Sponsoring a Jam?

I really like seeing the game jams and the creativity that it brings (not to mention the additional fun content). What are the typical prizes awarded? What are the costs of running a Jam? I’d be curious to see what that would be to see if we couldn’t get another 1 or 2 going a year


Depending on the context for prizes most game jams actually do not offer anything outside of bragging rights or having their game thoroughly reviewed and given feedback. I have only ever been in one outside of the ones we hold that offer prizes so offering a prize is not strictly required.

That being said for us we usually allocate about $1050 for prizes every year. The largest cost for us though is in terms of time. Prep for the jam usually starts around 4-5 months ahead of the jam. Most of the prep work we do is around promotion and advertising, budgeting, scheduling, and estimating traffic and making the needed system upgrades beforehand to allow the site to handle the spike in traffic (this is usually just beefing up the server for a few months but can be as major as this years DB migration). We also try to meet at least 3 times to discuss the theme as well as put out calls for suggestions on our patreon, though we are hoping to streamline the process a bit more next year by giving more control of the theme to the community.

We are a bit of an atypical case though and we are still trying to refine the Gain Jam a bit more.

In general though if you want to do a jam you do not really need to offer any prizes if you do not want to especially since that is not typical. But one hidden cost to consider, outside of time invested, is developer burnout. Game Jams are very fun but extremely stressful due to the short timeframes and can lead to developer burnout if done too frequently.

That being said I am not sure if maybe a more standard 48 hour jam may help in the aspect due to the smaller time investment compared to longer jams like the one we hold and may be worth investigating.