Making games is all about community
Last weekend was something lots of people have been waiting for since last year, Finnish Game Jam 2023. It has played a crucial role in the gaming industry for a long time.
Global Game Jam is an event where like-minded people gather around at the same place for a limited amount of time. Usually, the Global Game Jam lasts for a whole week, but national chapters can be shorter. The purpose is to create a game (video game, board game, etc.) of which theme is revealed during that period. Annually, Global Game Jam has tens of thousands of participants globally.
Finnish Game Jam is the Finnish chapter of the Global Game Jam. The event lasted 48 hours. (3.2.2023, 17:00 – 5.2.2023, 17:00). We here at Game Business Co-operative Expa have been organizing Jams in Jyväskylä for a decade. This year’s Jam was the 10th time. It means that we have lots of experience organizing online, offline, and hybrid Jams. This year the Jam was a hybrid model so people could participate online via Discord and offline at the Digi & Game Center.
The weekend flew by in a heartbeat. This year we had plenty of first-timers participating in the Jam. After discussing with the participants, it became clear why people participate in Jams year and year again. It is all about the community. The Jams are social events. People come with their friends and spend some quality time together. It is also easy to find new friends at these events, as everyone shares mutual interests in creating games. Therefore it is also common to come alone. The organizers always ensure that everyone who wants finds a team to join. It is also possible to create a game alone if it’s what the participant wants.
Many participants enjoy the challenge of coming up with a game in 48 hours. Usually, the game development process takes months or even years. The tight schedule challenges teams and individuals to work more efficiently.
The participants’ backgrounds vary a lot when it comes to prior experience level. Some have been participating annually since the first local Jam in 2013, while some came for the first time this year. Some participants are working in big local gaming companies. Some are upcoming professionals, students, etc., or working in a different field.
When people from such various backgrounds come together, it is no surprise that the Jams are also networking events. Many of the more experienced Jammers told that participating in these events has helped them find a job in the field. Employers in the game development field value the Jams significantly.
The Game Jams also play a crucial role in building the local ecosystem. These events make it possible for like-minded people to connect. It can lead to new companies in the field, which help build the ecosystem and provide tax income for the local municipalities and the country.
You do not have to be an expert in coding, game design, or any other field to partake in these events. We encourage everyone interested in making games to participate in the Game Jams. Who knows, what kind of possibilities may occur because of it?
Huge thanks to YAHAHA Studios for partnering up with us for this event.