Global Game Jam guide: get the most out of the ggj plus cheat sheet

The Global Game Jam (GGJ) is one of the biggest events for game developers around the word. And is the biggest occasions where developers may be able to meet other developers and build a network.

In this article, you will also find a downloadable cheat sheet with all the info that you need in one page

Also, a lot of the indie games in the market are born through the global game jam.

Other than networking, the global game jam is a good occasion to learn how to work with new people, how to manage short or even impossible deadlines, and how to be productive in such a small amount of time.


What is this guide about? This post aims to give you the best tools and tips to get the most out of the global game jam.


Find your Global Game Jam idea fast

Sometimes teams spend too much time to get their ideas for a game during the Global Game Jam. What can we do to reduce this time and start as soon as possible with the development of the game?

Here you can find a simple five step process to develop your game idea as fast as possible. If you apply this process, you should be able to get a good game idea in about an hour or two.


Be productive

Now that you have your game idea, what are you going to do next? Well, now is the time to make a little plan, you can use Trello to set up a little board with all the tasks to do.

Advantages of this approach:

  1. Have an overview of the complexity of the project and the global amount of work to do
  2. Have an overview of the progression of the project.
  3. Equal task division inside the team.

Pro tips: When creating your task, divide them between “essential” and “good to have”.

This is very important. since the time that you have is very limited. Be sure to give the priority to the essential tasks of the game and then, if you have time left, start to develop the “good to have” features.

Also, remember to be realistic. You have a limited amount of time, so be sure to create a game which is doable in that amount of time.


Have fun and enjoy the event

Remember that even though the global game jam is a competition, you won’t get any money, and if you win, besides glory, your life would be the same. So don’t stress yourself, and most important have fun and make friends.

Remember, events like the GGJ are good to create connections that can be helpful for the future. You can find your next job opportunity or simply find a new team to collaborate with.


Get some rest

Remember to get some rest, I saw so much time people working straight through all the night. This is very unproductive and in the long run, is also a double edge approach, here is why:

If you usually need to sleep eight hours a day and you just sleep two hours (or even worse none), what happens is that your productivity is dramatically reduced. When developing something that would usually take five minutes, it’s probably gonna take half an hour or so. Plus, the risk to introduce bugs in the code for the developers is higher. Other than that, if you use this approach, you’ll stop having fun and start desiring just one thing: “Go to sleep”.


Be smart

Since your time is limited, create a template using your favorite engine with a basic menu and basic project. This will help you to not waste time to create menus, audio managers and other stuff that your game will need. Here is a basic menu, made with Unity which is ready to be used.


Cheat sheet

Don’t forget our tips and download our cheat sheet now for free.

Global Game Jam cheat sheet

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