The Global Game Jam is a 48-hour event where artists, video game developers and programmers create a video game over just one weekend. Held in over 120 locations worldwide, it's creative, cooperative, chaotic and huge fun.
New Zealand gamers will be the first to kickoff, when the theme for the games is unveiled at 5pm on Friday 27 January and the teams work flat out until Sunday night.
Global Game Jam is open to anyone interested in making games including programmers, artists (2D and 3D), designers, animators, sound artists, musicians and board gamers. You don't have to be an experienced game developer to join in.
Local gamers will gather at the Media Design School in Auckland, the University of Waikato in Hamilton, The Bizdojo in Wellington and in Christchurch. Each site has its own separate sign-up website.
On the Friday night you're given a theme and some constraints and then dive straight in. With such a small time frame, the games tend to be innovative and experimental.
The event is now in its third year. At the 2011 Jam, 75 local developers produced 15 games.
The event is organized globally by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), with New Zealand being the first timezone to kickoff.