How To Enter The Global Game Jam 2023 & Get Started On dot big bang!

The Global Game Jam is a great opportunity to get your creativity flowing, learn some new gamedev skills, and have fun rapidly prototyping a new game. But first things first – to take part, you need to sign up. This blog will tell you how to enter the jam, how to register with a jam site, and where to find FAQs and resources to get ready ahead of time.

The Global Game Jam is the biggest game creation event in the world, with hundreds of international jam sites, both physical and virtual. This year, the jam runs from Jan 30th-Feb 5th (the exact dates can vary from site to site). You can enter alone, with friends, or by forming a team with like-minded people, and you can attend a site in person, or take part entirely online. 

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to getting registered.

1. Sign Up At The Global Game Jam Website

The first step to enter the Global Game Jam is to make a profile at globalgamejam.org. Once you’re logged in and set up, click “Participate In The Jam” to get the ball rolling. You’re on the way!

2. Register With A Jam Site

Next, you need to register with a jam site. There are hundreds to choose from, located all around the world. Pick one that’s close to you if you’d like to attend a site in person, or choose the “Online/Virtual Only” option to enter remotely and work online. Many sites have a physical space you can attend to meet other jammers, and a Discord server you can join to work online. Find the site that suits you best, and click “Join This Jam Site”. You’ll see some further info about your site on the next page. You’re all set!

3. Find a Team (If You Want To!)

Working in a team is a great way to enter a game jam. Not only do you get the benefit of the different skill sets that people bring to the table, but you can bounce ideas around, and split up tasks to make sure things go smoothly. We have a Team Finder channel in our Discord to help you meet other jammers who are using dot big bang to make their game. Feel free to hop in, and drop a message in the channel about what kind of role you’d like to fill in your team, and find other people who are looking for teammates.

4. Check Out The Global Game Jam FAQ

The Global Game Jam website has a useful FAQ that answers many common questions about the process, from what kind tools you can use, to forming teams, choosing a jam site, and lots more. You can also hop onto the GGJ Discord to find information and ask questions.

Now that you’re signed up, you can start preparing to make your game in dot big bang! Whether you’re new to using the Game Editor, or you’re an experienced creator, here are four essential tips to help you prepare.

1. Make An Account, And Get Acquainted With Our New Game Editor

Before the jam, be sure to make a dot big bang account – it’s free, and you’ll need it to save and publish your work.

Next, jump into a New Game to get a feel for the tools and the UI. Take some time to play with all of dot big bang’s tools. Click some buttons, drag in some objects, add some scripts – there’s no pressure to make anything, so just go wild!

We updated the editor with lots of upgrades and quality of life features over the last year, so even if you’ve used the Game Editor before, be sure to have a look around. You can also check out our GGJ Hub to get a feel for dot big bang, find useful info, and have some fun!

2. Try Out Some Games – And Remix Them

All the games on dot big bang were made using the same tools that are available to everyone. Check out the games on the homepage to get a feel for the kind of thing it’s possible to make on dot big bang.

Many games are remixable – look out for this icon to make a remix.

Making a remix generates a new version of a game that you can save, edit, adapt, take apart, and look inside the scripts to see how things were made! It’s a great way to see how things were done, and use that knowledge in your own game.

3. Invite People Into Your Game – And Edit Together, In Real Time

One of the most game jam-relevant features of dot big bang is the ability to edit games in multiplayer, at the same time as other people.

Use the share button to generate a multiplayer link, and send it to your friends, teammates, and any playtest volunteers.

They’ll appear in your game as soon as they use the link, and you can work together  right away and see what people are doing in real time. Not only is it incredibly useful, but it’s fun, too!

4. Use These Invaluable Resources To Get A Headstart

A final bit of advice – bookmark all of these links, right now! 

  • You can find a quickstart guide, a game making FAQ, some example games, and other in-depth info on our documentation site. 
  • We also run several streams every week on Twitch, where you can see games being made. We’ll be streaming before and during the jam if you want to ask any questions, or just hang out!
  • Our YouTube channel has lots of useful videos, including one about taking part in last year’s jam.
  • Last but definitely not least: be sure to join our Discord, where the team who built the engine will be happy to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask, we’re happy to answer questions and try to fix any problems you run into!

So that’s how to register for the Global Game Jam, and start getting oriented within dot big bang’s tools. Have a great game jam, and hey – remember to stay hydrated!

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