21st - 27th of January 2019

1 WEEK
FULL OF AWESOMENESS
100+
FRIENDLY JAMMERS
20+
EU and BG SPEAKERS
???
amazing GAMES

What is Sofia Game Jam?

Sofia Game Jam is a 48-hour hackathon where we make games and invite important people from the game industry to tell us what’s what. Everyone is welcome! No matter if you are really into game development or you are just a gamer who wants to try making games - SGJ is the place for you! 

The Jam is a non-profit event fully run by volunteers known for fostering friendships while increasing opportunities among participants. It’s not a competition, but rather a way to stimulate innovation, experimentation, and collaboration in the Bulgarian game dev community.

Our ultimate goal is to create a space where everyone is free to experiment with game mechanics, explore their imagination and try out new ideas. And check this! We are part of Global Game Jam - one of the fastest growing initiatives in the world. In 2018, 42,800 participants from 803 sites in 108 countries around the globe created 8,606 games for 48 hours!

We were one of those locations!

And now we want to do even more...

INTRODUCING

Sofia Game Jam WEEK is a three-part initiative of open to the public events about game development and digital artistry. Each event is dedicated to a specific topic, features experienced speakers from the industry, and also gives an opportunity to young people to meet directly with Bulgarian game companies and learn about the job opportunities there.

The job faIR

21.01 - 23.01

Come to the Polish Institute in Sofia to meet with the biggest game companies in the country, including Ubisoft Sofia, Snapshot Games, Incineration Productions and more!

FREE

THE dev talks

21.01 - 24.01

We've invited EU and BG game developers and film industry veterans to share their experience with you in four consecutive days, each dedicated to a different topic.

FREE

THE game Jam

25.01 - 27.01

Well, this one you already know!
From Friday to Sunday we are going to make awesome games and have fun in the historical Slaveikov hall in Institut Français de Bulgarie.

Program

Choose a date
15:00 - 18:30
Job Fair - Day 1

Мeet the biggest game companies in the country and check the job and internship opportunities that they have - Ubisoft Sofia, Haemimont Games, Incineration Productions JSC, Creative Assembly Sofia & SEGA, Snapshot Games, Black Sea Games

DEV TALKS
Game dev in Bulgaria - from Indie to AAA
Location: Institut Français de Bulgarie
19:00 - 19:20
Grand opening of Sofia Game Jam Week

Who are the important people who supported us this year? How we made this happen? Now you know!

19:20 - 20:00
State of the Industry and Why Having Your Audience and Market in Mind Matters

Staying away from Google tips and hints, we'll share some personal experience and thoughts which shape our daily work and projects. Hope we'll make indie devs think more about their original ideas and how they can adapt to the constant winds of change.

Vassil Georgiev & Zheko Stefanov
Vassil Georgiev is User Acquisition Lead in Gameloft Sofia. Zheko is a Lead Game Producer in Gameloft Sofia. Both can share a lot about how the game industry really works!
20:00 - 20:30
The Road to AAA

The establishment of Creative Assembly in our capital was a huge and amazing surprise for so many of us - the gamers, that grew up playing the Total War series. Georgi is here to tell us about Creative Assembly Sofia's way to AAA! And how, why and... OMG SEGA QA is coming to Bulgaria!

Georgi Dinchev
Georgi is studio manager of Creative Assembly Sofia. He's been playing video games since before the time he can remember himself clearly. He's the co-founder of the first gaming web portal in Bulgaria - 3dzone.bg. You've seen he's writing works in the most iconic Bulgarian game media Gamer's Workshop and he was also the Art Director of the magazine. He also was screen writer and co-host of the TV show "Нощен Мист" (with the late Roro Kavaldjiev. RIP!) Georgi was a producer in Cryteck Black Sea on the game Arena of Fate, before taking the lead in Creative Assembly. And yes, he's kissing a flamingo in this pic, because he knows SGJ loves flamingos!
20:30 - 21:00
Understanding the Fundamentals of Augmented Reality

You love Pokemon Go? Hristo will talk about the Augmented Reality technology, how it works and what are the potentials of it. And yes, there is a lot more to it than Pokemon Go.

