Last year’s inaugural NAG Jam was a pretty daunting thing to pull off on short notice, but in the end it was maximum win for everyone involved. In fact, it was so successful that, as promised, we’re teaming up with the fantastic folks from Intel to do it all over again at rAge Cape Town.
As a quick primer for anyone who’s presently scratching their heads in confusion, NAG Jam is a game jam, and game jams are essentially game development challenges that occur within a very strict time limit. In other words, participants (either solo or in teams) are given a limited time in which to create short, often highly experimental games formed around a specific theme.
The NAG Jam runs over 72 hours and it differs from most game jams for two reasons. Firstly, there’s a prize pool of R15,000 at stake, which is very generously sponsored by Intel. Secondly, the best games we receive are put on display at rAge for thousands of visitors to experience.
The jam will begin when the theme is announced via our Twitter feed at 7pm on Thursday the 3rd of March and will continue until Sunday the 6th at 7pm. Entrants can reside anywhere within the SADC (Southern African Development Community), and you don’t actually need to visit rAge Cape Town in order for your game to be selected as a finalist.
Intel is kindly offering anyone who’s willing to get super adventurous with the jam the chance to use one of their snazzy RealSense cameras to power their game. The camera opens up the possibility for a range of uniquely interesting games and mechanics, and in addition to actually loaning participants a RealSense camera with which to develop, Intel has also pledged to offer training and assistance to any jammers who’re keen to use the tech. Visit the Intel site to have a look at some of the cool stuff that’s been made for RealSense.
Similarly, Intel is also willing to help anyone who’s keen to develop games based on Intel’s IoT tech – so if anyone’s eager to create something akin to the immensely popular one-dimensional dungeon crawler Line Wobbler, Intel’s engineers will be on hand to help you learn how to do just that. Here, have another link to cool IoT stuff.
If anyone’s keen to use the abovementioned Intel technologies in their games, leave a comment below expressing your interest and I’ll get you in touch with Intel.
I think that’s it! We’ll let everyone know if anything changes and how the submission process will work as soon as we’re done exploring all the options, but chances are we’re going to use itch.io as our jam platform this time. Loads of jammers suggested we use itch.io last year, but we weren’t sure if there’d be any legal ramifications that would arise from us using it, and considering that last year’s jam was quite rushed we didn’t want to chance it. Thankfully, we’ve since contacted itch.io and they’ve very generously allowed us the use of their game jam system. Just bear in mind that itch.io is not sponsoring NAG Jam in any way, and that they won’t be responsible for the delivery of any prizes.
If you’ve got any questions, fire away in the comments below. While you wait for final details, have a set of handy bullet-pointed info and rules:
- The NAG Jam is a 72-hour jam, which will begin at 7pm on Thursday March 3rd and end on Sunday March 6th. The reason we’re doing 72 hours and not 48 is to give people as much time as possible to polish their game and fancy it up for the massive rAge audience.
- The theme for the jam will be announced at 7pm on Thursday March 3rd. It’ll be announced via our Twitter feed, so be sure to follow us to find out the theme as soon as it’s revealed.
- We don’t have an official venue for the jam. You’ll have to collaborate remotely with your development chums, or spend the weekend together at a location of your choosing. We officially approve of “under the bridge by my mom’s house” as a jam venue.
- All games must include a reset function that resets the state of the game.
- All games must feature a rudimentary instructions screen that explains how the game is played.
- Entries must be submitted no later than 7pm on Sunday, 6 March.
- Devs are free to work in teams using any game engine or tools they choose, and draw from any existing asset/code bases to which they have access (again, this is to maximise the quality of the games we receive).
- Games can be PC or Android (x86 (not ARM))-based. Keyboard, mouse and/or gamepad is supported on PC. Touchscreen is supported on Android.
- Exact specs of the PCs and tablets will be provided closer to the time.
- Prize pool of R15,000; more prizes may be confirmed closer to the time.
- Submitted games will be judged by a panel of experts. Well… “experts”. But we’re all quite nice anyway, and sometimes we play video games. The top 4-8 games will be selected to be played at rAge. Judging criteria will be confirmed closer to the time.
- Jammers needn’t be able to attend rAge to be eligible for the prize money or to have their game placed on public display.
- Only entries from within the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region will be accepted.
- All content must be original and must not violate any existing copyright laws.