Global Game Jam 2021 'at' Waikato University (Scroll down to register)

The Computer Science Department at The University of Waikato in Hamilton is hosting a site for the 14th Global Game Jam - GGJ 2021. At the request of the GGJ international organisation, GGJ will be a virtual event this year. This is to make sure that people in all countries of the world can be safe and all have a similar experience. So, stay home and join us for 48 hours of video game development. There will be no charge for participation this year, however we would appreciate it if you could register, so that we have some advance idea of numbers. Sadly, we will not provide food, soft drink, or an event t-shirt. As our computer labs are undergoing earthquake strengthening this summer we will also not be able to provide remote access to lab computers for the event.

What is a Game Jam?

In a Virtual Game Jam, participants stay apart, but communicate electronically, to make video games or board 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 usually 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). This year the event can be held at times chosen be local organisers over the five day period from 27th to 31st January. For the Waikato site, we have chosen to stick with the normal 48 hour timetable, starting at 5:00 PM Friday, January 29th and running for 48 hours, through to 5:00 PM Sunday, January 31st. We will also follow our usual pattern of running local judging 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 connects to their local game jam on Friday. At Waikato our current plan is to use Discord as our communication software. At 5pm local organisers will share the theme, constraints and rules for the game jam. Teams are formed in a period of online discussion 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 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?

Coordination and encouragement via Discord.

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?

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 29th January - 31st January 2021, on your calendar.
  2. Sign up and register for the Waikato University site for the GGJ (registration information is below).
  3. Show up 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 (awards ceremony and wrap-up will start around 5:00 PM).


Sorry, we are currently at the maximum number of registrations. You can still register, in case someone who registered isn't able to attend - please check your emails closer to the event.

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 29th of January, and ends in the afternoon of Sunday the 31st.

There is no charge for registration this year.


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