Not just the first country to see the sun, New Zealand will be the first to kick off the Global Game Jam too come January.
Held in more than 120 locations worldwide, it’s creative, cooperative, chaotic and huge fun, according to Stephen Knightly.
The chairperson for the New Zealand Game Developers Association (NZGDA) says the event focuses more on having fun than winning.
“It helps if you know games and have some basic knowledge of game development, but the only rule is a willingness to join a team on the night and contribute ideas."
Teams are tasked with creating a new video game over a weekend; the theme for the games will be announced at 5pm on January 27. Gamers competing will gather at three locations: Media Design School in Auckland, the University of Waikato and in the office of Digital Confectioners in Christchurch.
“On the Friday night you’re given a theme and some constraints and then dive straight in. Sure it's a tight time frame, but it's amazing what crazy and surprisingly fun ideas can come out of it."
NZGDA, International Game Developers Association and local volunteers were responsible for organising the global event.
The event has been running for the past four years and anyone can compete – no experience necessary.
At the 2011 Jam, 75 local developers produced 15 games around the theme of extinction, ranging from shooters and platformers to role-playing and god games.
Register at www.playmaker.org.nz/gamejam.