It was that time of year again, and MalmoJamsToo stepped it up a bit this Global Game Jam. We were very excited to have more participants and more fun this time around. The event itself has grown, and we also noticed quite a few things ourselves, which this post-mortem will touch upon.
We had a significant increase in number this year, and is in no small part thanks to the growing community and events surrounding game development here in Malmö. These range from super friendly game developer meetups to events specifically geared towards encouraging others to check out what’s happening in the game industry. On top of that, we have made good on our efforts to let people know about the event in very good time. We started December 14th, and opened up registrations from the 19th, which gives an extra two weeks and is before the holidays starting. This meant people were able to plan and prepare for it and was less of a spontaneous invite. In any case, we saw an increase of participants to 73, which is almost twice as much as our 45 from last year.
After our recent decision of bringing our three and a half year local sketch jams and the game jams together forming MJT, we took to creating a Facebook event hosted by our transformed Community page. This made up most of our outreach, with the addition of printing out a poster advertising the event which is also something new for us with GGJ. In the past we relied on word of mouth and some really good networking to tap into potential participants. Using the Facebook event made it much clearer and easier to see how people were reacting after we sent out the initial invites through email and how fast we got interest and following.
The theme for the jam was RITUAL, and there were additional diversifiers that participants could take on.
We recycled a bit of our presentations but still kept it fresh. I think for next year we should plan to simplify the upload process as the official GGJ16 one was a mouthful and needs a lot of clarification. There were two keynotes, and they offered good, solid advice.
As per usual, we kept to the same format as the previous years. The exhibit-style game show is still the preferred type of presentations and we kept the evening hangout times from 19â€”22:00. We have learned from the last game jam that the game show should be kept to an hour. A lot of this stems from participants lingering with nothing to do if they have exhausted their game viewing and networking. Our custom certificates made a return, and this time they were printed on thicker paper and left as A4 instead of A5. This both upped the quality of last year’s certificates, and made for less work as they only needed to be filled in and did not need to be cut.
We had two potential groups who were doing table top games this year. We attempted to follow up from our Card/Board Game Jam a little with some materials for prototyping, though we should work on making it clear that we want to support that. We also had some last minute logistic problems so for next time we will squeeze in time to sort and encourage more groups to try table top prototyping. One of the nicest things with card and boardgames is that participants can focus and work on the game mechanics since there are no technological barriers (some technical knowledge would go a long way though).
Something we brought on-board this year was Twitch streaming, which was exciting and totally new for us. We assembled a Twitch crew who took care of the live stream and gave them free hands in documenting the game jam in other ways, suggesting interviews and the hello video. We will probably explore how to make for a better experience for next year, but we really appreciated the work Anton, Benjamin, Freyja, Rasmus and Victoria put in! Delegating work specifically to a dedicated media team was a good idea. I think with some more careful instruction we can make the Twitch channel a lot more alive and that will definitely up the quality of the delivery as well.
The Twitch stats were as follows (copied from Jo Summers on Slack)
Global Game Jam Channel:
37,300 uniques, 6,900 from front page promotion
102,340 views, 27,860 from front page promotion
1,283,300 minutes watched
Global Game Jam category
2,149,700 minutes watched
187 unique streamers to the category
Pretty interesting statistics to look at. We were able to get a stream that lasted for most of the jam, and included time for interviews. A side effect from streaming that we liked was that the cameras pointing toward the event added an extra layer of security. Another side effect was the experience of seeing the building shut down on us. For a brief moment of the jam, on the first night no less, we experienced a game jam in the dark. We did make light of the situation (wink) the best we can, and soon enough we got our lights back on for the rest of the jam.
We had 21 groups this year and we also attempted to use Slack for sending out communications. I think for a first time this was super successful. It encouraged more fluid chat from our side at the very least, though we should probably work on getting more fluid chat in general for future events. Out of the 73 that stayed, 54 (73.97%) were on Slack. We also made sure that at least one group member from each group had joined Slack so they can relay information to others as necessary.
Since we moved location to the Niagara building, we have good jam space that is adequately heated and lit. This meant we shifted to a more collective jam space which is something new and fresh from previous years. At first, the sofas that were being used quartered off participants, but it was encouraged to change their configuration from a box to a v-shape instead. This was a very nice and noticeable change as others were welcome to see everyone as much as each group could see themselves as part of a bigger event.
The groups were as follows:
|1. Mynn||Alrik H.||David R.||Emilia L.||Fredrik H.||Henrik P.||Sofia P.|
|2. Radical Remorse||Alexander B.||Andreas K.||Beatrix M.||Daniel B.||Hugo T.||Joakim L.|
|3. Aztortion||André L.||Angelo L.||Björn I.||Daniel L.||Josef N.|
|4. Journey To Viking Nirvana||Axel B.||Felix L.||Jesper A.||Manne W.||Mattias A.|
|5. Kawaii Kingdom||Carl S.||Jonas K.||Julia H.||Katarina K.||Oskar L.|
|6. Fatal Sacrifice||Emil H.||Martin B.||Martin G.||Nina O.||Olof S.||Per M.|
|7. Loading||Alex C.||Matteo F.||Michelle W.|
|8. Office Rituals||Eric T.||Gustav J.||Simon H.||Tristan L.|
|9. Zeal the deal||Ellen J.||Johannes L.||Sante L.||Tom L.|
|10. Chronologicum Demonus||Gustav R.||Magnus A.||Robert T.||Patrik J.|
|11. KaffeKombatâ„¢||Markus B.||Viktor H.|
|12. Arrow raid||Andreas S.||Kristoffer F.|
|13. Rituals of the Void||Christian G.||Jonathan H.|
|14. Liars Colors||Anders D.|
|16. Cliffual||Hussein T.|
|18. Fake Science||Johan B.|
|19. Cultish Converts||Jaffar S.||Job Z.||Samanta M.||Torsten H.|
|20. The Path||Ana G.||Sebastien B.|
|21. Neighborhood Watch||Henrik J.||Magnus G.||Shailesh P.|
All in all, this was a great run. I hope what we learned and tried out this year continues to grow and be better in the next jams. In fact, judging from our similar reactions and excitement, we’re looking forward to it! 🙂
As usual, below is a fancypants infographic about how our event went.