Global Game Jam 2018 Indonesia: Fresh Start for Fresh Talents for the Better Game Industry’s Future

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Global Game Jam 2018 is the fifth year of this event held in Indonesia. So, what is the event’s impact on the future of Indonesia’s game development talents?

Global Game Jam 2018 reaches its 10th anniversary this year globally. But for Indonesia, this is the fifth year of the event. First held in 2013, this year Global Game Jam was participated by 12 city communities and hundreds of jammers (participants) across Indonesia.

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Every year, Global Game Jam becomes one of the perfect places to see new talents in Indonesia. As its tagline suggests, “Innovation, Collaboration, Experimentation,” Global Game Jam helps new talents in Indonesia to know more about game development process by diving into the process directly.

For professional game developers, Global Game Jam can “refresh” their mind from the daily work and helps them to find a new idea for their next project.

Global Game Jam 2018 Review
Global Game Jam 2018 Surabaya

Only in 48 hours, all of the jammers should create games following a theme and diversifiers. The theme for this year’s event was “Transmission”, which surely makes the idea go wild. Finishing the game was not important. But, they should make sure that their game is playable and enjoyable. Also, they shouldn’t forget the fun factor that makes gamers play their game more and more.

Gameprime.org team visited two of the major jam sites in Indonesia. The first was in Jakarta, held in Lyto HQ, West Jakarta, and the second was in Surabaya, held in Politeknik Elektronika Negeri Surabaya. Both sites were joined by around 60 jammers who, then, created more than 10 games. So, how was the event going?

More Fresh Talents Join The Party

Global Game Jam 2018 Review

One big problem that must be solved in Indonesia’s game industry is how to educate new talents. There are several universities in Indonesia that already open game development major and thousands of new talents are currently studying there. But participating in Global Game Jam surely is a new and unique experience.

In Surabaya and Jakarta, for example, more than half of the participants were rookies who hadn’t joined any game jam before. They looked enthusiastic to face a new challenge which was making a game only in 48 hours with a random teammate that they hadn’t known before. This was a great start to see how they overcame the challenge and took the challenge to the next step after the game jam was over.

Around 80 to 90 percent of jammers were new faces. It means that the enthusiasm of Indonesian to the game industry is so big. “That automatically made us happy,” said Arief Widhiyasa, CEO of Agate Studio according to Duniaku.net when he gave his speech in Jakarta’s Game Jam opening.

Global Game Jam 2018
Arief Widhiyasa. Source: Duniaku.net

After 48 hours of making games, we saw that most of them had a great idea. Surely because of the limited time, they only could make a simple game. Some of them even dropped some great features that they’d planned before and kept them for a further development. You can check the results on the official site.

Yes, you read it right. According to our observation, most of the jammers planned to continue their creation to the next level. They said that game from Global Game Jam was a great start to dive into a more serious game development process. They wanted to continue and polished their game, so that someday, hopefully, they can put it on the market.

Is It Good for the Industry?

Global Game Jam 2018

The answer surely is yes. The industry surely needs more talents for the future if Indonesia wants to compete with other countries, especially in Southeast Asia such as Malaysia and Singapore.

But talents is not the only factor to accelerate the industry growth. It should be supported by other factors such as initiative from the government, investment from the international company, knowledge sharing from international developers, and game development-related events.

“Market-wise, Indonesia is on the good track. Unfortunately, talent-wise, it isn’t because we are still facing some challenges. We hope talents will grow continuously, so they don’t get left behind by this fast market growth,” Arief continues.

Global Game Jam 2018
Sharing session from Elwin Lysander (Mojiken Studio) in Global Game Jam 2018 Surabaya

Global Game Jam 2018 was a huge success, but with one small note. We saw that all of 12 jam sites in Indonesia concentrate in Java and Bali (Depok, Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Malang, Salatiga, Denpasar, Kediri, Surabaya, Semarang, Bekasi, and Solo). There isn’t any jam site outside the Java island for this year’s event, even though in 2016 and 2017 there was a jam site in Makassar, Sulawesi.

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Will we see jam sites giving births to new talents from Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Sumatera, or even Papua in the next year’s Global Game Jam?

See you next year!

Edited by Devi