This year, GGJ had over 48,700 jammers attending 934 jam sites across the world in 118 countries, all coming together became the biggest jam ever! Once again GGJ has broken all of last year’s records and become the newly-crowned Biggest Game Jam Ever!
GGJ had 9 new countries take part for the first time ever: Albania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cyprus, Mauritius, Senegal, Sudan and Zimbabwe, adding 213 jammers and 35 new games to the mix. One of GGJ’s biggest aims is to be able to bring new emerging voices and talent into the game making space, and welcome these new site organisers and jammers to our big jam family.
The global theme for GGJ20 was repair and jammers incorporated this theme as a concept in their games in different ways: various states of repair, breaking and repairing buildings and pots, repairing relationships, and plants repairing themselves.
In Finland we were lucky to have amazing national and local sponsors this year as well. We want to extend a big thank you to all sponsors one more time, we could have made #FGJ20 this awesome without them.
#FGJ20 wouldn’t be possible without Futureplay Games as our national GOLD Sponsor for the event! A huge thanks to this inspiring company!
Thank you again everyone who attended or followed the action through our streams and social media, it was crazy but amazing weekend! Follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and see you all at the next jam!
#FGJ20 has just started, and it wouldn’t be possible without Futureplay Games as our national GOLD Sponsor for the event! A huge thanks to this inspiring company with no-nonsense approach to the industry!
Follow #FGJ20 LIVE and remember to post your awesome jamming pictures to discord!
If your area is missing a site here is your chance to organize one yourself! Site applications can be made through Global Game Jam’s website. Site application is open until January 12th, but we recommend you act fast to be able to prepare for the jam.If you have questions about organizing a site or need help feel free to contact us.
IMPORTANT! Registration is open until January 23rd 11:59 PM.
Home is a place that keeps us warm and safe. But what happens when you end up without a proper home and even your temporary dumpster gets taken away? Life Of John provides a unique and emotional experience while reminding us that helping others when they are at their lowest point might save humanity. Life Of John is a beautiful narrative experience with simple yet interesting gameplay. This immersive game essay created in a one-man team clearly stands out from the Finnish jam games of 2019.
What do you get when you combine hamsters, pears and awesome game technology from the ’80s? A game about pooping hamster with sweet Game Boy tunes. The Poopster is a very wholesome retro package of graphics, gameplay, and music. It was made during Assembly Game Jam 2019, at the best Finnish jamming place to explore commercially obsolete old hardware and to show to the world how the jammers don’t let the platforms of the past to be forgotten in silence.
Who is the dog’s best friend? Human! Rescuing humans from the streets is the job of a truly virtuous dog! Human Rescue a simple jam game with great gameplay and polished cartoony visuals. The attraction of the game lies in its role-reversing core: In Human Rescue you are tasked to adopt humans and use them to adopt even more humans. Who would let humans roam around the streets aimlessly and without guardians anyway?
We know very well that winter in Finland can be tough – especially for the small birds! For our pleasure, the birds that do not migrate stay behind and delight our forests with their tweets, from their homes. Where The Birds Are is a very Finnish, minimalistic and calming piece of game art. In this game, you are tasked to set up birdhouses to trees and solve the puzzle while music grows as you advance and see where the birds are. Calming games are still a rarity and such pieces definitely stand out from the jam crowds!
Finnish appreciate games, coffee, technology, and sustainability – so why not games about barista robots with organic beans! In Mochabot Organic players receive the orders and brew the coffee with the help of a cute, relentless barista bot. This jam game is served with a minimalistic color palette and a great art style in a package of multiple minigames that soothe your caffeine-induced brains.
Winter is here… and we all need to keep warm, bunnies too. Furthermore, what would be a better winter hobby than sleeping by the warmth of a fireplace? Sleeping Bunny takes the player on a wintery journey to save a bunny from cold and sleep deprivation. This jam game offers consistent and stylized art with simple and elegant gameplay – a jam game at its best! Simple yet surprisingly challenging gameplay of Sleeping Bunny lets the player unravel the goal on their own and minimalistic, as well as atmospheric audio space, supports the immersive narrative of the game. Playing a piece like this puts smiles on our faces and goodnight dreams in our heads.
