Global Game Jam 2012 was a pivotal moment in my life: it was the first experience I had in having completed a game with others, and within the confines of a weekend at that. It left an impression on me.
This left me distraught having learned Purdue had not held the event since 2010 (a year in which had no submissions). This year I had the opportunity to amend this, by coordinating Purdue’s Global Game Jam 2014 site.
Planned in two and a half weeks, Purdue’s location hosted 30 registered participants who funneled into 5 teams which stuck through to the end. While I often felt somewhat unnecessary during the event, the before and after stages taught me quite a bit.
Communication is Key
Planning Purdue’s Global Game Jam site was quickened due to the small organization team and the quick back and forth which occurred (most within the first week of conceiving the idea). It might sound obvious, but willingness to go out an ask what needs to be done was what allowed this event to come together. Don’t underrate face-to-face communication, it expedites communication and imprints on the other party how serious you are.
Make Saying “yes” Easy
Any site you would want to host at will likely have publicly available room schedules. Use these to make specific requests when reserving space.
Also anticipate areas of concern. If the facility is often publicly available: ensure that the site will remain open as space is available. If another group has the room before your reservation: let them know that you have already planned that into your setup schedule. Anticipating these informs the building managers that you have the scheduling under control, easing their burden of decision.
Don’t Skip Team Building
The value of team building exercises became unfortunately apparent to me after this weekend. While these exercises are largely unnecessary for people who have come in groups, they are crucial to those who have come alone. At least one individual walked out early in the event as a result of not having a team; for that I feel responsible having not created created an inviting atmosphere. Event coordinators follow common schedules for a reason, I learned why the hard way.