Game jams! They're pretty great, though personally I prefer a nice home-made game chutney. It takes all sorts, mind, and I'll concede that jam's a lot better spread on toast than a chunky old chutney. Also game chutneys aren't a thing, I guess. Game jams, such as next month's AdventureJam, very much are, of course.
The brief is wonderfully inviting: participants should create games that "embody the spirit of adventure". That might mean your classic point and click adventure games, text parser or IF adventures, or any of the many modern spins on the adventure game concept.
The organisers put it best:
Whether you love point & click adventure, text adventure or exploring 3D environments, we want you to jump in and create a game that embodies the spirit of adventure, whatever that means for you! Adventure games have been around nearly as long as computers, and what began with words on a black screen has evolved into an amazing spectrum of gaming experiences. Let's celebrate the awesome legacy this genre has created with 14 days of pixels, puzzles, parody and pathos!
Adventures come in all shapes and sizes. With a sufficiently crippling hangover, popping to the shops to buy milk can seem like an epic adventure. Wandering around unfamiliar cities at night is a wonderful adventure, especially if you're equipped with only rudimentary language skills. When you're young, virtually anything is an adventure, such is the power of imagination and the willingness of small people to climb places they shouldn't.
Entries will be judged for receipt of special awards by Jake Elliot (Kentucky Route Zero), Jordi de Paco (Gods Will Be Watching) and Steven Alexander (Quest for Infamy), and ranked by public votes as well. If I made adventure games, those are three people I'd like to get my creation in front of.
I've dabbled with Adventure Game Studio a little bit in the past, primarily to make a game about a friend who my workmates and I used to give certificates to. A new certificate every week for a year. When he left, I think he received at least forty more certificates. Sadly I never finished that game - perhaps I should resurrect the concept for AdventureJam? Instant smash hit, I'm sure.
P.S. I just found this handy website which aggregates game jams. Probably old news to devs and jammers but new to me. Goodness. Is there even one game jam-free day now?