The Global Game Jam in Tunisia

This January 26, 27, 28 of 2018, I had the chance to be a jammer in the Global Game Jam in Tunisia, in ULT.
Well, I think the majority of people know about it even if they didn’t participate… But for those who don’t know about it, it’s the largest game jam event for game creation taking place all over the world at physical locations, it’s more like a hackathon focused on game development. that’s what you should probably know about the GGJ, but today, I am not going to explain what’s the GGJ or which skills you must have to win the GGJ or even to participate in it …Nah. I am going to show you the real version of GGJ, what’s really the GGJ ? and why it’s an important event to attend?

It’s true that you are going to spend 3 days designing and coding your game hoping it works the way you always dreamt of … But not only that, the GGJ is more, it’s more than a hackathon of game creation …It’s true that I am going to talk about my own experience but I think this is the main topic that you should learn from the GGJ, to win or to lose isn’t what really matters, what really matters, it’s when you have the chance to be there, what really matters is that when you come back home, you come back like a new person with new skills, with hope, with many new friends, with a new experience, with a new vision for your future … If you have all that, or even some of it, you are a winner, you already gain what expected from you to learn from the GGJ.

It was a sunny Friday in January, 27th, I and some friends from my higher institute went to the ULT to participate in the GGJ 2018. First, we took our Access badges, the organizers informed us that the conference will start in an hour and the theme of this year will be announced at 6 PM. I was really impressed by the speech of everyone who took part in the conference, even impressed by the questions of the jammers, I really realized that we are a community who thinks big and who is dreaming of development and of being much more than what we are now …

It was 5:45 PM everyone was there in front of the large presentation, waiting for the announcement of the theme of this year.

It was about “ transmission “… when I first heard the word, I had really nothing in my mind and the same struggle with my team members. Everyone left and went to their desktops to start work, all the teams were collecting ideas, the organizers were there, for us, all the time, from a team to another, helping, sharing, and encouraging. It was really hard to find an original Game idea and also related to the theme, without forgetting the part of development, coding, and design.

At 12 PM the idea was ready, we have to start coding and designing the characters, without mentioning the details, it was a big deal to people dealing with new technologies and new programming languages, with only some simple design skills.

We were there to learn and to gain experience more than everything, we were amateurs, some passionate gamers, who want to learn how to create the thing they loved.

A team photo for the memory

There, we were like a family, you don’t know everyone but, you talk to everyone, you exchange ideas with everyone, you ask for help and you help, everyone was a need and everyone was in need, we ate together, we slept together, we had jokes, we had hard moments and happy moments, all in one, you believe that everyone is there for you … Organizers, jammers, your friends, your team, people you just met, and you don’t know anything about them, but you know you are all humans, and you are all Gamers, and you are here for the same purpose, even if you are not with the same skills, but you are here for them and they are here for you …

Honestly, I am not a sleepy person, but it was the first time that I don’t really care about timing.

There, it was the first time I recognize that I am a person with determination and persistence. I am not a patient person, but there, I was really patient, I discovered a hidden part of me.
I think I have also discovered many hidden skills there … and now I am developing these skills to prove to myself that I am able and I can do what I really want.
Being there, made me meet many nice people, some of them are students just like me, others are experienced people. They told me about the personal challenges that changed my vision for life.

After 48 h of challenge, some teams were ready with their amazing games, some gave up and just came back home early, it was a Sunday morning, with dreamy eyes, everyone was preparing for his presentation in the evening who Will determine the fate of our games …
And here we are, it was 6 PM when the jury was there waiting to discover what we have made in these 48 hours …

19 teams with different skills, different games, different ideas, but with the same chance to be one of these 19 …

After nearly 2 hours and a half, all the presentations were done. It’s time for the jury to think about who’s going to win the GGJ of this year, everyone was waiting, impatient, tired, but satisfied and happy …

Photographed by Brahim Guedich, from TGD page on Facebook

Besides, it’s the moment everyone is waiting for, winners are announced, a happy wave covered the place, everyone was happy for them, everyone was impressed by their game and by their efforts, they really deserve it, and we really deserve to be there, all of us…
I was a lucky person to get involved in this amazing event, I am really proud to learn many new skills there, I am lucky to meet many nice people there, and I was luckier that now I have “ MORA “, the game I have developed with my team, or to be more precise, with the rest of my team members which get decreased from 5 to 2 than to 3 again …

Finally, I want to invite everyone who likes Games, who’s curious to know how we made Games, or who’s thinking to be a game developer in the future … the GGJ is the best event to participate in, don’t miss the occasion, it’s really wonderful and you will learn many things that we can’t learn at college or from training courses … Be there next year, the occasion isn’t over yet.
Big thanks to
Brie Code, Mouadh Yaacoubi, Ali Mehrez, the jury who was there, also Houssem Zouaghi, Houssem Ben Amor, and a big special thank to “ Makrem Zouaghi “ for all his efforts to support us … And everyone who was there, all of them …

with love ♥…

“We must write to express, not to impress” Software Quality Analyst Engineer 🔎 Computer science engineering student 💻