Julius Jämsen Jamtivist Award
What would game jams be without music? And even more importantly, what would music be without jamming together? Julius Jämsen brought the jam-lovers together with a power of musical jamming at Jam Jam 2019. If there has ever been a sleazy song about game jamming, we are confident that it cannot beat the ooze of love that this international and multilingual eight-minute song has to offer. A true jamactivist act of bringing people together deserves an acknowledgment of the Jamtivist Award 2019!
IBM Future Award
Game jams use technologies from present and past, but how about the future? We have been told that the future is quantum and quantum is playable! Goes without saying that anything that we can use for play, we jammers, love! In February 2019, IBM provided the first-ever live access to and developer support for the quantum computers at the Quantum Wheel game jam. We were humbled by such privilege and now very eager to see what the quantum future will bring for us jammers. We believe that combining the power of future technologies and bravery of the jammers can take us far and let us have fun while doing it!
Outstanding Support Awards
Veikkaus Game Studio
Finnish Game Jam organization would be nothing without the community. Every year and every jam is a joint effort of organizers, participants, jamtivists, jamthusiasts, jam friends and lovers – supporters of all sorts. This year our biggest supporters were Supercell, Veikkaus Game Studio, and Neogames.
Another FGJ great event is over. We want to thank all the winners and all the event participants. It would not happen without you! Thank you!
Dear jammers and all jam-minded people! We are glad to invite you all to the Finnish Game Jam Awards 2019!
A good amount of jams have happened this season, and we’re happy that all of you jammers and volunteers, both old and new, made these events possible. Together we want to celebrate the spirit of jamming community and creativity that has no limits!
When: 13th of December, 18:00-23:00. Where: Arcade5, Lapinlahdenkatu 16, Helsinki Why: Because we can!
Some programme highlights include red carpet, good music, official award ceremony, fancy photoshoots and fantastic people.
Join the event by purchasing the ticket through Eventbrite link. You can find the Facebook event here.
Pocket Jam #4 is over! This year the entire conference has been moved into the Kaapelitehdas, and where is the conference – there is a jam! The location was very cool this year in all means. Jam took place in the cellar, right under the main conference with 45 jammers in total. By this way, Pocket Jam #4 was in the middle of the conference and at the same time, it had a cool, chill and creative space with many visitors from upstairs.
This time the topic was “organic”. The topic was chosen because of its simplicity and wideness at the same time. “Organic” as a theme is relevant to mobile gaming and can be interpreted in many different ways: nature, insides of us humans, organic coffee, etc. In this way, this word turned into a creative push for our jammers for implying organic vision into the games.
This year in total 11 games have been created. All games were finished and uploaded according to the deadline and each participant was inspired by friendly competition. Despite the limited amount of development time, with a bit more than 24h, published games really can blow your mind!
Also, we had a panel of judges from Pocket Gamer were nicely colour coordinated with their fashionable outfits – all of them had flowery white and blue shirts, maybe because we were in Finland. They are professional game journalists that have already a long career with them, so they were able to ask good questions from the teams and appreciate the level of polish and creativity.
Overall this year Pocket Jam is a great success again. The creative crowd that developed an amazing jamming vibe with conference touch. Also, we even have received feedback in case of comparison with hackathons – how nice the atmosphere was, how welcoming everybody was and also how much learning happens in the jam compared to the hackathon.
Pocket Games Connects Conference returns to Helsinki on 1-2 October 2019, and so does Pocket Jam! The Pocket Jam is run now for the fourth time at the heart of the conference, and while the setting is ideal for making a mobile game, you can always choose your own platform and technology.
Pocket Gamer Connects is Europe’s biggest mobile games conference with developers, investors and other industry experts from all over the world, as well as fringe events like indie demo expo and pitching.Due to the event’s huge success it will move to a new venue in 2019! PGC Helsinki will take over The Cable Factory in Ruoholahti.
The participants will receive full access to the conference program, expo and networking events plus all the other benefits that come with the conference ticket and a seat to jam.
In addition the participants who finish and upload their game according to the deadline will have a chance to win a ticket to the PGC London in January 2020, and a chance to present their game there. All uploading teams will be also automatically considered as candidates of the Finnish Game Jam Awards 2019.
See you there!
