In this moment in time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online events are where all the focus is for developers and business people seeking to get the word out about what they are offering or building. This is the case in just about every situation where an audience needs to be reached, and it’s no less true for game developers.
Enter one such online events, the Stay Safe! Jam. Held from March 27th to the 29th, the venue is not at any hosting company’s office or event venue but rather for developers at home in front of their computers. The Stay Safe! Jam is hosted on independent content creator marketplace itch.io and was conceived this month by Jan Cosfeld, the Art Director at NUKKLEAR.
The overarching goals of the jam are, in the shadow of the pandemic, to promote community through games, to raise awareness about safe socializing from a distance, and to create a safe place for game developers to express themselves.
The Stay Safe! Jam website isn’t complete, but it appears plenty of useful information can be found on the “Rules” and “Tools” pages. The organizers have helpfully compiled a list of tools to use in development in sound, graphics, and more. For the especially creative types who prefer fewer rules as boundaries, It looks like the rules for developing a game are wide open, allowing creators to use any tools, engines, or libraries they wish. the game can be created sol or or through collaboration with teammates. Whatever game is created needs to be developed from scratch during the two-day window event window, with no use of copywrited assets. There’s a robust emphasis on staying family- and community-friendly and staying safe, to be prepared, healthy and, of course, staying home while working on a game project. No theme or prizes have been announced, but they will before the start of the event (March 27). Judging will be based on
The Stay Safe! Jam list of supporting companies is quite deep, including Bethesda, Crytek, devcom, Devolver, Ubisoft, Unreal Engine, Raw Fury and many other firms (and events) involved in the games business.
One of the supporting companies is Assemble Entertainment, an independent German games publisher and also an organizer of the @GermanDevDays event. A company representative noted their involvement is for prize sponsorship and PR and marketing support. It’s the company’s hope that “some developers will stay at home during the Stay Safe! Jam, develop cool games which will then bring other people joy while playing and staying at home. So overall, we hope that as many people will stay safe and home in these uncertain and dangerous times.”
Editor’s note (3/27/2020): Comments from Assemble Entertainment added.