Global Game Jam 2016 in Japan countryside

Last year, I was an organizer of one of Japanese Global Game Jam site. But, this year I couldn’t do it, because my office was moving to another building in the same time. So I attended another Global Game Jam site in Japan, Ube. Ube is a small city in Yamaguchi prefecture that is next of my hometown; Hiroshima and Shimane. I had never been there, but I knew its name. A red zone is Ube (宇部) in the following map.



Why I wanted to join there? Because Ube is one of the first Global Game Jam site in the Chugoku region. The Chugoku region is the most west region of main island and I grew up there. It is a beautiful region, but really countryside. And, no game developers are there. So I wanted to contribute something. Plus, the organizer in Ube site was a friend of mine. I thought “I must go.”

Ube site has two unique conditions. One of them is that almost all jammers were teenagers. 5 jammers were a teenager (including a junior high school student) and 2 jammers were just 20 old. So young! The second condition was an original time table. Ube site started at 10am, the second day. And, the site closed at 8pm. I had only ten hours to write code. Because teenagers had to go back home. So healthy!

The organizer asked me to join a team as a mentor. I organized game design ideas of the teenagers, prepared a revision control server and wrote code. I had to write code in a hotel, but I could sleep on bed.

They also write code, designed levels and drew art assets. I changed their code, but didn’t change their idea. Here is our game. At first, a shadowed character moves automatic and you must record it in your brain. Next, you can move a character by WASD. Trace the shadowed character movement, or you are captured by traps. It’s a simple game.

If some of them like a game development more and more by game jam experience, I am really happy.

By the way, the subject of this entry is “Global Game Jam 2016 in Japan countryside”, but Ube might be not countryside. At least, Ube is more urban than my hometown… Well, that’s no problem. Global Game Jam 2016 was really fun.


Yamaguchi prefecture was one of the most important area in Meiji revolution. You can visit many historical building.

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