So here's my detailed report of this year's Global Game Jam, which took place January 27-29, 2012.
Day 0 report.
Well, maybe not "Day 0", but the weeks and months leading up to the jam. This was a ton of work. I'm one of the GGJ Directors, meaning a group of six of us, on multiple continents. Organizing the GGJ was a flurry of Skype conference calls, contract negotiations with Drupal experts to get the website up-to-speed, working with the IGDA for funding, and working with the other directors for all the other things that are needed to make the jam go smoothly: Site registration, press releases, video keynotes, decisions on theme, website prep, research projects, IRC chats, and on and on. Extra challenges were how to schedule meetings between people in vastly different timezones, and a really useful site that I learned about is http://timeanddate.com, which has a meeting planner that makes it easy to see everybody's time (and date) at once.
For the keynote speeches, we also had to worry about subtitles! This year we had speakers in English, Japanese, and Spanish, and we coordinate a large team of volunteer translators to get all the different talks translated into as many different languages as possible, which required a different subtitle file for each language.
I was also regional coordinator for Latin America, so each time a new site was registered from Mexico, Central America, or South America, I would personally contact the organizer, setup a Skype chat and phone call, and doublecheck that all was well before approving the site to show up on the GGJ "Locations" list. Then I'd further followup with the organizers, especially if they were new and hadn't organized a jam before, to see if they needed any help in putting their site together. I was especially impressed by how many sites were showing up in Brazil (several different sites in Sao Paulo alone) and by the close-knit nature of the Argentinian organizers, who though they lived in very different parts of the country, all seemed to know each other and offer each other help with their different sites. Aside from the Directors' channel, that's probably the Skype channel that I hung out in the most often, was the Argentinian one, and I even invited a new organizer from Mexico into that channel, to take advantage of the supportive environment. It was kind of mind-boggling, that here I was sitting in St. Louis, Missouri, and inviting an organizer from a thousand miles south of me in Mexico, to join a chat that I was having with organizers thousands of miles even farther south, on a different side of the planet, and we were all chatting away at the same time about our common love, games!Among ... [ Read More (0.5k in body) ]