Hristo Tarnev
Hristo Tarnev is a Lead Game Programmer at Incineration Productions JSC. He has more than 3 years of professional experience in the game development industry. Before he joined the Incineration Production's team he was working as a software architect and developer for a few companies in The Netherlands.
21:00 - 21:30
Merging Narrative and Mechanics

Games can have mostly narrative (Stanley's parable) and mostly mechanics (Factorio). Most games however try to mix the two. Why and how? Here is what we learned while trying to combine them.

Gabriel Dobrev
Gabriel is the CEO and Creative Director of Haemimont Games. He's a passionate game player and creator, involved in all aspects of game development - design, code, art, music & business. In the last two decades he has the honor and pleasure to make games as part of the team at Haemimont Games.
21:30 - 22:00
The Story of a AAA Studio in Bulgaria

Ubisoft Sofia is the first AAA studio in Bulgaria. Want to know how this came to be? Rossen and Delyan will share this inspiring story.

Rossen Yankov & Delyan Mitutsov
Rossen Yankov & Delyan Mitutsov are Producers at Ubisoft Sofia. Established in 2006, the studio has been a key contributor to the Assassin’s Creed franchise, most recently taking a significant part in the development of Assassin’s Creed Origins, and also leading the creation of both its mythology DLC “The Curse of the Pharaohs” and Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered. Now Ubisoft Sofia is working on the upcoming AAA titles The Division 2, Skull & Bones, and Beyond Good and Evil 2.
22:00 - 22:30
Freestyle Q&A with the CEO of Black Sea Games

Closing the night is one legend of the Bulgarian game development industry - Vesselin Handjiev. Instead of just presenting himself or his studio Black Sea Games, Veso will answer your questions about the studio and the game dev reality in Bulgaria. Moderator of the Q&A is our co-organizer Virginia "GiGi" Kirova. You can start sending your questions to team@sofiagamejam.com or ask them during our livestream.

Vesselin "Frujin" Handjiev
Veso is the CEO and Founder of Black Sea Games. With more than 20 years of experience, he has been a part of some amazing Bulgarian and global projects. He was the lead designer of the first commercially successful Bulgarian game - the RTS Tzar: The Burden of the Crown. In 2001 he established Black Sea Studios (Knights of Honor), which was bought out by Crytek in 2009 and renamed to Crytek Black Sea. In 2017 Veso left the AAA scene and went to the indie field to create the new studio Black Sea Games. What game are they developing right now? Stay tuned!
15:00 - 19:00
Job Fair - Day 2

Мeet the biggest game companies in the country and check the job and internship opportunities that they have - Ubisoft Sofia, Haemimont Games, Incineration Productions JSC, Creative Assembly Sofia & SEGA, Snapshot Games, Black Sea Games

DEV TALKS
Art, Animation and VFX
Location: GOETHE-INSTITUT Bulgarien
19:00 - 19:30
The Chaos Group RPG: Rendering, Path tracing and Graphics

We invite you to join our presentation where we will tell you who we are as a company, who our clients are, and why they choose to work with us. We'll also share which Chaos Group products are used in the VFX and gaming industries, and how artists use our products to enhance their work. In the process, we’ll show you how V-Ray helps some of the largest world-famous VFX houses create blockbusters like Avengers: Infinity War.

Anastasia Zhivaeva
Anastasia has a Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia. As a 3D Artist at Chaos Group, she has created a variety of 3D scenes and assets for multidisciplinary purposes. She also travels around the world to demonstrate how V-Ray can help artists in diverse industries to visualize their ideas in the best possible way. Since joining Chaos Group, she has been actively working with V-Ray for Unreal, V-Ray for 3ds Max and V-Ray for Maya.
19:30 - 20:00
Looking for OpenGL ES Love (in the Right Places)

