Game jams are great. I've done 2 so far, and I love the concept. Unfortunately, for me personally, themes, rules, and rankings seem to get in the way of what I'm truly looking to get out of the experience: my next great game. As a beginner game developer, I need new games in my portfolio more than I need the exposure of a large or competitive jam.
That's why I'm creating Slug Jam. It's the jam experience stripped down to the bone, specially engineered to produce results, not buzz. There is no theme. There are no ranks. There is only 1 rule: add a finished product to your portfolio! It can be a brand new game made from scratch during the weekend. It can be an addition to an existing game, such as a new mode or map. It can even be a new development tool for use on future projects. Whatever it is, make it feel finished! Ideally, it should be in a state that is recognizable as a product and could potentially be sold to interested consumers or used internally for commercial projects.
The jam will have a 1-week submission period, longer than the standard weekend jam, to give developers additional time for productization. Since the focus is on making a product which feels complete and commercially viable, it doesn't make sense to force developers to rush submissions late Sunday night. This way, there is plenty of time to add those details we never seem to get around to during the weekend, like button feedback, full screen support, and proper tutorials.