Global Game Jam hackathon set for Belfast this month

18 Jan 2013

Coders and creatives are being summoned to Belfast at the end of this month to take part in the Global Game Jam hackathon, where teams will compete to build a video game within 48 hours.

The Belfast leg of the global hackathon will take place at Farset Labs between 25-27 January.

“This is the biggest event of its kind in the world and we are calling on Northern Ireland’s brightest and best creative and technical people to take part,” explained Andrew Bolster of Farset Labs.

“So whether you are a writer, artist, coder, character designer or even a production manager, and are interested in meeting like-minded people to express yourself through video games, join us on 25 January.”

The free event is being hosted in conjunction with the University of Ulster Office of Innovation.

Record-setting hackathon

Global Game Jam is essentially a hackathon, focused on games of all sorts, from full-scale console productions to mobile, web-based and embedded games, as well as non-digital productions, like board and card games. Some will be frivolous, others developed for solid causes, such as social impact in the case of the Games For Change movement.  

The first Global Game Jam was run in 2009. Last January, 242 locations in 47 countries created more than 2,000 games in one weekend to become a Guinness World Record. But sites for this year’s event have already been registered in around 300 locations in 60 countries, so your involvement will be part of a new world record.

“The weekend is about exploring the process of development, programming, iterative design, narrative exploration or artistic expression and while the focus is on programming there are many other ways people who don’t code can contribute to a game,” Bolster said. 

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years