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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: Are board game jams a thing? rss

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Milki Kaplanski
Germany
Hamburg
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I come from a video game industry background, where game jams are a common thing. To explain it to anyone who hasn't heard of the term yet: Teams or individuals make a video from start to finish (planning, development, testing & publishing a final version) within a limited time frame (usually 48 hours) based on a theme that got voted on beforehand. I've heard of contests happening for board game designers, where one has to turn in a board game design within a dead line, but is there something similar to a video game jam, where the only reward is having been able to finish a thing in such a short time and looking at the stuff others have come up with in the same amount of time? If not, would people even bother with something like that?

I'm asking because the idea sounds like a blast to me! On the last Ludum Dare game jam I made a Cthulhu themed card game in Unity with a couple of friends & co-workers and the idea of doing the same thing in a physical, well, print & play format seems amazing to me.

So, does such a thing exist? Is there any interest for this? :)
 
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Mus Rattus
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A friend of mine who participates in game jams has said that he occasionally will see someone designing a (non-digital) boardgame at them.
 
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Michael Coniff
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I've definitely heard of this thing for short films in the South-Western region of Missouri but never for video games or Boardgames. I figured that both those would be impossible to do within a 48 hour period but I guess not! Does sound interesting, but I do not have the ability to do something like that. I'm just a humble consumer.
 
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Andrew Rowse
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A couple of years back Hasbro sponsored a game jam in London with a board game focus, and it was tremendously fun (my team won our category, and I got to take home a giant My Little Pony castle for my son).
 
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John Wilder
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I don't recall which podcast (possibly Ludology), but recently I heard about people doing this at a boardgame con (it may have been the episode with the Penny Arcade guy and his collaborator talking about Thornwatch).
They all had to design a game with only a small handfull of junk/stuff they were given.
So to learn more check a recent episode of Ludology (or if I am wrong hopefully someone could point out the correct podcast episode).
 
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BT Carpenter
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There is the 24 hour contest that's posted here on BGG monthly.
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Troy Laurin
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Not sure if it qualifies, but BGG has a long-running monthly 24-hour design contest. October's contest.

thumbsup Teams or individuals make a [game] from start to finish (planning, development, testing & publishing a final version)
thumbsup within a limited time frame (usually 48 hours)
thumbsup based on a theme
thumbsdown that got voted on beforehand.
thumbsdown where the only reward is having been able to finish a thing in such a short time and looking at the stuff others have come up with in the same amount of time?

Hard to say just how close that is to what you're looking for.
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John duBois
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Troy
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My experience with board game jams isn't great. The Catan jam was supposed to be a marmalade, but it tasted quite wooden, and the jam from Wok Star was pretty much cardboard.
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Caroline Berg
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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I love game jams, and have participated in both video game and board game challenges.

For the 24-hour design contest you can't be part of a team - you have to do it all on your own.

It has to be done in 24 consecutive hours.

The theme isn't voted on at all, Kai determines it, since he runs the contest.

There is a reward - geekgold is given out to the winner provided there are more than 3 entries for the month.
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Dan
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We have done board game design game jams at SaltCON in the past. No official word yet if the guys who ran it previous years will be back to do it again.
 
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Billy Pitiot
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I have read the designer diary for ...and then, we held hands where the designers were explaining that the game was created at a 48h game jam where they were the only ones actually making a non-digital game.
I think they even won, but I would need to re-read it to be sure.

The game was improved later on before becoming the actual published version.
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Rob Foley
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BilyVMe wrote:
I have read the designer diary for ...and then, we held hands where the designers were explaining that the game was created at a 48h game jam where they were the only ones actually making a non-digital game.
I think they even won, but I would need to re-read it to be sure.

The game was improved later on before becoming the actual published version.


came here to mention this game, also I believe my local bar/arcade is going to host a board game jam sometime in the next month or so.
 
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Milki Kaplanski
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MusRattus wrote:
A friend of mine who participates in game jams has said that he occasionally will see someone designing a (non-digital) boardgame at them.

Yeah, I've seen & done that myself too, but it would be nice to see a whole bunch of people doing it.. and then playing all the games that came out of it together. I dunno, could be a cool thing for cons like GenCon or Spiel, I think.




KAndrw wrote:
A couple of years back Hasbro sponsored a game jam in London with a board game focus, and it was tremendously fun (my team won our category, and I got to take home a giant My Little Pony castle for my son).

Love the fact that you let your boy play with toys labelled as "girl" toys. I'm always amazed (in a negative way) how many guys seem to have a problem with that. Tho I guess MLP has become a rather gender neutral franchise nowadays anyway, with all these so-called "Bronies" and all. ;)




byronczimmer wrote:
There is the 24 hour contest that's posted here on BGG monthly.

MrTroy wrote:
Not sure if it qualifies, but BGG has a long-running monthly 24-hour design contest.

adularia25 wrote:
For the 24-hour design contest you can't be part of a team - you have to do it all on your own.

While this sounds intriguing, 24 hours does seem a little too stressful for my taste and not being able to work as a team completely kills it for me. The best thing for me about game jams is being able to do something with people you don't usually get to work with. :)




BilyVMe wrote:
I have read the designer diary for ...and then, we held hands where the designers were explaining that the game was created at a 48h game jam where they were the only ones actually making a non-digital game.
I think they even won, but I would need to re-read it to be sure.

The game was improved later on before becoming the actual published version.

Interesting. I just recently watched a playthrough video of the game, it's a very neat design concept, tho I'm not sure exactly how much fun I'd have playing it. But I might look up that designer diary soon, sounds really interesting.




JohnduBois wrote:
My experience with board game jams isn't great. The Catan jam was supposed to be a marmalade, but it tasted quite wooden, and the jam from Wok Star was pretty much cardboard.

I was hoping someone would make a jam joke! :D



Anyway, great to hear these things do happen in real life, thanks for all your answers! :)
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Andrew Rowse
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miruki wrote:
KAndrw wrote:
A couple of years back Hasbro sponsored a game jam in London with a board game focus, and it was tremendously fun (my team won our category, and I got to take home a giant My Little Pony castle for my son).

Love the fact that you let your boy play with toys labelled as "girl" toys. I'm always amazed (in a negative way) how many guys seem to have a problem with that. Tho I guess MLP has become a rather gender neutral franchise nowadays anyway, with all these so-called "Bronies" and all. ;)


I tell Sam that we don't differentiate between girls' toys (/games/books/shows) and boys' toys. We differentiate between awesome toys and rubbish toys. So we watch MLP, Mask, Zoids, Peppa Pig and Clone Wars, and I try to stop him from watching the stuff his cousins like, with fairies that regularly make poor decisions about magic. I'm torn on Paw Patrol, because while it's kinda like Mask but with dogs, it repeatedly refers to a hydrofoil as a hovercraft.

The MLP castle has a helter skelter slide, and Sam uses it to launch cars :)
 
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