Sheridan is having it's anual non-digital game jam: Paper Bag Jam! That’s right, absolutely no video games will be made at Paper Bag Jam. Instead in less than 8hrs, participants will form teams to make non-digital games using simple materials: paper, pencil, cards, board plus a secret item every team needs to incorporate into their game!
At Paper Bag Jam we want to focus on game design basics so the games you’ll make here are going to be anything that can be played by one or more people and doesn’t require a computer! It could be games of chance or skill, party games or strategy games, storytelling or abstract games. Games played with cards, on a board, or with nothing more than people, a few rules, and imagination!
No prior experience necessary. This weekend is a practice session to exercise your creativity in game design and your skills in iteration and playtesting. Fun for both novice and experienced game designers!
We begin with an introduction to the Jam and a few short talks about game development. We’ll also play a few ice breaker games to help participants get to know each other. Facilitators will then lead the participants through a team forming session. Instead of a theme each team will receive a mystery item in a brown paper bag.
If you’ve never made a game before this is the Jam for you! We’ll have a mix of folks with various levels of experience in game design. We’ll also have facilitators on site running the Jam to help guide you through the processes of game development.
If you make games all the time this is an excellent opportunity to make games with people you’ve never met before, to break out of your safe zone or to just have fun!
What room is it in?
The SCAET Attrium at the Trafalgar Sheridan College campus in Oakville ON. The big building with the giant glowing S in front.
Is there an age limit to enter the game jam?
Nope! Anyone of any age can come BUT children under 14 will need an adult with them during the event. Organizers and volunteers are not responsible for the supervision of minors.
Do I need experience making games or be a game developer to participate?
Nope! Not at all. This is a public event and amateurs are totally welcome. However, there will be no one there to teach you. But just because you've never made a game before doesn't mean you don't have anything to offer! Game jams bring in all kinds of people who have different skills like: Artists, musicians, writers, LARPers, actors, even philosophers. Anyone can participate if they are willing to try.
Note: There will be a brief presentation on how to make games at the game jam before the event officially begins.
Does that mean if I run into a problem no one will help me?
No way! Just because we can't teach you doesn't mean we won't help and it also doesn't mean you can't ask your fellow jammers for help. Game Jams are about community so feel more than welcome to ask the event staff or other jammers if you run into a problem.
So I can make any game I want as long as it's not digital?
Yes BUT there are two exceptions to this. One is that the game has to fit in with the theme that will be announced at the game jam and two it has to be something you would be okay showing a teacher or a parent. We don't want anyone feeling like there are subjects that are forbidden, but please keep in mind these games will be seen by the public so anything hateful or obscene is not welcome.
Is this a team event?
Yes, but you will be making your teams at the event! Before the jam starts there will be a brief get-to-know-you activity followed by a team grouping activity. Once you have your team the theme will be announced and you can officially start.
Can I bring my own team / Can I work alone?
If you feel more comfortable working this way then please do, but we recommend that you give our way a try. You never know who you'll meet or what you'll make with people you've never met before.
Is this event a competition? Will there be prizes?
This is a non-competitive event, which means there are no winners or losers based on the games made during the jam.
What will be provided at the game jam?
The venue will provide space/tables, wifi/internet access, power and washrooms. There is also be a quiet place for rest and LOTS of food!
What can or can't I bring to the event?
Everything you need to make a game! That means bringing lots of supplies to make a physical game.
For more ideas on what to bring, check out this Pinterest of what goes into a Game Prototyping Kit.
You are welcome to bring food to the event and there will be areas for eating, we just ask that you take care of your area.
Only thing we ask is that you do not bring glass as breakage around so many people and expensive equipment is a concern.
What about security?
The venue does have it's own security, but that is more to make sure the venue is okay. You will ultimately be responsible for your own equipment and materials, and while we will do everything we can to make sure that everyone is safe we cannot be held responsible for lost or stolen items.
If at any point you feel harassed or unsafe please let our staff know and we will deal with it promptly.
Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
No we will have a digital check-in.
The name on the registration/ticket doesn't match the attendee. Is that okay?
It's not a big deal, but please let the registration staff know so that they can update contact information.
Above all we want our participants to have fun and feel safe. This means that abusive language and/or threatening behavior will not be tolerated. Participants who refuse to abide by this will be asked to leave and will not be permitted to finish the game jam.
When & Where
3rd year Game Design student at Sheridan College