Various esteemed members of the campus game-making community are holding workshops in the days and hours leading up to the theme release! These are free and open to the public. Last year's UCSC GGJ site workshops were small but very successful—helping a lot of new game-makers get off the ground, and exposing many experienced developers to exciting new tools (even cutting edge research tools).

Every workshop will provide attendees with interesting, useful knowledge and skills, even if you aren't planning on participating in GGJ16, and even if you are jamming this weekend, but don't necessarily use the tool or methodology for your game jam game. In other words, these are valuable, community-driven tutorials, that support anyone remotely interested in games, programming, or digital media. 


Jarrett van der Bergh
Thur 1/28 • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM • DARC 306 (Light Lab)

An introduction to the basics of Unity and scripting in C#. Covers basic 2D and first person movement. Other topics chosen upon request.

A Pragmatic Guide to PCG

Kate Compton
Fri 1/29 • 12:30 PM - 1:40 PM • DARC 306 (Light Lab)

Procedural content generation (PCG) is a way of making art and animation with code. Sounds like a good idea, but how do you actually program it? A step-by-step guide for an easy approach.

Game Design Documents & MVP

Daniel Chamberlin
Fri 1/29 • 2:00 PM - 3:10 PM • DARC 306 (Light Lab)

An introduction to the basics of Game Documentation and Pre-Production. Covers the importance of Minimum Viable Product and how to start making games.


Joseph Rossi
Fri 1/29 • 3:30 PM - 4:40 PM • DARC 306 (Light Lab)

GameMaker is a beginner-friendly tool for making 2D, graphical games. This workshop will cover the three basics needed to get a GameMaker game running: Rooms, Sprites, and Objects.


Ben Samuel
Fri 1/29 • 12:30 PM - 3:10 PM • DARC 206 (Seminar Room)

The Ensemble Engine is an Artificial Intelligence system designed to facilitate the creation of games with highly dynamic, socially aware characters. In this workshop we'll be covering the basics of working with Ensemble, learning how to use it by discussing small examples, and closing with a mini Ensemble Jam in which participants will have free reign to make their own games with truly playable social relationships.

Download the Ensemble Engine, authoring tool, and starter code here—a GGJ@UCSC early access exclusive!


Matthew R.F. Balousek
Fri 1/29 • 3:30 PM - 4:40 PM • DARC 206 (Seminar Room)

Twine is a tool for making interactive fiction, a kind of literary game that stands on the border between prose, poetry, and videogames. If you know how to use a word processor, you won't have any trouble making a game in Twine!