Pocket Jam #4 1-2 October 2019 Kaapelitehdas, Helsinki #pocketjam4
Pocket Gamer Connects is Europe’s biggest mobile games conference. PGC Helsinki is one of the several PGC events held during 2019. All of these events provide value to a wide range of industry players, from global corporations looking to hone their strategy, down to indie developers seeking a little inspiration and new contacts. Website:https://www.pgconnects.com/helsinki/
The Cable Factory (Kaapelitehdas) is the largest cultural centre in Finland. It houses 3 museums, 10 galleries, dance theatres, art schools, artists, bands and companies. Around 900 people work at the Cable Factory on a daily basis, and each year nearly 340,000 people attend special events. Website:https://www.kaapelitehdas.fi/en/info
The biggest weekend of summer is now behind us. On August 1-4 Messukeskus was again the stage for one of the biggest demo parties and computer festivals in the world, Assembly Summer, and within Assembly, as usual, was the ASM Game Jam ‘19.
The location was as inspiring as ever! The jammers were able to attend the entire event, and see the demo scene competitions and esports trounaments in the middle of jamming. We had over 40 participants, and 9 games were made in total, including one AR game, one card game and one Game Boy game!
The jam ran from Thursday afternoon to Sunday morning, and despite all the distractions the jammers managed to develop amazing games once again. This year the theme was tradeoff, and and many teams implemented a mechanic where players have to decide between equally impactful resources or actions.
Immersal provided their Augmented Reality development kit for the jammers to use, and one team took up the challenge. In Bon Appetit you fight flying croissants that appear on the phone screen. Immersal also sponsored pizzas for the hungry jammers on Saturday!
Just like last year, we set up the voice acting on two days to record audio for the jam games. Anyone could come and record lines requested by jammers. Assembly visitors turned out to be great voice actors, we recorded many excellent evil laughters!
As a part of our scholarship program, the Finnish Game Jam sent Adelina Lintuluoto to the Slavic Game Jam (PL) to represent the Finnish jamming scene. Here is Adelina’s report about her jam experience.
Slavic Game Jam 2019
Slavic Game Jam (SGJ) is an event focused around game development. It takes place each year in Warsaw, Poland. At its core lies the 48-hour long jam. SGJ is all about providing a competition-free, friendly environment for jammers with lectures, workshops, a pre-party and a hand full of other activities. This year was the fifth edition with over 200 participants. They aim to be a truly international event, this year with participants from places like all the Nordic countries, France, Switzerland, Russia, Germany, Czechia and many more.
I arrived in Warsaw early on Thursday and swung by the hostel recommended to me by the event organizers. My naivety and optimistic view on life usually puts me in trouble, just as it did when I arrived at the reception, and tried booking a bed only to have the staff laugh in my face saying I definitely should have booked ahead (disclaimer; don’t imagine a Disney villain laugh, more of an amused chuckle. The staff at this hostel was incredibly nice and helpful. In general, the hostel was in top shape!). They said they could offer me one night, which I gladly accepted. Sleeping at the jam site was always an option anyways!
The ‘Slavic talks’ would only start at 2 P.M., so I had a few hours to explore the city. This is about the time I realized Warsaw is an amazing place for vegan cuisine! I happened to pass by a few vegan restaurants thinking ‘oh I must’ve stumbled in on a vegan street’. However next corner — same thing. I enjoyed the street food as much as I could, but the catering at the jam was amazing so I also made sure never to skip a meal there.
The venue for the talks, as well as, the rest of the jam was the Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer Management, located at the Warsaw University of Technology. The Centre is a newly built six-story building that provided us with plenty and spacious rooms with big windows and nice air condition. The talks were versatile and interesting! Ranging from ‘A Narrative Designer coming out of her well to shame mankind!’ by the one and only Julia Rässa, to ‘Game jam pitfalls and how to fall into them gracefully’ by a new favourite speaker of mine, Sos Sosowski (footnote; this is when I realized Julia would also attend the jam! Which made me so happy. Isn’t it amazing traveling for jams and reconnecting with friends you’ve made along your jamming path?)
Thursday ended with a pre-party at a cool location, cool music, cool people. So cool that when the night ended, me and my two newly made friends, Lucas and Gin, didn’t feel like heading back to the hostel just yet. We decided to head for the closest open shop. However when we reached it we had sobered enough to realize that getting two extra hours of sleep before a game jam is definitely more valuable than two extra hours of beers and late night storytelling.