Have you been looking for a just-the-right-performance, battery-lasting-as-much-as-you-do, durable *and* inexpensive workhorse of a notebook for OpenGLES coding? There's a sea of inexpensive, well-performing, GLES ES-3x-capable notebooks lurking beneath our sight. They're all well-tuned to the needs of the software ecosystem of a huge software vendor, which, luckily to us, includes proper GLES 3.x. No, I'm not talking of Always-connected (tm) Win10 notebooks. If you enjoy hacking bits and pieces of your engine pipeline & tweaking shaders under the most unlikely work conditions -- outdoors, on a plane, on a park bench -- on a trusty-yet-expendable backpack-fitting notebook, join me in this talk about how to get a GLES 3.x work environment on a chromebook, web browser not required*. * Basic understanding of GL ES 2.x and C++ required.

Martin Krastev
Martin Krastev has been a game-engine developer a good part of his 20-plus-year career, since 2013 he's been part of Chaos Group's core team, chasing rays across various architectures. His passion is his work, and his work is extracting the last drops of performance out of challenging software & hardware. He loves computer graphics, both real-time and off-line, enjoys hiking and fencing. Beer too. His first (coding, not talking) Game Jam was in 2006.
20:00 - 20:30
Creature/character sculpting for movies... and not only

We'll be talking about my career path, project and experience. How the traditional art background (from the Bulgarian Academy of Fine Arts) fits in the digital era and movies. What is my personal approach and choices when making a character (design, sillouethe, volumes, details). How to fit it into the storytelling and creating a scene rather than just turntable. And finally about the production standarts like software and rules.

Ran Manolov
Ran is a Character artist/ VFX Supervisor at WWFX, but that's just not enough to describe him! So, we let him speak for himself: 'I am a traditional artist in the digital world. Using my background and applying it in the VFX world. I love shapes, volumes and lines. It all comes together to a certain rythm that I'm searching for. I've worked in multiple big VFX houses like ILM, Framestore and MPC as a character/creature artist. Currently I am still doing this while overseeing the creative side of the work in a small studio in London.'
20:30 - 21:00
Animating Creatures with Multiple Mutations in snapshot's phoenix point

Ever wonder what we mean by “constantly evolving alien threat” in Phoenix Point? Let Elena walk you through the very specific threat our animators overcome every time a new creature has to be added.

Elena Nikolova
Elena Nikolova (Elen Nikkol) is a fastly developing 2D and 3D animator, illustrator and VFX artist in Snapshot Games. In the past, Elen has also worked for animated TV series and other 2D projects, as well as being the Lead Animator in a mobile games studio, for several years. She has studied animation both in Bulgaria and Denmark, before starting as a 3D Animator for Snapshot games.
21:00 - 21:30
The Viral Mist and Other Things in phoenix point

Kamen will present his successful tackling of the Phoenix Point alien mist effects, which had to look both menacing and beautiful, which is a harder combination than you’d think.

Kamen Jordanov
Kamen is technical and VFX artist in Snapshot Games, but discribe himself mostly as a broad computer graphics generalist. He's been working in the field since 2006, coming from the movie industry with projects like Rambo, Immortals and Life of Pi. Now he's expanding on his previous experience while delving into the world of realtime graphics.
21:30 - 22:00
Halfbaked thoughts and unfinished designs

This one is going to be crazy. Because Lyubo is crazy. Sorry, Lyubo! Facts are facts.

Lyubomir Iliev
Ivent Games are not into the whole "official positions" thing. So, who is Lyubo? If you are in the BG Game Dev community you already know him. He's been everywhere, doing everything. He's super talented and master in his craft, buuuuuuut Strength of the SWORD3 is still not finished. What gives? ("Trying to get "it" to feel right!" - writes Lyubo to us after this is published)
22:00 - 22:30
My past with pixar, my future with idea academy - Q&A

Oh My Gaaaawd! This is really happening! We'll have a special Q&A with Anthony Christov - Art director and Production designer at PIXAR Animation Studio for the past 18 years. Now he's back in his home country to co-create the IDEA Academy in Sofia. Click on his name for more info about the academy and start sending your questions to team@sofiagamejam.com! Moderator of the Q&A is our co-organizer Virginia "GiGi" Kirova.

