The Game Jam as a Format for Formal Applied Game Design and Development Education

  • Micah HrehovcsikEmail author
  • Harald Warmelink
  • Marilla Valente
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10056)


This paper introduces the design and results of an applied game jam integrated in a game design and development curriculum, which took place February 2016 at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht in the Netherlands. The game jam followed a four-phased structure over the course of four days. Forty-five participants shared their demographics, baseline competency, attitude towards game jams, and learning expectations in a pre-jam questionnaire. In a post-jam questionnaire they assessed their collaboration and learning outcomes. Results are generally positive, although some measures of collaboration constructs were unreliable. Nevertheless, a game jam is in principal a format worthy of introduction into formal game design and development education. Several implications and next steps are discussed.


  1. 1.
    Fowler, A., Khosmood, F., Arya, A., Lai, G.: The global game jam for teaching and learning. In: Proceedings of the 4th Annual Conference on Computing and Information Technology Research and Education New Zealand, pp. 28–34 (2013).
  2. 2.
    Farhan, E., Kocher, M.: Big team game jams: a framework to emulate big production using game jams with big teams. In: International Conference on Game Jams, Hackathons, and Game Creation Events, Berkeley, CA, pp. 1–7. ACM Press (2016).
  3. 3.
    Fowler, A., Lai, G., Studios, K., Khosmood, F.: Trends in organizing philosophies of game jams and game hackathons. In: Workshop on Game Jams, Hackathons and Game Creation Events, Pacific Grove, CA, USA (2015).
  4. 4.
    Kultima, A., Alha, K., Nummenmaa, T.: Design constraints in game design case: survival mode game jam 2016. In: International Conference on Game Jams, Hackathons, and Game Creation Events, pp. 22–29. ACM Press, Berkeley, CA (2016).
  5. 5.
    Locke, R., Parker, L., Galloway, D., Sloan, R.: The game jam movement: disruption, performance and artwork. In: Workshop Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (Pacific Grove, California, Asilomar Conference Grounds), Pacific Grove, CA, USA (2015).
  6. 6.
    Pirker, J., Voll, K.: Group forming processes-experiences and best practice from different game jams. In: Workshop on Game Jams, Hackathons and Game Creation Events, Pacific Grove, CA, USA (2015).
  7. 7.
    Preston, J.A., Chastine, J., O’Donnell, C., Tseng, T., MacIntyre, B.: Game jams: community, motivations, and learning among jammers. Int. J. Game-Based Learn. 2(3), 51–70 (2012). doi: 10.4018/ijgbl.2012070104 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Shin, K., Kaneko, K., Matsui, Y., Mikami, K., Nagaku, M., Nakabayashi, T., Ono, K., Yamane, S.R.: Localizing global game jam: designing game development for collaborative learning in the social context. In: Nijholt, A., Romão, T., Reidsma, D. (eds.) ACE 2012. LNCS, vol. 7624, pp. 117–132. Springer, Heidelberg (2012). doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-34292-9_9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kultima, A.: Defining game jam. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, vol. 15 (2015).
  10. 10.
    Musil, J., Schweda, A., Winkler, D., Biffl, S.: Synthesized essence: what game jams teach about prototyping of new software products. In: 2010 ACM/IEEE 32nd International Conference on Software Engineering, vol. 2, pp. 183–186. IEEE (2010).
  11. 11.
    Reng, L., Schoenau-Fog, H., Kofoed, L.B.: The motivational power of game communities - engaged through game jamming. In: Foundations of Digital Games, Chania, Crete, GreeceGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Smith, P.A., Bowers, C.: Improving social skills through game jam participation. In: International Conference on Game Jams, Hackathons, and Game Creation Events, Berkeley, CA, pp. 8–14. ACM Press (2016).
  13. 13.
    Preston, J.A.: serious game development: case study of the 2013 CDC games for health game jam, pp. 39–43. ACM Press (2014).
  14. 14.
    Law, B., McDonald, B.: Game jams: how can they influence software development curricula? In: Workshop on Game Jams, Hackathons and Game Creation Events, Pacific Grove, CA, USA (2015).
  15. 15.
    Petri, A., Schindler, C., Slany, W., Spieler, B., Smith, J.: Pocket game jams: a constructionist. In: MobileHCI 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark, Approach at Schools, pp. 1207–1211. ACM Press (2015).
  16. 16.
    Maarse, D.: Meer dan een leuk project: het versterken van projectonderwijs. Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, Utrecht (2011)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Silverstein, D., Samuel, P., DeCarlo, N.: The Innovator’s Toolkit: 50 Techniques for Predictable and Sustainable Organic Growth. Wiley, Hoboken (2009)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hrehovcsik, M., van Roesell, L.: Using vitruvius as a framework for applied game design. In: Schouten, B. (ed.) Games For Health, pp. 131–152. Springer, Heidelberg (2014)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Stubbé, H., van de Ven, J.G.M., Hrehovcsik, M.: Games for top civil servants: an integrated approach. In: Ruggiero, D. (ed.) Cases on the Societal Effects of Persuasive Games. IGI Global, Hershey (2014)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hrehovcsik, M.: teaching “applied” game design: theory and tools. Int. J. Multimedia Ubiquit. Eng. 9, 243–254 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mayer, I., Warmelink, H., Bekebrede, G.: Learning in a game-based virtual environment: a comparative evaluation in higher education. Eur. J. Eng. Educ. 38(1), 85–106 (2013). doi: 10.1080/03043797.2012.742872 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Carmeli, A., Brueller, D., Dutton, J.E.: Learning behaviours in the workplace: the role of high-quality interpersonal relationships and psychological safety. Syst. Res. Behav. Sci. 26(1), 81–98 (2009). doi: 10.1002/sres.932 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    HKU University of the Arts Utrecht: Living Lab Game Jam (2016). Accessed 30 Sept 2016
  24. 24.
    Jam Today: (2016). Accessed 30 Sept 2016

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Micah Hrehovcsik
    • 1
    Email author
  • Harald Warmelink
    • 1
  • Marilla Valente
    • 2
  1. 1.HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, HKU Games and InteractionUtrechtNetherlands
  2. 2.Dutch Game GardenUtrechtNetherlands

Personalised recommendations