This step isn't as easy as we'd like it to be (yet), and is one we're constantly working on improving! To sign up for our current event, click any of the "sign up" buttons on our site to take yourself to the ticket choice page of our site. Your ticket choices can greatly affect how you experience the event, and these differences are explained in more detail over on that page: here, we're going to focus on the difference between Participants and Attendees.
A Participant is someone who enters the event from anywhere in the world, often using online collaboration to work with their team. You can submit games you've made to our events online through the submissions page on the current event. Participants do not come to the Closing Ceremony, though they are able to livestream it—this allows people who wouldn't otherwise be able to enter the event to still take part, regardless of where they live. It's also a much cheaper option!
An Attendee can do everything a Participant can, but they also get to come to the Closing Ceremony! We also have a special event called the Attendee Dinner which takes place after the Closing Ceremony, which is a fancy way of saying we all go out to grab something to eat and chat about how the Game Jam went. Not all Attendees choose to go for the dinner—for more details, see the Sign Up page.
Once you've bought your ticket, you get to choose your teams! If you have friends attending the event who you want to work with, you can all request to create a team in advance, which means you'll all be working together for sure. When you create a team, you don't have to fill all the team slots: any empty slots can be filled by people with the same ticket type as you who haven't created a team.
There is a deadline for team creation, and it's about a month before the event! At this time, anyone who hasn't created a team will be sorted into semi-random teams by us (don't worry—we'll try and balance out skill types so you don't end up with a team of five musicians!) and the teams will be notified by email. Teams then come up with a team name (and even a logo!) to identify themselves during the Game Jam. Teams are also given the opportunity to provide a small description of themselves, and each team will be listed on the team announcement page for everyone to see.
It's worth getting in close contact with your teammates before the event starts, so that you can get to know each other's strengths and weaknesses. Playing to your team's strengths is a key part of producing a fantastic game!
When the Game Jam begins, you and your team must work together to create a game based on a prompt that you will be given. At this point, the way you experience a Game Jam will depend entirely on your team's plan, but there are a few things you should bear in mind.
Firstly, submissions from Participants must be submitted through the website before the end of the event. Make sure to give yourselves plenty of time to upload your game, and don't forget to upload all the necessary files. It will be really disappointing if we get to the closing ceremony and we can't open your game to share with everyone. Attendees, on the other hand, can bring their files to the Closing Ceremony on a memory stick, or another format, but we would really appreciate it if they uploaded them as well!
Secondly, teams may also submit a trailer for their game. These are entirely optional, but if approached in the right way can be an awful lot of fun. For an example of a trailer seen in a previous Game Jam, take a look at the video for this section—something light-hearted and fun is generally a better plan than something professional, simply to save time to focus on your actual game.
The Closing Ceremony is a get-together that follows the Game Jam, where any game trailers are displayed and everyone gets the opportunity to see and try out every game submitted. Sometimes we also offer small prizes for different categories, too! It's generally just a fun evening of playing video games relaxing after a tough event.
The Closing Ceremony is open to anyone with an Attendee ticket type, though Participants may watch a live stream of the event. The Closing Ceremony signals the end of the Game Jam, and the wait until the next one is hosted,