Anthony Christov
Anthony is bringing two decades experience of art directing for Pixar, to the digital arts education scene in his home country, Bulgaria. Partnering in the new IDEA Academy in Sofia
15:00 - 18:30
Job Fair - Day 3

Мeet the biggest game companies in the country and check the job and internship opportunities that they have - Ubisoft Sofia, Haemimont Games, Incineration Productions JSC, Creative Assembly Sofia & SEGA, Snapshot Games, Black Sea Games

DEV TALKS
Programming and Game Design
Location: Polish Institute in sofia
19:00 - 19:30
My Journey with Godot

The world of Godot engine and how I joined one of the fastest-growing open source communities. As a teenager.

Bojidar Marinov
Bojidar is a young software developer and open source contributor to the Godot engine. His main interests are in the design of programming languages, elegant algorithms, and generally in doing more with less. He regularly visits various Godot community channels, helping newcomers to learn the engine's specifics.
19:30 - 20:00
Artificial Stupidity

Artificial intelligence in computer games is often the main subject of players' complains. It's considered either unrealistic, stupid or just plain irritating. How is it possible that graphical fidelity is rapidly advancing and AI seems to be on the same level as 20 years ago. The speaker will address these issues by explaining how AI works and what's its role in video games providing examples and algorithmic solutions for most common artificial behaviour problems.

Aleksander Kauch
Aleksander Kauch is Lead gameplay programmer in 11 bit studios. Worked on almost every 11 bit's game including Anomaly series, This War of Mine and Frostpunk. Lectured in programming at Warsaw University of Technology and Academy of Games and Post-Production. Experienced in programming, game architecture and overall game development.
20:00 - 20:30
Managing the Risk of Procedural Techniques for the Giant Snake Boss in Assassin’s Creed Origins

THIS. IS. SPA.. a Giant Snake that we want to get away from! Wait! It's actually one of the coolest and hardest bosses to beat in Assassin's Creed Origins! Let's check out how this huge venomous creature came to its digital life.

João Oliveira
João is Lead Gameplay Programmer in the first Bulgarian AAA studio - Ubisoft Sofia. After Assassin's Creed Syndicate and Assassin's Creed Origins, now he's working on the pirate adventure Skull & Bones.
20:30 - 21:00
Game Design Creative Choice Approaches in phoenix point

Want to know the secrets and approaches of designing creative choices in video games? Bave from Snapshot is ready to spill the tea!

Bozhidar “Bave” Grozdanov
Bozhidar “Bave” Grozdanov is an award winning author and game designer in Snapshot Games with over 15 years of experience in the computer game industry. He has worked on a variety of games on many platforms, including on the Celtic kings, Ghost Recon, and Assassin’s Creed franchises, as well as the strategy MMO Imperia Online.
21:00 - 21:30
Level design 101: The good, the bad and the ugly

Designing levels for a turn-based strategy is no easy feat. Balance is key. Let Alex walk you through the basics of level design.

Alexander Trayanov
Alex is a Level Designer at Snapshot. Before Phoenix point he is known for his work on such big names in gaming as the Assassin’s creed series, specifically the Liberation, Rogue and Origins titles.
21:30 - 22:00
Introduction to Shader Graph

Yuriy will show you how to create custom shaders for your game with zero code and little hassle. Learn to love the node!

Yuriy Popov
Yuriy Popov is the Co-Founder and Lead Producer at Incineration Productions JSC. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Systems and Technologies and has more than 6 years of professional experience in creating and building games in Unity.
22:00 - 22:30
3D Art Modelling in This War of Mine

As a relatively new member of This War of Mine team, I've tried to analyze and understand visual language of this game. During my talk I will share with you my thoughts about decisions, that were made during production process.

