Held for the 8th year in a row in 2015, No More Sweden is a game jam focusing on bringing indie developers together about so much more than just making games in 48 hours.
No More Sweden started in 2008 with only twelve guys in a basement in Skövde, Sweden. Since then, the game jam has come a long way, peaking at almost one hundred participants who all came together to develop games in 48 hours somewhere in Sweden.
Throughout the years, the game jam has also always stayed completely free to attend, so as to be as inclusive as possible.
But for Martin Jonasson, organizer of No More Sweden and founder of gaming studio Grapefrukt Games, No More Sweden is about so much more about making games; it’s about organizing something that lets people meet, he says.
“We made a ton of games this year, almost thirty of them. We also had a nice barbecue and people went swimming. To me the later parts are becoming more and more important. Making games is cool and everything, but it’s the interaction between people that really does it for me.”
“It’s by far the most exciting bit, to organize something that lets people meet.”
The 2015 edition of No More Sweden took place last week, from July 17th to July 19th with about 80 attendees.
Because although the event peaked at 100 attendees a few years ago, the aim for No More Sweden is to stay nice and cozy by not growing too fast too soon.
“The first few years we grew like crazy, we went from 8 to 40 to 60 to nearly a hundred. Then, last year we had a smaller venue, so we had to scale back a little. And I think it was for the best. We want to keep it nice and cozy.”, Martin Jonasson says to Nordic Game Bits.
In many ways, 2015 marked a new era for No More Sweden. For example, starting this year, the organizers have moved away from assigning seats for the event on a first-come first-serve basis, and will not instead be open for requests.
After all requests have been received, the organizers will distribute spots between the people who signed up early, and those who signed up too late, but who made a compelling argument in their request.
All of this in the name of diversity.
The second new addition for the No More Sweden 2015 game jam was the possibility to signup as a group of up to four friends. This group will then be treated as a single entity when the teams are put together, ensuring that you get to stick together with your closest friends during the game jam.
And lastly, this year also saw No More Sweden introduce what they call a “Safer Space Policy”, which advises all attendees to stay as considered as possible towards their fellow participants.
It explicitly states that any harassment is unacceptable, and the organizing team behind No More Sweden hope that this will “remind the participants to be on their best behavior and consider everyone’s experience while at No More Sweden”, a blog post on the No More Sweden website reads.
No More Sweden will be back next year, and developers interested in attending can expect an event somewhat similar to this year’s, but with an ever-increasing focus on diversity, Jonasson says when asked about the plans for No More Sweden 2016:
Same deal. No sense in changing something that works. Our biggest ambition is to try and improve diversity year for year, but we still have a long way to go.”, he concludes.