Global Game Jam 2020 at Waikato University (Scroll down to register)

The Computer Science Department at The University of Waikato in Hamilton is hosting a site for the 13th Global Game Jam - GGJ 2020. Come join us for 48 hours of video game development, pizza and caffeine. We charge $25 per person. We provide food, soft drink, an event t-shirt and access to lab computers.

What is a Game Jam?

In a Game Jam, participants come together to make video games around a theme announced at the start of the jam. Each participant works in a small team on a complete game project over the course of a limited time period, usually over a weekend. With such a small time frame, the games tend to be innovative and experimental.

The Global Game Jam (GGJ) is a 48 hour game jam that takes place nearly simultaneously all over the world during a 72 hour period (adjusted to suit local time zones)! The New Zealand involvement in the 2020 Global Game Jam will start at 5:00 PM Friday, January 31st and run for 48 hours, through to 5:00 PM Sunday, February 2nd. At Waikato, we will run some local judging after 5.00 PM, which will be finished by 6:30/7.00 PM. Being closest westward to the International Time Line, NZ is the first to start. 24 hours after we finish, the last sites in Hawaii complete. All participants in the Global Game Jam will be constrained by the same theme, rules and limitations, although each time zone will have some small distinguishing options.

How does it work?

Everyone meets at their local game jam on Friday. For New Zealand, one of the GGJ 2020 sites will be in Hamilton at the University of Waikato. At 5pm local organisers will share the theme, constraints and rules for the game jam. Teams are formed and have until 3:00 PM on Sunday to create their game. Games are uploaded to the international web site from 3:00 PM and local judging begins at 5.00 PM. Each Local Jam will announce which team best embodies the spirit of the jam. Finished and partially built games may be archived on the Global Game Jam website for all to play.

Teams may continue to work on games after the jam and may post updates to the website, provided that they posted a version during the jam.

Who can participate?

Anyone can participate in a game jam: experienced professionals, students and wannabes. You do not have to form teams to register, teams will be formed at each of the local jams.

What will Waikato University provide?

Waikato University will make computer labs and work space available for participants all weekend. You are welcome to bring your own desktop or laptop. Our computer lab machines will have the following preinstalled, and you will be free to install other software of your choice:

  • Windows 10
  • Visual Studio
  • XNA Studio 4
  • Game Maker
  • Unity
  • Unreal Engine 4
  • Blender
  • and other miscellaneous tools

The rules of the GGJ preclude you from using pre-made content (this includes program code, audio, graphics, models, etc.) unless it was publicly available at least a month prior to the GGJ. The idea is that we want to see what people can create within the 48 hours. If you have any questions about the appropriateness of content/code, please contact us prior to the GGJ.

We will provide:

  • Paper, pens, pencils and whiteboards
  • Some break-out meeting space
  • A T-Shirt, specially designed for the event
  • Drinks & snacks
  • A light dinner each day (Pizza, etc)
  • Sausage sizzle for lunch on Saturday and Sunday
  • Breakfast for those who stay overnight.
  • Access to local food sources will be available during the game jam

What do I need to bring?

  • Sleeping bag/mat if you intend on staying for the nights

How Do I Get Involved?

  1. Be sure to mark 31st January - 2nd February 2020, on your calendar.
  2. Sign up and register for the Waikato University venue for the GGJ (registration information is below).
  3. Show up at the G block basement at Waikato University between 3.00 PM (time to set up any equipment you bring) and 5:00 PM on Friday.
  4. Have fun and plan to work through Sunday late afternoon (awards ceremony and wrap-up will start around 5:00 PM).


The location of the New Zealand venue for the Global Game Jam is R block, accessed via gate 9 on Hillcrest Rd, at the University of Waikato.

General directions to the Waikato University campus can be found here: http://www.waikato.ac.nz/contacts/locations.shtml

Campus map http://www.waikato.ac.nz/contacts/map.pdf

Parking is available in any of the University Car Parks.

Welcome for those registered

Thank you for registering and welcome from the University of Waikato Computer Science Department to what should be a really interesting local experience; and from the International Game Developers' Association to what is going to be another major global event.

You don't like reading long emails: Skip to the end for a checklist of what I need you to do now. Then, sorry, you'll have to back-up and read it anyway.

