We'll Never Recover from GGJ15 (and We Wouldn't Want To)

A postmortem of Global Game Jam 2015 Boston (our first game jam ever) and our game, Dig Yourself Out.

I went into the Global Game Jam thinking I had no skills or experience to contribute. I wasn't even sure why I was there; I had suggested the idea for Matt, and somehow I ended up tagging along. I'm not a gamer, unless Rock Band counts—does it count? This wasn't my world.

But it kind of was. It was a creative space, and that was the important part. Put together in a room with hundreds of creative minds that turned out to be much more like mine than I imagined, we made some crazy sh*t together.

Okay, so I only really worked with one partner in the end, but all the creative minds and ideas I crossed in the process influenced our game. My point is, the Global Game Jam is pure fuel for any creativity, motivation to make things. It got me out of a long artistic rut, and I didn't feel out of place at all.

So, what I can tell you from this experience is that it's really not as hard as you think it is to make something. Anything, even something you never dreamed you could make. You can do it in 48 hours. And you never know where inspiration will come from.

I, Sabrina Boyd—blogger, music promoter, grad student—made a game. It works, and it's not terrible. Thanks, Global Game Jam, for shoving me into this beautiful, horrible, terrifying, and absurd monster of a project that I'm proud to put my name to.

- Sabrina Boyd, @SabrinaKayaB


I can safely say the Global Game Jam was the best creative experience of my life. No exaggeration.

When Sabrina first suggested we participate in the Global Game Jam at Northeastern, I... honestly almost hesitated. Creative collaboration is not something I'm used to; it actually makes me kind of nervous. But Sabrina was confident that it'd be good. So I said yes.

And it was good. Really, really good.

My memory is now filled with images of us storyboarding, speed-writing, recording... and then spending 10 hours locked in mortal combat with our respective final tasks. Calling them "happy memories" wouldn't cut it. I love them entirely, even the zero-sleep, zero-food, and nonstop-adrenaline-rush parts.

Thank you, Global Game Jam and Northeastern! I never want to recover from the magical terror that you put me through.

- Matt Surka, @getinthedamnbox


Our Game Page

Play Here!


Highlights from Our Conversation

0:00 Hi!

0:58 How We Got There

3:14 We Got There

4:22 What Is Global Game Jam?


9:24 Our Game Idea & the GGJ15 Theme

11:16 We All Think the Same

14:45 Stealing Ideas

16:46 Do What You’re Interested In / Know What's Unnecessary

19:15 Characterization

20:49 "Dig Yourself Out"

22:17 JavaScript Crash Course

23:35 Co-Writing

26:14 Bonus Feature

31:11 Recording / The Long Night

33:04 My Artist Code

35:24 Time Lapse

37:21 Is This All for Nothing?

39:06 We Made It Through the Night

40:08 The Crash

41:37 Making the Trailer

44:52 We Made A Game!

46:22 Love the Bad Endings

47:44 You Can Do Anything / Don’t Overlook Your Skills

50:30 No Back Seats

51:34 Scope to Learn

52:55 Where to Play & Thanks!

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