NYU's Game Center will host one of the world's biggest Global Game Jam gatherings, where participants race to create games in 48 hours.

Global Game Jam logo

The annual Global Game Jam, where game makers, musicians, artists, programmers, beginners, and veterans all gather to make a game based on a world-wide theme in 48 hours, will take place January 20-22 at the NYU Game Center, located at 2 Metrotech Center in Brooklyn. Participation is free and open to the public.

The annual Global Game Jam is projected to bring together more than 280,000 game makers from 93 countries around the world. The NYU Jam site is traditionally one of the best attended sites in America, and one of the top ten largest in the world, encompassing everyone from students to studio heads to fun moms in order to experiment with new ideas and make games. People of all skill levels and experiences are welcome.

Ideas that started simple at the NYU Global Games Jam (GGJ) have grown into award-winning, released games. The 2013 GGJ game Mushroom 11 was released on Steam, after being selected for an Independent Games Festival (IGF) nomination, IndieCade, and the PAX 10, among other festivals and awards. Nina Freeman and Emmett Butler’s 2014 GGJ game How do you do it? is out now, and was selected for IndieCade as well as nominated for an IGF.

Not all games are digital; the site’s Best Overall Game of 2014 was a board game called Lucca, which went on to become an Official Selection at IndieCade 2014.

Global Game Jam will kick off on Friday, January 20, at 6 p.m. with the official GGJ keynote videos and theme announcement that will be broadcast at every site around the world. Following the kick-off, participants start to brainstorm ideas, form teams, and make games. The weekend is casually structured, and encouraging game makers to work at whatever pace they like, with whomever they like, using whatever they like.

The Game Center site will be open Friday, January 20, 6 p.m. -12 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. - 12 a.m.; and Sunday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Throughout the Jam, participants are free to come and go as they please. Attendees should bring any digital hardware they’d like to use to make a game (laptop, chargers, controllers, etc.). Free coffee, wifi, power, work space, and white boards will be provided.

The Global Game Jam will culimate on Sunday at 5 p.m. with an open exhibition of the new games. A team of judges (comprised of NYU Game Center faculty and local indie developers) will give out a few fun awards that range from “Best Overall Game” to “Most Ambitious Disaster,” and the winning teams get to present their games. Visit Global Game Jam's website to register.

The Game Center is the Department of Game Design at the Tisch School of the Arts. Its mission is to graduate the next generation of game designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and critics, and to advance the field of games by creating a context for advanced scholarship and groundbreaking work. The Game Center’s students, both undergraduates and graduates, are drawn from diverse disciplines including computer programming, visual art, sound and audio, animation, writing, and joined together by the central discipline of game design. They are located at MAGNET - NYU's interdisciplinary media and technology center in downtown Brooklyn. For more information, visit gamecenter.nyu.edu.


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