“Game Development Center” aka OYGEM, which was established with the aim of making Izmir a big voice in the game industry, hosted the world’s largest game jam event for 3 days.
OYGEM, hosted “Global Game Jam” during 28-29-30 January to people with a burning passion for game development. With benefits and assistance like fast internet and constant mentorship support, many participants joined whether solo or with a team. Global Game Jam took place simultaneously in 99 countries and 670 venues, totaling roughly 11,300 game developer and software developers participating in the event. Sony, Xbox, Facebook, Unreal and Unity were some among many giants providing sponsorship for the event.
“Turkey is very far ahead in this field”
Digi Game Startup Studio Founder Doruk Demirsar: I’ve been in the esports and games industry since 2014. We did games-related broadcasting, esports tournaments and many other things. With Digi Game Startup Studio, we’re now also stepping in to help grow one more part of the industry we reside in.
Digi Game Startup Studio and Izmir Metropolitan Municipality’s collaborative project OYGEM(Game Development Center) helps us bring interested and willing youth into the world of game development with various events. Help from the municipalities and people’s general interest in gaming is the reason why this industry has come so far in Turkey.
Global Game Jam is an event that starts at the same time all over the world and where people develop games on the same theme.
In GGJ 2022, which we participated in as a venue, the participants developed a game with the theme of Duality within 48 hours this year. At the end of the jam, the participants uploaded their games to globalgamejam.org and presented them to everyone.
In addition to the activities we do, at OYGEM, we provide basic training to the people involved in the game industry and ensure that they take the necessary steps to enter the industry.
“They should never be afraid of making mistakes”
Team Machievelli Founder Halil Onur Yazıcıoğlu: “I do mentorship at the Global Game Jam. We professionally develop games. Not everyone here has the same amount of experience, we have a lot of people coming to Global Game Jam to see how the machine ticks, and how they can be a part of it. They ask us for help when they are stuck. Coding, 2D design, sound and music, game design are a few of the things they need help about. We try to support them as much as we can in these topics. When they’re stuck, we show them the right direction, and see what they come up with. Giving the correct solution and assets would be a mistake. Our biggest wish is that they do not fear making mistakes. They need to feel the growing pains, learn by mistake. That’s how our mentorship works.”
“To show Turkey’s place on the map, we need to hold this event in İzmir.”
Forge Game Studio Founder Can Ahmet Yılmaz: “Many events were held before the Global Game Jam. Global Game Jam is a worldwide event and community of independent game producers. Having this done in Izmir is an important event for us to show Turkey’s place on the map in the European and US markets. When we look at İzmir as a preview, we have friends with great potential who can produce quality games. Organizing such events offers some opportunities for companies like ours. This gives us an advantage in recruiting trainees and teammates. I basically try to help my friends here in art and design, technique, theory or practice within certain standards. Teams established here can and do merge and turn into companies in the future. After all, we are in the gamification age. The aim of this Jam is to show the game, the player spirit, by creating content, and showing that it is not all just about playing games.”
İzmir’s centerpiece “OYGEM”
The event, which is held simultaneously in different parts of the world every year and brings together many game development enthusiasts, was held at OYGEM with the cooperation of Digi Game Startup Studio and İZFAŞ. 12 venus organized the event in Turkey. 2 venues organized the event online and 10 of them were offline. This year, the “Global Game Jam” event was organized at OYGEM as the Izmir center of the Aegean region. More than 100 young people committed to non-stop game development for 48 hours. OYGEM Academy participants from Sivas, Konya, Kayseri, Denizli and surrounding cities came together at the event.