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Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy 28 North Clark Street, Suite 500 Chicago, IL 60602
Most people last year just nibbled on snacks all night and they ended up getting upset stomachs throughout the jam. Our artist had to leave because of this last year. Pack a real meal to make sure you get to focus on the game and not your well being.
This e-mail is directed at the Game students, but it may be freely passed around to all other interested students who currently (or previously) attend TFA. TFA Alumni who wish to participate must first contact me (unless you have already informed me that you're attending).
(This e-mail may be TL; but please don't DR it if you want to attend the Jam.)
What is Global Game Jam?
It's the world's largest game jam event. And by "largest" it's meant that many different groups around the world participate. The shared connection is that all the participants abide by one specific theme which changes year-to-year. Last year the theme was "Ouroboros." This year's theme will be announced at the start of the event.
When is Global Game Jam? How long is it?
The Jam starts on Friday, January 25th (5pm) and concludes Sunday, January 27th (3pm).
Aim to be on the 4th-floor lounge area a little before 5pm. We will play the opening video to announce the Jam's theme at about 5pm on Friday. The video will probably be about 20 minutes long. We will also cover the ground rules for the Jam at this time. The deadline for uploading your content to the Game Jam site is 3pm on Sunday.
We're making an entire game in 48 hours? Can't be done.
It can be done and it's done every year -- not just for this Jam but other Jams along the way. With the right scope (think small, think simple, think vertical slice) and team composition, amazing things can be accomplished. Insert here your favorite inspirational goodness about how you never know what you can accomplish until you try, etc. ;)
OK, I'm in. I have a team OR I don't have a team -- and I want to participate!
If you have a group this is easier, so we encourage you to try to find some crazy people in advance of the Jam. However, many people have attended solo or in very small groups, connected with other teams, and maybe even made some new friends along the way. If you are coming as a group, please try to pick up any singles you see. We want this to be inclusive. Besides, this isn't a head-to-head competition -- though it is a competition against time.
Maybe I don't think I have the skills for this just yet.
Don't worry! One, this is a team effort. Two, there are many ways to contribute. Contribute by helping to organize the schedule for your team. Contribute with voice acting or making sound effects. Contribute with testing. Or simply be there to bounce ideas to make the game better.
Do I need to sign up?
Yes. And here is the sign-up URL:
Create an account at this site and join the TFA Jam, and you're in.
Important note: we are delivering the list of participants to the Burnham Building's security team. If you're not on the list, or if your real, full name is not on the list, you will not have access to the Jam.
Can we come and go as we please during the Jam?
Yes and no. But mostly no. Making the 4th-floor available for the Jam through the weekend is expensive. You're probably guessing at a cost right now, but it's more than that. (Thanks for the gamer love, TFA!) Related to that cost, accessibility to the building will be limited during off-hours -- those hours that occur when the building would normally be closed.
How limited? The doors will remain locked during off-hours, but every few hours we will be able to unlock the doors for about 20 minutes (enough time for a smoke break or to let the brutal winter winds wake you up). If you're on the outside when the doors are locked, you'll have to wait until the next period of regular hours (not the next break period) to regain access.
If your family is worried about chaperones, tell them it's OK. There will be two members of the faculty at the Jam at all times. In fact, Alan Reck will be here for the duration of the event -- showing you all how it's really done. ;)
I guess this means I'll need supplies.
The school will provide some snacks (granola bars, fruit, chips, etc.) and one meal (pizza most likely) -- and that meal likely may not be until Saturday evening at 7pm or 8pm.
You will want to make sure to bring enough food (and probably caffeine) to keep you charged up through the weekend. You'll probably also want to bring a sleeping bag or some blankets/pillows. You might be limited on time, but you still need sleep. And you'll definitely want to bring some toiletries. Deodorant is an absolute must. It can get pretty smelly when dozens of students aren't living in a tightly confined space. You probably don't want to consider how bad it might start smelling when people are making a game for an entire weekend without at least applying some deodorant every few hours. If you're still uncertain as to what else you might need to bring, let me know and I'll connect you to some of the 2nd-year students who participated in last year's Jam. If I get a good list, I'll send that out as an update, too.
Unless there's something critical, this will be the only e-mail I send out regarding the Jam. All future updates related to the Jam will be posted at our Game Jam site. Once again: http://globalgamejam.org/sites/2013/tribeca-flashpoint-academy