Galway Game Jam 5 Post Mortem

So, that was fun! Initially we were expecting 8 or 9 people, 30 turned up in the end. We had 1 person who had to leave and 3 more who joined throughout the course of the event. I enjoy the game dev tradition of post mortems on game releases, so why not do one for a gamejam? Let’s begin!

*The Good:*

*Biggest Galway Game Jam yet!*
The numbers show something else too – there is a thirst for gamejams and game development events in Galway – it is growing more and more every year.

*The People!* We’ve been privileged to get such a lovely bunch of game jammers who care about making games and who want to share their passion with you.

*11 (and a half) games made!* 9 and 1/2 made on location, 2 made by online participants, and at least one game we are aware of that didn’t make it to submission stage. You can play them here! [](

*Gamejam games are online!* Thanks to everyone who helped we got a majority of gamejam builds online, some of which have already had a let’s play by Jupiter Hadley! Pretty sweet.

*Slack chat!* We’ve found that game jammers tend to encounter very similar difficulties and technical issues during the gamejam and believe that we can help solve a lot of these through a common, instant communication tool like Slack. Though we did use Slack for Galway Game Jam 5, inviting everyone to a shared Slack chat, we did so quite late into the jam (About half-way through the gamejam on the promise of pizza – way better than carrots!). This meant that some people never joined in the chat, failing to see reason for joining. At least 3 teams encountered the same issue uploading their Unity game builds to – something that I feel could have been limited to just one team if we had better utilized Slack. Though the outcome from using instant chat like Slack wasn’t as huge a success at Galway Game Jam 5 as I’d hoped, it has certainly cemented in my mind the importance of having it for further game jams and to help maintain momentum within the game jam community between these events, hence my rating it as a ‘Good’ thing.

*Awesome photographs!* We were lucky enough to have photographer Colm McElligott, a friend of one of the game jammers, drop by on the second and third day to take a few photographs. Such a generous man with his time and efforts! We now have a much more professional looking photo album from Galway Game Jam 5 which can only serve to benefit us. Of course, all those silly moments caught on mobile phone cameras are important too!

*The Bad:*

Having planned for about 1/3 of the people that turned up, we struggled at certain points to organise stuff with the group. It meant I had to sort of stand on a chair, raise my voice and expose the group to my bad jokes a few too many times. Though nothing terrible happened, thankfully, there were some delays were they could have been avoided with better planning.

At least one person didn’t follow through with the jam. Sadly this is something we feel we could have acted on. Quite often we have people interested in the gamejam but who don’t really feel they can contribute much to a game, all of whom we encourage to join in and end up doing more than they thought. They have lots of fun with the process of actually making something. We’re humans after all.  Some people who maybe lack self-confidence or believe they don’t have the skills required to make a game can feel quite intimidated by this. We put one such person on a team and left the team to sort of figure out their roles, but unfortunately it seems as though the team couldn’t fit everyone in and the person quietly left the event while we were gone fetching gamejam pizza. If we had more volunteers at the event this could have been avoided, as we could have talked with the team or switched the person to another team that could better accommodate them, and put them to work on something.

Gender balance. There was not enough women there at all. Something like 25 guys and 5 women. Sadly some people told me this was actually not that bad a balance for this type of event. One of the women told me it was nice that there even was other women there, that she is often the only woman at such events.

Next time:

We’ve learned a lot. Here are some things we’ll be doing next time:

Set up at lot more at the start – things like our shared gamejam Slack chat and profiles.

More volunteers! Having more volunteers / organisers present so we can focus on helping people however we can throughout the entirety of the event. This will make it easier for us to pay attention and act on issues as they arise to ensure everyone has a positive experience, feels productive in their team and contributes to making something they can show off later (however gamejammy-broken it may be!).

A dedicated live team! We’ll have a dedicated hero or two from the ranks of new volunteers take to the live stream and social media channels throughout the event. This will take a significant time-burden away from other volunteers and allow everyone to focus better on their tasks.

Attack on the gender imbalance! We plan on running a few workshops on the lead up to the next game jam and throughout the year to bring in hacker women from Women in Tech groups as well as writers and artists who may have never heard of a game jam or who may feel like they need to be better at doing X, whatever X may be, before they can be comfortable jumping into a gamejam. Hopefully this engaged approach will help us to bridge this gap in our local Galway Game Jam level. That’s not to dissuade any men either – if you are interested in the gamejam do come along – don’t be tempted to help the gender balance by avoiding the gamejam! (That’s not the point anyway! :P)

Personally I got a great buzz and feeling of validation for the weeks of effort I’ve put into making this happen, especially since I was expecting so few people from our pre-booked ticket sales. Each person that walked in just made me surprized. I must have had a silly smile all weekend. This was a totally amazing gamejam and the positivity I felt from it is shared among the other organisers and game jammers alike. This is were game dev hobbyists do their thing. It’s were game-idea-stuff gets made real and see’s the first light of day. It’s were teams are formed. It’s a place to try some new game ideas, test your game dev skills, meet new people and have the craic making something. Did we mention pizza? It’s also were you get pizza, apparently.

See you all at the next one!

~ Darren

Galway Game Jam 5

Make a game in a weekend! This one is a 48 hour event!

Join a team or work solo. Learn stuff, meet people, make games, have fun!

**When:** 6pm Friday 1st April until 6pm Sunday 3rd of April.

**Where:** Aras na Mac Lienn (Student Societies building), NUIG

**Tickets:** €5 online or €6 at the door.

**Book tickets online here:** [](

Twitter: [@GalwayGameJam](

Our hashtag for the event is [#GalwayGameJam5]( event page: []( – online participants go here!

