Global Game Jam Community Spotlight: Mattis Delerud

"The GGJ community is an inclusive one. More so, year by year. And although I’m not the most active member of the community, I really feel like you have my back."

Mattis is a game development teacher, seasoned GGJ jammer, and Site Organizer from Norway. This is his story and greetings to the Global Game Jam community.

"Hello, I’m Mattis! Currently I’m teaching game development in two classes at Danvik Folk High School in Norway. I have a bachelors degree in IT, with Game Design as my specialty. I have worked several years as a developer, but producing is what drives me; motivating other people, building a trustworthy team and making sure as many people as possible have meaningful tasks gives me a kick!

In addition to developing games I have reviewed them on behalf of NRK, the national broadcasting company in Norway. I also do occasional voice over work when I get the chance. A good meal and a glass of wine makes a sour day better. I try to live my life as spiritually and in sync with nature as I can. Life motto; do good, die great.

Mattis has taken part in GGJ since 2015

Most of those years I have been in charge of streaming the event. But the last two years I have been site-organizer. It’s definitely a lot of work, but knowing that everything I prepare makes the event a bit better for someone else, makes it all the more rewarding. It’s so much fun to see the crazy stuff the jammers come up with during the pitching-stage.

Since we are organizing our site a folk high school, we are first and foremost aiming to have current and previous students as our jammers. Going forward we are marketing the event for young people in the area as well. As organizer it is crucial that all participants feel safe at our site. We regularly check in with our jammers to make sure they are doing okay.

To many of our participants it’s their first time jamming, so it’s essential for future jams that they are having fun at the site. We encourage them to take breaks by arranging game competitions, late night hot chocolate gatherings and early morning pastry gatherings. We arrange workshops where they can learn programming, digital music production, 3D modelling, 2D character design and sound editing. This year we had over 80 people dropping by our workshops!

Mattis and Danvik Folk High School Global Game Jam

As a site organizer I have learned a ton about communication and how important it is to have a clarification of expectations with your organizing team. I learned how important it is to have accessibility as a priority when organizing the event. I also learned how quick messages leave the jammers brains -- as a counter measure I sent out Discord-reminders five minutes before a workshop would begin, this had tremendous results in attendance! 

Above all, I got reminded of how wonderful an event Global Game Jam is. Gathering people who don’t know each other to make something completely new, And in the process learning a new skill, while at the same time gaining a couple of new friends.

The GGJ-community is an inclusive one. More so, year by year. And although I’m not the most active member of the community, I really feel like you have my back. Whether it be trouble with uploading games, to errors with JamHost, or a malfunctioning stream, the community is always there. And that makes being a site organizer all the more pleasant <3 "

Find Danvik Folk High School on the internet:

Photo and video credits: Ine Moen and Celina Svendsen.