To confirm your attendance at the GGJ please make sure that you transfer your $25 - details below. If transfer is not possible, you can pay in cash on the day, but please let us know by email if you intend to do that.

We will be working in the ground floor of R block - using labs 6 and 7 There is a campus map available at http://www.waikato.ac.nz/contacts/map/ During normal business hours parking is limited to the public car parks, either off Knighton Rd via Gate 2a, or Silverdale Rd via gate 10. During weekends and evenings, participants may use staff parking areas near R block - accessed via gate 9.

As you may have read on the website the Global Game Jam will run from 5pm on Friday 31st January to about 6:30pm Sunday 2nd February. (The event proper finishes at 5, but we have a show and tell session with voting for the site favourite game which lasts till around 6:30pm.) Participants need to arrive before 5pm on Friday as the Game Jam will begin promptly with a keynote presentation announcing the 2020 theme and constraints for our time zone. The labs will be available from 3:30pm Friday for those with equipment to set up.

As noted, the Waikato venue for GGJ is R block, labs 6 and 7, computer labs at Waikato University. The venue will be open for the whole 48 hours. Some space will be designated crash zone / sleeping quarters for participants who want to stay the night on campus. If this sounds like you please bring a sleeping bag/mat/pillow to make yourself at home - the floors are hard. We even have a hot shower available so you may also wish to bring a towel and a change of clothes.

The cost for the Hamilton Game Jam is $25 and can be deposited into the following bank account. Your deposit will confirm your place in the game jam. As bank transfers take overnight to clear you're welcome to send me an email as a confirmation or statement that you intend to pay on the day (not preferred).

Bank: Westpac

Name: The account was opened specially for GGJ, but it is in my name (William J Rogers)

Account: 03-1559-0115532-000

Please include your name in the reference field so we know who you are. If you would like to pay by an alternative method please let me know. If you want to deposit money over the counter at Westpac, please add an extra $3 (that's the manual transaction fee on the account).

Food: We will provide food for the whole weekend, as follows, but it would probably be wise for you to bring snacks of your own to help keep you going through the 48 hours. Think of food as less like that of a 5 star restaurant and more like that of a scout camp. Here is a provisional menu, but this may change. We will have vegetarian options also.

Friday evening: Roast meat and coleslaw in bread rolls.

Saturday evening: Pizza.

Sunday evening: Fish and chips.

Sat/Sun morning: There will be bacon&egg as well as cereal/milk and toast/spreads for breakfast.

Sat/Sun midday: Sausage sizzles on Saturday and Sunday.

Soft drink will be provided during the game jam but you are welcome to bring your beverage of choice. Network connection during the event is supplied by Waikato University. University policy prohibits consumption of alcohol at the event.

Computer equipment and software. For those who have asked we have lab computers. The software loaded this year includes: Windows 10, GameMaker, UE4, Visual Studio with XNA 4 Refresh, Photoshop and Unity. Admin access to the computers is provided, so you can download and install other tools that you consider appropriate.

If you bring your own computer we can provide both wired and wireless network. We have also kept a few monitors in the lab, so if it is more convenient you can just bring you main computer chassis and use our monitors. First come, first served on those. You can email to reserve if you like.

Any questions? please let us know.

Looking forward to seeing you there - keep checking email. We'll send you updates if needed closer to the event.



1. Pay us - $25 per person - deposit money into my account. The account number is: 03-1559-0115532-000 PLEASE put your name into the reference field with the transaction and to be safe send me an email to say that you have paid or to explain any alternative way of paying that would suit you better. THIS IS NECESSARY TO CONFIRM YOUR PLACE AT THE EVENT.

2. Come to the GGJ arriving between 4 and 5pm on Friday.


To register, you must be 16 or older. Please don't register if you're under 16, although we appreciate your enthusiasm, and looking forward to seeing you at future events!

The game jam starts at 5:00 PM on Friday the 31st of January, and ends in the afternoon of Sunday the 2nd.

To cover the cost of food, drinks, T-shirts, etc.; registration costs $25, and is payable before the event. We will contact you closer to the event to arrange payment.


Questions? Contact Bill Rogers, ggj@waikato.ac.nz