team in-person.

For more specific tips, check out our article on why you should be participating in game jams and hackathons.

How do I participate?

You can register for Global Game Jam on the official website, where you’ll then be able to look for a jam site to join. Given the current global situation, many sites are remaining online-only, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding yourself a team. Note that if you’re attending an in-person jam site, the venue itself may have its own rules and admission fees.

Once your team is ready to go, you’ll want to check out the theme for the event. The theme changes every year, and provides something of an anchor point for your game ideas in the planning step. Don’t be too strict on yourself when it comes to the theme though; if you have an idea you want to pursue, then pursue it.

You can also find other developers on the #GGJ and #GGJ22 hashtags. Don’t be afraid to share your progress and chat with others if you have any questions/need assistance. Most of all, have fun!

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