Last weekend I took part in Jamchester, a games jam that took place in Manchester (obviously) at The Studio in the city centre. What makes this games jam different from the other game jams that take place on-site is that this is considered a “professional game jam”.
Unlike student game jams (like Staffordshire’s Global Game Jam or University of Hull’s Three Thing Game) or amateur game jams (like Ludum Dare), Jamchester is a games jam aimed at professional game developers, particularly the indie game studios that take place around the Greater Manchester area. While there were some student teams (and a student category), the majority of entrants are all professional game developers with a variety of experience in the games industry.
I was encouraged to go by the team at Desk Dragons, and managed to get one of the last tickets to get in. I managed to leave work early in order to get to Manchester before the jam began, and I was amazed at how well organized the jam was. Every table had a branded notebook and “survival kit” containing shampoo, wipes, toothpaste with a toothbrush. There was a schedule with food provided all day with buffets and even a BBQ in the late afternoon. Almost all of this was possible with the amount of sponsors, as the money from the tickets went to the charity Special Effect.