Welcome to the Global Game Jam Harrisburg University host site! Important information below:
What Will HU Provide?
- Comfy places to sit and work with access to outlets
- Places to sleep
What Should You Bring?
- Any hardware and software that you need to make your games, including:
- desktops / laptops
- power supplies
- power strips / surge protectors / extension cords
- extra batteries for wireless mice, etc
- back up technology such as flash drives or external harddrives
- paper and pencil
- prototyping game bits (for non-digital designers) like dice, meeples, cards, graph paper, scissors, card sleeves, etc
- (if sleeping on campus) basic hygiene products like toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant
- (if sleeping on campus) sleeping bag, pillow, maybe extra clothes
Friday, Jan 29
5pm | Kick off Jam
5:30pm | Keynote & Theme
6pm | Form Teams, Dinner, Brainstorm
Saturday, Jan 30
11am | Game Page created
Sunday, Jan 31
3pm - 5pm | Upload games to GGJ server
4pm - 5pm | Share created games
Street parking is free from 7pm - 8am if you can find a spot, otherwise it's $3/hour. There are several parking garages within the vicinity, including inside of Harrisburg University. You can find their rates and times of operation here (http://parkharrisburg.com/garage-lots/).
Basically, if you park in the HU garage, it's accessible from 6am-9pm on Friday, 9am-6pm on Saturday, and it's closed on Sunday. You can leave the parking garage anytime you want, but you can't get in outside of the times listed.
Room / Sign In
When you get here, you'll want to go to Room 110 on the 1st Floor. It's right by the main entrance on Market Street and it has a lot of large windows so you'll be able to see the people inside and knock if you need their attention. You can ask the Security Officer on duty to direct you to the room if you enter from the HU parking garage or the 4th Street entrance.
The first time you arrive, you will be asked to sign in so that we can verify that it is in fact you.
Here are some general rules to follow while using this space:
- Please be respectful of the space. This is a university so it gets a lot of use. Any vandalism will not be tolerated. Food and drinks are allowed in the space but please throw all of your trash away in a timely manner and keep your immediate area as clean as possible.
- Please be respectful of others. This will be a room full of people working and each of them have their own methods of being at their most productive. Please respect their space and, if something is distracting you, try to find a mutually agreeable resolution with them. If you like loud music, bring headphones.
- Please stay in this space. We have designated this space for this event during the time necessary. The rest of the university is for the university students so we ask that you keep your team in Room 110 for the duration of the jam.
Room 110 is an open, two story multi use room, so we've designated the 2nd Floor space for sleeping. It has fairly comfy chairs and footstools, but also enough space to spread out sleeping bags without disrupting the foot path of the space.
If you do sleep in this space, please keep your sleeping bags rolled up and out of the way when you are not using them.
There are numerous ways to keep yourself nourished throughout the jam:
- Vending machines on the first floor of the University
- Strawberry Square (which is attached to the University) has a bunch of places to eat like Arby's, Taco Bell, Two Brothers Pizza, Subway, and some international options as well.
- The main entrance into Strawberry Square from Market Street has a small convenience store called Market on Market
- Market Street has a few places to eat heading towards Front Street
- 2nd Street is called Restaurant Row because it has an array of options from Dunkin Donuts to higher end steak joints
- You can also bring your own snacks and drinks but you will not have access to a refrigerator
Room Monitors / Security
There will always be at least one Room Monitor in the space for general inquiries like bathroom locations and directions to food.
In terms of security, we have a Security Officer on duty most of the weekend and security cams all over the place, including inside Room 110. The entrance to the room requires an HU badge to unlock, so if you leave, make sure to let the Room Monitor know so that they can keep an eye out for you.
Game Jam Tips
- Sleep is good - This is a 48 hour event but that doesn't mean you need to be working on your game for 48 hours. It's scientifically proven that a good night's sleep allows you to be more productive than pushing yourself as hard as you can. Avoid crashing and burning, take breaks, take naps, and plan for sleeping.
- Hygiene is good - There are going to be a bunch of people in a room for an extended amount of time. It's going to get a bit smelly. You can, however, minimize this but making sure you brush your teeth, go home and take a shower, put on some deodorant, or whatever. People will notice if you don't...
- Complete games get more attention - If you want to try and bring a lot of attention to your game, it's a good idea to make it feel like a comlpete experience. This doesn't mean finished; instead, make sure you have some sort of title screen, a way to teach players how to play the game INSIDE of the game (think in game tutorials, but even a screen with the controls will be more friendly than a README file outside of the game), and have some sort of conclusion to the game that isn't just closing the executable when you win/lose. Part of making a game is the presentation, so look at it from a player's perspective.
- Take time to brainstorm - It's always tempting to go with the first great idea that you come up with, but there may be even better ideas if you take the time to explore the theme and different mechanics. Dedicate at least 30 minutes to coming up with 3 - 5 different ideas before deciding to build one.
- Work with unfamiliar faces - This is a chance to push yourself and learn something new. One of the best ways to do that is to NOT work with your close knit group of friends. While waiting for the jam to start, mingle with everyone and see who has talents that you don't have. There will be a lot of people who will need teams so don't be afraid to work with someone you've just met. We are a community afterall!
- Avoid over scope and feature creep - When brainstorming, and also while building your game, it will be tempting to keep adding to it to make the most epic game ever. This is always a bad idea and, remember, you only have the weekend to build this thing. Stick to the essential mechanics that will make your game fun and make sure you test them before adding more mechanics, features, content. Whic leads to...
- Playtest, Playtest, Playtest - A game is not a game until someone plays it. A game does not evovle into a good game until someone other than you and your team have played it and provided feedback on it. You'll be surrounded by people who have played games; make use of them!
- Ask for help - You'll have a team of people (most likely) but you don't have to break all communication with everyone. If you have an issue with code and you're the only coder, see if another programmer can give you help, or look to the online community for answers. The Global Game Jam social media pages will be viewable throughout the game jam, so reach out to other jammers as you're making your game. What better way to make connections than asking for help?