Yaroslav Nykyforuk
I'm a 3D Artist at 11Bit Studios, and I am a part of This War of Mine team. Previously I was working on such a titles like Wreckfest and Farming Simulator 2017/2019, as a Vehicle 3D Artist.
DEV TALKS
Music for Video Games + PRe-JAM PARTY!
Location: Karaoke Bar Versus
19:30 - 20:00
Writing music for an indie video game – restrictions, inspirations and extreme dedication

Simeon (with little help from Todor and Ivaylo) will show us one of his latest projects - the soundtrack of Elea Episode 1 by the Bulgarian indie studio Kyoday. He will tell us what are the challenges and hardships music creators must beat when composing for video games. And even more important - what are the upsides of working on indie projects and why having a small budget is not entirely a bad thing.

Simeon "Zimone" Hristov, Todor Todorov and Ivaylo Koralsky
Simeon is programming director and resident DJ at "Carrusel Club" in Sofia. He owns a studio for postproduction and mastering. He's part of the team of "Metropolis" - the biggest organization for electronic music in the country, and he's also part of the teachers in the Academy of arts "Amadeus". He's also the founder of "Octave Collective " - organization and studio for artist and talant management in music. Todor and Ivaylo are the founders of Kyodai. Translated from Japanese it means “brothers” - which fully describe their working and personal relationships. Todor is an experienced architect and interior designer and has been working as an environmental artist on AAA and indie games for several years. Ivaylo is a long time editor in gaming related media and co-founder of the first Bulgarian multiplatform magazine “Neogamer”. He also used to work as a brand manager for software publishers like Nintendo, UbiSoft, SEGA, Midway, and THQ.
20:00 - 20:30
The World of the Sound in Video Games

Welcome to the world of the sound in video games! Elitsa will be your guide. She will share her amazing experience, expertise and love of music with us, just weeks before she heads to GDC 2019 to speak about "The Power of Music in the Immersive World of "Assassin's Creed" during the biggest game dev event in the world!

Elitsa Alexandrova
Elitsa is Composer and Sound Designer in the Bulgarian AAA studio Ubisoft Sofia. She joined the company in 2007 and has been the music composer of ‘Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars’ (Nintendo 3DS), ‘Imagine Fashion Designer’, and the mobile game ‘Horse Adventure: Tale of Etria’. In her role of a Music Director at Ubisoft-Sofia, Elitsa first contributed to the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ franchise, by supervising the overall music creation of ‘Assassin’s Creed Liberation’ by composer Winifred Phillips. She is known for composing the highly acclaimed soundtracks of ‘Assassin's Creed: Rogue’ and ‘Assassin’s Creed Origins: The Curse of the Pharaohs’. She is also an arranger, songwriter, pianist, harpist, and teacher.
20:30 - 21:00
The Dramaturgy of Video Game Music

Every video game has it's gameplay, but it also has specific style and concept art. The music should be able to reflect this in the best possible way and to immerse the player in the setting and atmosphere.

George Strezov
George is composer, conductor & audio addict. He was only 15 years old when he started writing music professionally. He has composed the scores of numerous Bulgarian and foreign projects, including TV series, radio shows, advertisements and even the music for the opening of the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in 2012 and 2018. He created the soundtracks for Victor Vran, Surviving Mars, Guns & Robots and Strength of the Sword 3. And you've experienced his conductor and orchestral work from productions like Solo: A Star Wars Story, The Crown (Netflix), Spellforce 3, Black Mirror, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and many more.
21:00 - 21:30
The Future of the Adaptive Symphonic Music in Video Games

What is the future of the music in the video games? – Music, which not just changes, but adapts and evolves in real-time, according to the players decisions, actions and choices.

