Game jams here in Europe are this weird thing. You meet up with people to develop a game in a really short time, usually something between 24 and 72 hours. Most jams have a theme that the games should be about. It’s either something very open or something very silly. I attended three game jams so far, the last one being at the Blekinge Institute of Technology in Karlshamn, Sweden. You can download the games from the jam here – there’s some quirky, funny stuff in there.
I had a really good time at every one of the jams – it’s a great way to meet people. I’m never really happy with the games I (co)-create at a game jam though and I usually don’t want to publish them. If you work in a team, it can be really hard to decide in which direction to go, especially if you work together with people you have not worked before. Even if you work alone it’s not so much about the result you are achieving but more about just creating something in a really short time.
In North America it seems to be much more common to have jams without any fixed theme or competition. Take TIGJam Winnipeg for example, where people just meet up and work on their own stuff. They get inspired by what everyone else is doing, but they stick to their visions and ideas and don’t have to compromise it by working under the restriciton of a theme or other ad-hoc team members. I’m curious if this is a cultural thing. What’s your experience?
Photo above by Roger Skogh