Dream It. Build It. Play It. Board Game Jam
is a celebration of simplicity, and a return to some pretty basic fundamentals. The goal is to create a new board game within 48 hours.
The brains behind the games are Adam Clare and David Fono who want to make it clear that the premise of what goes into making a board game are basically simple arts and crafts. Clare teaches the post-graduated Game Design program at George Brown and is also a professional game designer. Fono is also a professional game designer who has had his games featured at festivals around the world.
This is the first event of its kind here in Toronto, and Clare describes it all came to fruition. "David and I were out for breakfast one morning and the idea just came to us. We wanted to have an event to create board games that get more people interested in what games are all about, and now it's happening! We don't think it's the first of it's kind in the world, but we did get the .com domain so perhaps it is", he grins.
For people looking to be creative, the overall process can lead into a world of rich exploration and sophisticated design. Much of game design has to do with abstract rules and mechanics that don’t have anything to do with technology. The best games of any sort are both easy to learn, yet tough to master. All you need is an imagination and perhaps a rough outline of a game already in your head.
Anyone can participate and no prior experience is required, as part of Board Game Jam is about being guided through the process. Participants meet up Saturday morning for a crash design course, followed by a short development exercise, and then it is time to create. Sunday morning allows more time to finalize for the grand finale presentation. Go solo, or put together a small group of like-minded individuals.
At the end of the game building session, there will be a meet-up on Sunday evening where the public is invited to come try their hand at some of the newly created masterpieces. Board game creators get to keep their prototypes at the end of the evening, and there are prizes
for some of the top designs. Clare admits, "Our whole angle is to get new people into board games and get people who enjoy playing games to try and make one."
This is guaranteed fun, but you can be certain there will be a few taking this very seriously and following the guidelines to board game design.
Get your friends together, design a board game, build it, and watch people play it!
Saturday (and Sunday daytime)
George Brown School of Design
230 Richmond St. East
The Rhino (Upstairs)
1249 Queen St. West
Adam Clare is a keen supporter of Board Game Jam and also the mind behind the positively awesome website Things Are Good
David Fono is a pervasive gaming guru who combines his mad tech skills with his creative abilities to produce compelling game experiences, and co-founder of the game inspiration site Atmosphere Industries
Beside Clare and Fono, the following “game industry” experts will be on hand to offer guidance, support, and inspiration.
Steve Tassie is the designer of a range of "B-Movie card games" published by Z-Man games, including games like "Grave Robbers from Outer Space" and "Cannibal Pygmies," as well as a stand-up comedian.
Tom Quinn is the designer of The Game of Things, which is published by Hasbro, and has sold hundreds of thousands of copies internationally.
Laura Robinson is the designer of the famous Balderdash, as well as her latest game, Identity Crisis. Rick Gerrits is the other half of Identity Crisis, and has a business background.