Borislav Slavov
Borislav Slavov is multiple award-winning video game Composer and Music Director. His career in the game industry starts in 2001 when his passion for games leads him to his first soundtrack production assignment for the real-time strategy game „Knights of Honor”. After the successful debut he continues to work on other game titles like: Two Worlds II, WorldShift (Composer) and Gothic 3 (featured musician). In 2009 Slavov joins Crytek, where he works until beginning of 2016 on the games CRYSIS 2, CRYSIS 3, RYSE: SON OF ROME as a Music Director & Principle Composer. In 2017 Slavov joins Larian Studios and scores the universally acclaimed role-playing game DIVINITY: ORIGINAL SIN 2 , which receives multiple awards, including “Game of the Year Award 2017 of PC Gamer”. Borislav Slavov has been also specializing in production and implementation of Adaptive Video Game Music, which evolves in real time according to players actions and decisions.
21:30 - 22:00
Adaptive Music and Game Jams

We have a weekend ahead of us during which we are to make and release a video game, featuring an engaging concept, fun gameplay, neat graphics, nice sounds, and music. Why don’t we make the music respond to (or anticipate) what happens on the screen? In this talk I’ll outline several simple approaches to adaptive music, both high-level music design (which gameplay states should drive the selection and playback of music) and low-level music structure (how to make or prepare the music tracks themselves). Implementing my suggestions will take only a little of your programmer’s and musician’s valuable time, yet it will help your music boost the player’s overall experience.

Adam Sporka
Adam is a composer, producer, programmer, and researcher of adaptive music and interactive audio. He creates music for video games, multimedia installations, and performances. His work involves acoustic instruments, synthesizers, sample banks, lots of programming, and vintage computers. Adam is a co-founder of welove.audio GmbH, developing a one-stop solution for adaptive music in video games. He contributed to the adaptive music OST of the Kingdom Come: Deliverance as the lead developer of the adaptive music engine and its implementation. He is also a founding member of the Wasteland Wailers, a transatlantic group of swing and country music songwriters.
14:00 - 17:00
Registrations for Sofia Game Jam BEGIN!

Come on time to check-in and get your sweet merch for SGJ 2019. *note that tickets won't be sold at the registration desk

16:00 - 17:00
Opening Credits and Some Rules

We're going to talk about what brought us here together and what's going to happen in the following two days.

17:00 - 18:00
Global Game Jam Theme - Video Announcement

The video is in English *PLEASE, don't share the theme with anyone until Saturday (especially NO live streaming during the video!)

18:00 - 20:00
Teams must be formed like Voltron

Anybody who wants (please, do want) will be able to present his idea in order to recruit people who will form the head. Of a team, that is.

21:30
Winner Winner Pizza Dinner

Are we going to eat or what? Dominos is happily providing their great pizzas for all participants at the Jam! And Pivoteka are taking care of us with amazing craft beers!

21:30
Teams must register NOW

In order for your game to be remembered forever (and upload it somewhere), your team must register on the GGJ website.

11:00
Deadline for Team Registrations

Eat your breakfast and finish them registrations! And most of all - work on them games!

13:00
Pizza for Lunch

Yes, Dominos again. Also - surprise craft beer from Pivoteka!

20:00
Dinner. Yes. It's pizza again. And craft beer!

Deal with it.

13:00
Final round of pizza for lunch

Thank you, Dominos, for providing all these tasty pizzas!!!

15:00 - 16:00
Final final final hour to upload your game

Tic-toc, tic-toc, follow the clock! Don't be late

16:30 - 18:30
Game Presentations

Bring your laptop with a working game on stage and show us what you got! All your team members must be present

18:30 - 19:00
Voting

Every participant votes for his favorite game (excluding his own) and puts some blocks into some boxes. That's the voting part.

19:30
Awards and stuff

SGJ is strictly not a competition but we do give awards to some of the winners

21:00
We go out to eat and drink and celebrate!

Because you're some beautiful human beings and you deserve it!

our PARTNERS

official host
One of us partners
GENERAL PARTNERS
Gods of tech
God of FOOD & God of Drinks
Friends and supporters
friendly neighbourhood media partner
Media partners

GET TICKETS

Tickets for the Game Jam have been sold out! You can still attend the lectures and the job fair. They are FREE!

meet the team

Philip Tarpov
Co-Organizer
Virginia “GiGi” Kirova
Co-Organizer
Desislav Andreev
SGJ Host
Venelin “Vivo” Tontchev
SGJ Week Host
Martin bakardzhiev
Dope Graphics
Alex tokmakchiev
Web Magic & Stuff