Global Game Jam 2024 'at' Waikato University (Scroll down to register)

The Computer Science Department at The University of Waikato in Hamilton is hosting a site for the 16th Global Game Jam - GGJ 2024. This year the game jam will be an in-person event. If there is demand, we will also support on-line participation via Discord, but we are hopeful that people will be able to be on site. (There are no special restrictions, but we do request that anyone with symptoms stays at home and participates remotely.) So, come and join us for 48 hours of video game development. The attendance fee is $25. It will cover food and drink; and an event t-shirt. Registration on site is allowed, but we would appreciate it if you could register early, so that we have some advance idea of numbers.

What is a Game Jam?

In a Game Jam, participants form teams to make video games or board games around a theme announced at the start of the jam. The goal is a complete playable game developed over a limited time period. With a small time frame, the games tend to be innovative and experimental.

The Global Game Jam (GGJ) is usually a 48 hour game jam that takes place nearly simultaneously all over the world during a 72 hour period (48 hours adjusted to suit local time zones). This year the event can be held at times chosen by local organisers over the period from 22th to 28th January. For the Waikato site, we have chosen to stick with the normal 48 hour timetable, starting at 5:00 PM Friday, January 26th and running for 48 hours, through to 5:00 PM Sunday, January 28th. We will also follow our usual pattern of running a local show, tell, and choose favourite event after 5.00 PM on the Sunday, which will be finished by 6:30/7.00 PM. 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 arrives at or connects to the game jam on Friday. At 5pm local organisers will share the theme, constraints and rules for the game jam. Teams are formed in a period of discussion on Friday evening, and have until 3:00 PM on Sunday to create their games. Games are uploaded to the international web site from 3:00 PM and local evaluation begins at 5.00 PM. Finished and partially built games may be archived on the Global Game Jam website for anyone to play.

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

Who can participate?

Anyone, 16 years old or over, can participate in a game jam: experienced professionals, students and wannabes. Younger people can participate, but must be accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian. You do not have to form teams to register, teams will be formed at each of the local jams. In particular, you can come as an individual.

What will Waikato University provide for in-person jammers?

T shirt, food and drink. We will provide breakfasts, lunches and dinners. There will also be soft drinks and some snack food available throughout the jam. We will make lab computers (Windows 10 with basic utility software) available; but also have space for those who prefer to bring their own rigs. You will have admin access to allow you to install development software on the lab computers. Internet access is provided

What will we provide for online participants?

Coordination and encouragement via Discord.

Game Development

There are no restrictions on the software and hardware you use for development, other than that it should be possible to post a version of your game, including source code where appropriate, at the end of the contest. Teams in previous years have used systems from pure text interaction, through to the Unreal Game Engine. Particularly popular in recent years has been use of the Unity engine.

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.

What do I need to provide?

If attending in person bring yourself and if you wish, your own computer. If online you will need your own computer with internet access and whatever software you choose to use for game development.

How Do I Get Involved?

  1. Be sure to mark 26th to 28th January 2024 on your calendar.
  2. Sign up and register for the Waikato University site for the GGJ (registration form is below).
  3. Show up in person, or on Discord (details will be sent to you closer to the event) at 5:00 PM on Friday.
  4. Have fun and plan to work through Sunday late afternoon (final ceremony and wrap-up from 5:00 PM).


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 26th of January, and ends in the afternoon of Sunday the 28th.

The registration fee is $25 for those attending in person. We will send you bank account details when your registration is accepted. There is no charge for those participating online only.


Questions? Contact Bill Rogers, [email protected]