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Paper Jam

November 10, 2011

If you’ve been at any club events this term, then you may have heard me mention the Paper Jam. Or you may have seen it sitting in the upcoming events list. Or read mention of it in the GDCIE posts. Well, you need wait no longer to find out more about it.

This term we will be having the Paper Jam on Saturday November 19, 2011. It will be a one day kind of thing.

We’re going to be making non-electronic games of the pen and paper, tabletop variety. You should strive to make your game a full, playable game, rather than just an idea, and so you should ideally design it to use things that are easily acquired or made by the player, rather than requiring some big conceptual game board and a vast collection of non-existent miniatures, or something.

How it’s going to work is, Friday night (the 18th) at around 8 or 9 pm, I’ll announce a theme via a post on the website. You can start brainstorming ideas then, and maybe get a first draft of your rules done. Then we’ll have a room booked for Saturday and we’ll meet up in the morning. If you’ve got some rough rule ideas, then you should be able to start play-testing immediately. The Paper Jam will end Saturday evening, approximately 24 hours after I announce the theme.

A large part of developing your paper jam game will be play-testing and refining your rules. Hence a lot of the jam will consist of playing your, and everyone else’s, works in progress.

Even if you’re not strictly interested in making tabletop games, you may still find value in the Paper Jam. The nature of the games allows the focus of the event to be more on pure game design, as opposed to a more traditional game jam where you may become bogged down writing code, or drawing art assets.

You’re welcome to offer me theme suggestions. You can send them to the club email, or leave them in the comments below. However, I reserve the right to ignore any and all suggested themes and use one of my own. But if you have any awesome theme ideas, feel free to let me know.

Next week, as part of the GDCIE, we will be discussing an rpg that was designed in 24 hours, so that might serve you as some inspiration toward the type of game you might want to make. If people want (let me know) I could maybe dig up some other sources of potential inspiration and post them to the site.

I’ll let you all know what room we’ll be meeting in once we actually have the booking confirmed (but still in advance of the Paper Jam itself).

Nothing left to say,
Jonathan Semple

Categories: Events
  1. Stratis
    November 10, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Does it have to be the 19th? Just saying, you’re doing this on the day that Minecraft 1.0 comes out.

    • November 12, 2011 at 12:31 AM

      It’s going to be the 19th, sorry. That’s when we planned it for, and Saturday would be my preferred day for a day long thing. Minecraft will have to wait (if you want to do the Paper Jam).

  2. Nigel
    November 17, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    this sounds like fun. how many people do you expect to show up?

    • November 17, 2011 at 5:07 PM

      Hard to say, I never did an official poll of interest, really. I’d be more than happy if we got over five people (myself included). Club members can feel free to surprise me on this. The room we have booked (ML 216) holds about 15-20 people, I am told.

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