What is a Game Jam?

It's about coming together and making a video game. A theme is announced at the start, and over the course of 48 hours you and your fellow team mates will rapidly go through each stage of game development in crunchtime fashion. When the deadline hits you will have a fully playable game! A Game Jam is for anyone, industry veterans and total beginners alike. No coding experience is required.

  • Fri 20 - Sun 22 of January
  • Design Centre, York St John University
  • Get a ticket to secure a place!
  • Bring your laptop/computer
  • Install tools beforehand if you can
Can I really make a game in 48 hours?

Absolutely! Even if you have never made a game before! The key to succeeding at a Game Jam is to keep it simple. Focus on just one mechanic, or maybe two if you're more advanced. Work on the foundation of your game in the first 24 hours, and leave the last 24 hours for polish.

Still don't believe me? These excellent games were entered into the Game Jam last year, well worth checking out! The theme for these, by the way, was "What do we do now". Or check out some games from the Ludum Dare Game Jam, most of which were made solo.

The Theme

The theme is picked by the Global Game Jam and announced at 6 o'clock. People all over the world will be making games based on the same theme, so when you're done you can check out what others came up with.

The Date

The next Game Jam will be on the 20th-22nd of January!

Get a ticket to secure a place!

Ok, I'm in! What do I need to bring?

Just show up with a computer or laptop and get ready to have some fun!

If you already know what skills you bring to the team, it helps to have software, such as Photoshop, Visual Studio, or Stencyl, installed in advance. After all, you don't want to waste any time downloading software last minute!

If you haven't got a clue whatsoever, that's okay too. Check out the list of useful resources below. Or make it up as you go along on the day, your team can help!

*Not actual game jam footage.


1) Games must be based on the theme.
2) Games must be made within the 48 hour period.
2) All publicly available libraries and middleware are allowed.
3) All content creation, and development tools are allowed.
4) Personal code/libraries are allowed, but you are only eligible for a prize if you have made them public and shared with the community prior to the Game Jam.
5) You can use pre-made assets from sites such as Open Game Art as long as the license permits it (eg. public domain, copyleft). If you do go down this route and want to be eligible for a prize, be sure to give proper credit in the intro to your game, to keep the competition fair.


The game belongs to your team. After all, you made it! Game Jam York, and those involved with organising it, claim no rights or ownership of your game.

However, we do request the right to use your game for purpose of publicising the event and promoting future Game Jams. If you don't want your game to be used for publicity, we ask that you make an effort to inform the organisers.

Useful resources

Free Game Creation Software
Game Maker (2D, Cross Platform)
Unity (3D, Cross Platform)
Construct 2 (2D, Coss Platform)
Stencyl (2D, Web)
GameSalad (2D, Cross Platform)
Ren'py (Visual Novels, PC)

Free Art Software
Gimp (2D)
Blender (3D)
Pickle (2D, Pixel Art)
Pyxel Edit (2D, Pixel Art)
Spriter (2D, Animation)

Free Sound and Music Software
LMMS (Music Editor)
Musagi (Music Editor)
BFXR (Sound Effects Generator)
Audacity (Audio Editor)

For more resources, check out Pixel Prospector's comprehensive Indie Resources list.