The Slavic Game Jam is the chillest jam! The organizers encouraged the participants to have fun and goof around as much as possible. And I had the best team for that! My team for the jam consisted of Julia Rässä and Arash Naderi. The theme of this year was ‘Growth’ and we came up with an amazing idea: fondling low hanging fruit, hold the applause, to check for cancer! It was an idea we had a hilarious time coming up with, and it kept us laughing throughout the making of it (as well as fairly clear as to give us as much time as possible to goof around at the site and have fun with the rest of the jammers). Arash found a spot for us in the board game-jamming room. I kept glancing over my shoulder at this one board game being made. It looked amazing and finally I cracked, leaving my teammates for a few hours to selfishly play the game with creator Mantis Kozlowski, and somehow apparently help them create it. That’s the beauty of board games; the game mechanics can be set up in a matter of minutes, and then you iterate them by playing until you find the best version of the game. Playing is essentially making it!
The organizers came up with this thing called Hydepark, which happened for the whole duration of the jam. Anybody could book the seminar room to.. do whatever felt right. Do you want to have a project showcase, give a lecture or just play switch on the big screen? No better place than Hydepark. I can’t possibly count all the different activities, since there were new ones almost every half an hour, but to name a few; relax workshop, loving and owning your bugs a story sharing opportunity, karaoke, blender workshop, second and annual Mario tennis tournament.
So far I’ve only mentioned it once, which is not nearly enough. The catering at the jam was legendary. Full stop. We had meals three times a day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition to that we had a full-time available stock of fruits and bottled water. Even more, thanks to Google for Startups, who had a coffee stand open most of the day, we maintained the correct levels of caffeine and happiness. The organizers tediously encouraged us to eat lots of fruits and greens, drink water, sleep enough, move around, leave the computer now and then. The latter was nicely achieved on Saturday when we had an outdoor barbeque! Barbeque at a jam? Yep, that’s right, all you other jams now have to live up to that.
So much happened at the jam, so many amazing encounters with people. You remember me not getting a bed at the hostel? Well, Vador, a SGJ veteran with an apartment in Warsaw, stepped in and without hesitation offered me to stay with him and Julia. I can’t name drop every person I met but also worth mentioning are Radim, who always stuck by my side no matter how hopeless I was (#iblamelinux #justkiddingiloveyoulinus), Pablo for dropping by to make sure Julia’s and my humor stayed as cringe worthy as possible and that the puns of fondling fruit kept rolling in, and Elias for being a great conversationalist and my first opponent in a long row of people who I heroically beat in my favourite game jam game ever made.
The jam ended on Sunday with showcasing the games. To stay true to the chill ambience that had been present during the whole jam nobody had to prepare presentations for the big screen. Instead we just walked from room to room and checked out the other games. As it seems, keeping a non-competitive environment and encouraging everybody to eat well, drink water and sleep, resulted in a bunch of amazing games. You can find all the games here, among my favourites to try out is a snowboarding pear, a sawfish that saws and a two-player vine vengeance game.
The jam ended with a heartwarming talk from Kacper Domanski and the rest of the organizers. I had to actively resist my urge to stand up and go full Keanu Reeves, “Kasper you are breathtaking! Organizers you are breathtaking! Everybody attending the jam is breathtaking!”
I had plans to leave for Krakow after the show reel with a friendly soul who was driving there from the jam. However the day was not completely over with an after-party still on the schedule. How could I leave all my friends there? Instead, I decided to take the chance and find a way to get to Krakow the next day. The after-party was the perfect ending to the event, just all of us chilling at a bar reminiscing about the past couple of days. Kacper being the amazing host that he is invited as many as could fit to the after-after-party at his apartment. I heard whispers of Soplica and Switch, however sadly at this point the jam tiredness had viciously caught up to me.
I was really eager to go to Slavic Game Jams. After all the amazing things I’d heard from friends I thought ‘surely flying to Poland must be worth this.’ I was not disappointed. This event exceeded all my expectations. The relaxing atmosphere, abundance of awesome people and generous organizers made it all to what it is. It was my first time in Poland and I fell head over heels for it. It was with a bitter taste I left Warsaw however happy knowing that there is only one year left until the next one 🙂