Facebook event page: [](


**What do I need to bring to make games?**
Bring your own laptop or any game making equipment you think you’ll need (e.g. graphics tablet, controllers etc.)

**Do I need to be an expert gamedev to participate?**
No, not at all! The gamejam is for everyone from to complete beginners to professional game devs. We will try to team up beginners with some more experienced game jammers so you can be sure to learn and have fun and have something made by the end of the event.

**Will there be food/drink at the event?**
The gamejam will provide tea & coffee. You’ll have to get your own meals and snacks.
The venue is NUIG, so you are nearby a Tesco Express and a short walk from Galway City centre.

**What about copyright / intellectual property / licences on the work I do at the game jam?**
You own everything you make. You can do whatever you want with it and attach the license of your choice. Go create!

**What about accommodation?**
Have a good plan. Staying awake for the 48 hours is not a good plan! If you are traveling from outside of Galway please organize your own accommodation for the weekend.
If you need any help ask on our Facebook event page or drop us an email.
We won’t be able to let you sleep at the venue (it is in NUIG after-all). There are some hostels in the city center like Barnacles and Kinlay house (Snoozles is booked out for the event). Mention the Galway Game Jam event. If you are staying with a friend or whatever, make sure to bring a sleeping bag & extra clothes!

**Is it for computer games or board games?**
Everything! You can use the Galway Game Jam to make any type of game.

**Can I work on a project that I’ve already started?**
Ideally the game jam is for making something new but by all means you can work on your own project. This would obviously disqualify you for any prizes.

**Can I use a game engine/library/framework/asset packs/royalty-free music etc.?**

**Can I participate with a pre-arranged team?**
Yes. As long as your team is a maximum of 5 people.

**Can I take part remotely/online?**
Yes. Join here:

**Can I still join the competition if I am an online participant?**
Yes! Submit your game by the competition guidelines here:

You don’t need to pay the ticket price to take part online/remotely AND you can submit your game for the competition.

**What prizes are there?**
Right now some small ones. We’re working on that, but with our current lack of sponsors our prizes will likely be small. We’re working on improving this, the more game jams you participate in the better the prizes will be!

**Can you eat/drink at the venue?**
Yes but we’d like you to observe some rules. Please use the bins for any rubbish you have. Please don’t eat or drink anything that smells strongly in the main game jam area. Please tidy up after yourself.

**What kind of skills would be helpful at the gamejam?**
This depends entirely on the type of game you want to make. These skills can be handy, but by no means are neccessary to join:
Game design skill, programming skill, art skills, storytelling skills, audio/music skills, organisation skills etc.
By being part of a team you can decide to work to your strengths or try something new.

**I’m a member of Compsoc NUIGalway, do I have to pay the €5 entrance fee for this event?**
Compsoc members are required to bring their Student ID with them. Once we verify your membership you can enter for free. Enjoy!

**Note to Online Participants:**
Check out forums for discussion and keep track of our twitter account for announcements.
Anyone can participate remotely for free AND take part in the competition among all entrants. Same competition guidelines apply.

If you have any questions contact us at or through our social media.

Galway Game Jam 5 is made possible thanks to Compsoc NUIGalway.

Sign up to our shiny new newsletter!

We’ve plans for another game jam in place. Our last one wasn’t so hot on numbers so this time we’re getting a little hype train going. Before we get started on the hype train we need to build the tracks.

Join us and sign up at the link below!


Let’s make the next one awesome.

The Next Galway Game Jam

We’re already thinking about the next game jam! If you jammed at the Global Game Jam and had the craic, or missed out and want to know more, keep tuned to our site and follow us on social media for updates on our game jam, or other local jams.
Galway Game Jam 5 will be sometime in March 2016.



Global Game Jam 2016

Hey folks!

This weekend Pulse College Galway are taking on the role of jam site for the Global Game Jam! Just like last year, thanks for putting this on guys!

Here’s the jam site list for Ireland (so far):

Pulse College Galway: [](

Griffith College: [](
Pulse College Dublin: [](

IT Carlow: [](

LIT: [](

Sign up to the game jam a site near you or visit Galway for the craic!

We love game jams so I’d like to extend my appreciation to Chris Colston and the organisers from Pulse for putting in the work to make this happen for another year.

See you there!

Galway Game Jam 4 #GalwayGJ4

Make a game prototype in a weekend.

Join a team or work solo. Get to meet other game developers, learn stuff and make stuff. We’ll showcase your creations on our website. Bring your own laptop/game making equipment and anyone you know who likes game jams!

When: Friday 9pm-11pm, Saturday 9am-11pm, Sunday 9am-5pm
Where: The View Room, Aras na Mac Leinn, NUIGalway

Rules for the event:
Theme: a theme will be announced on event launch on Friday. It’s there to help with ideas and it’s open to interpretation.

Teams: Pre-arranged teams are fine but need approval from organisers so let us know beforehand.

Attendance – €5
Online participation – Free – Register before Saturday.

[Get your ticket on eventbrite here](

We will be taking it in good faith that you are starting work on your game along with us. If you are using any pre-made assets (art/music etc.) please opt out of the relevant category when you submit your game for judging.

Behavior: Be excellent to each other!
Should there are any issues during the event, contact one of our organizers.

Event run by Galway Game Jam in association with Compsoc NUIGalway, Galway Gaming Tribes and d’Lovely Game Jam.

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