Global Game Jam 2011

Global Game Jam is a yearly event in which participants have forty-eight hours to design a game. These are most typically electronic games, I think, but there’s a movement to promote board game design as well, particularly by Scott Nicholson, a professor of information studies at Syracuse University, which is participating in the game jam this year. In short:

Main goal of Global Game Jam is to bring people together to create digital and non-digital games during a weekend long event. You will be working in groups to quickly draft an idea, design it, create rapid prototypes, and develop the game.  There will be a common theme provided by GGJ on the day of the event. The time given to you may sound short but it is enough to encourage creation of innovative and small games. Some of the games developed in last year’s event became world-wide realized.

Sadly, there are no participating locations in Vermont this year, or I’d ponder taking advantage of the resources available there, both in computers and people. As it is, I’m thinking about taking the initiative to do some board game design that’s been on the back burner since visiting Border Board Games in November. During the drive back, Alex, Rachel and I talked about what a modern Doctor Who board game might look like, taking its inspiration from titles like Battlestar Galactica and Pandemic.

If you were heading out to spend a day designing a game, what would you pack in your tool kit? I’m thinking index cards, markers, dice, scotch tape and lots of tokens.


4 thoughts on “Global Game Jam 2011

  1. I think cheap-o plastic poker chips would be essential and maybe a complement of standard wooden colored cubes. Also card sleeves, probably pre-loaded with cards to give some support. If you want to get super fancy, get some lego mini-figs to use as player pawns (or just regular chess pieces).

    Perhaps we can schedule our own mini-site locally? Even if it’s just you and me, I think it would be a fun exercise to do a board game thing parallel to the regular ones. If we document it properly, perhaps in upcoming years we can organize our own full site.

    • So basically I should dig out my Cheapass bits kit?

      Poker chips are a good call, too.

      And . . . what are we going to design? Go ahead with the Doctor Who idea?

      • Yes, your Cheapass bits kit would be perfect, I think.

        We could work on the Dr. Who thing or try to tie in with whatever theme the Game Jam gives out. I’m happy to volunteer my house as the center. I can offer my new homebrew and places to sleep if we want to do the full 48hrs.

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