I was contacted by Fred Serval, designer of the upcoming Red Flag Over Paris from GMT Games, and asked to post this information on our blog to get the word out about a new and upcoming concept called a CONSIM Game Jam.
Here is the information that Fred provided to us:
On the first weekend of October (2nd to the 4th) will be held a new kind of event in the wargaming community: a game jam! The theme of this first edition will be tied to a certain popular GMT Games series, and the jury will be composed of prominent GMT developers and designers: Volko Ruhnke, Morgane Gouyon-Rety, and Jason Carr. Here are more details about the event from the organizers.
The idea of a ‘Game Jam’ originally comes from the world of videogames, where several small teams compete to design a game over a very short period of time (typically between 24 and 72 hours). There are usually also additional constraints, such as a specific theme, genre, or mechanic that must be used. Over the past few years there have also been an increasing number of boardgame jams, focusing for example on single player games, or games using only 9 cards. We will be hosting the first dedicated consim boardgame jam, and if all goes well we hope to continue hosting more in the future.
Our primary aim is to encourage new designers to ‘get their feet wet’, so to speak, and we hope that the event will be an opportunity to showcase the work of some of these newer designers. Having said that, in our experience the constraints imposed by the game jam structure can also be very productive for more experienced designers, who might be inspired to design something that they wouldn’t otherwise have thought of, or otherwise receive some creative inspiration from the theme of the jam (which we have yet to reveal, although there have been some hints if you are paying close attention).
Once you sign up (see below) we will contact you with more details about the event, and some questions about the team that you will be working with. Ideally we would like everybody to organise themselves into teams of around 3 people, each bringing some different skills to the project (for example, a lead designer, a graphic designer, and a developer/researcher). However, if you do not yet have a team, you can also let us know what areas of game design you would like to work on, and we will set you up with some complementary team members. The evening before the event begins (1st October) we will announce the theme for the first jam and host some introductory talks to go through the theme of this first edition and the rules of the event, and then you will have three days (2nd-4th October) to work with your team and produce a prototype design. We would like to emphasise the word prototype here – three days is a very short time to design even a small game, and our judges are more interested in seeing innovative new ideas than fully-polished but unoriginal designs. Once the jam is over the judges will need some time to consider all of the entries, and then we will announce the winner.
To sign-up all you need to do is fill out this simple form before September 27th: http://consimgamejam.com/register/. You can also check out our website for more detail.