Green Game Jam: Need to Know!

The gaming industry is becoming a voice for climate change awareness and sustainability. Instead of limiting this sea-change to veterans or current champions of our industry, the goal of this initiative is to encourage, inspire - and be inspired by - the future generation of game makers. 

UKIE, Space Ape Games and Playmob are collaborating to deliver a Green Game Jam for students across the UK in October and November.

UKIE’s bi-annual student game jam draws from a pool of 3,000 students from 40 different institutions across the UK. Last year had 55 teams comprised of 255 students. Teams of five or six students are paired with industry mentors.

Teams will have to adhere to the theme and parameters of the jam, which are all based around incorporating green nudges and encouraging sustainability through games. 

Each team will recieve an industry mentor who has volunteered to guide them through the process. These mentors will be available in person where possible, but via skype or phone call if not. 

Registration: 

If you would like to register a team for the Green Game Jam then please do so here. Deadline 5:30pm, 31st October.

When: Tuesday, November 5 - Wednesday, November 6

The game jam takes place over two days to allow students to take a break. Our friends at Underdog Coffee have offered to sponsor the jam. It is encouraged that students take time off in the evening of the 5th and enjoy the free food, chill out, get some sleep and start again in the morning of the 6th.

Where: Chosen by individual participants

Anywhere they’re able to work as a team and create their game. Encouraged to speak to course leader or mentor if they’re having trouble finding a location. Most teams last year chose to work at their university or college. 

Theme: Climate Change / Sustainability 

Judging Criteria:

  • Learning outcomes - Is the game designed with smarts so that it helps the player learn/act-through-play, with specific regard to the Sustainable Development Goals listed below, give special consideration to Goals 13-15.
  • ​Concept – How well does it match the theme? 
  • Creativity - How creative and unique is the game?
  • Playability - Is it fun and challenging enough to play?
  • Visual impression - Does the art style suit the game?
  • Narrative - Does the game's story work and flow?
  • Replayability - Is it compelling and does it have high replay value?
  • Soundtrack - Does the audio fit the game?

More on the theme:

In 2015, the international community adopted a set of 17 goals as part of a new global agenda on sustainable development. The environment underpins each of the goals, which range from eliminating poverty and hunger to achieving gender equality and safeguarding wildlife both on land and in the water. To align with the SDGs, a set of lifestyle goals were created for the individual. These are called the Good Life Goals-- a set of personal actions that people around the world can take to support the SDGs. 

UN’s SDGs

GOAL 1: No Poverty

GOAL 2: Zero Hunger

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being

GOAL 4: Quality Education

GOAL 5: Gender Equality

GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

GOAL 13: Climate Action

GOAL 14: Life Below Water

GOAL 15: Life on Land

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal

The Good Life Goals

Also consider the Good Life Goals, (especially 6-7, 13-15) a set of personal actions that everyone can take, created to help support the SDGs. Find out more about them here.

Playing For the Planet

You can find out more about Playing for the Planet and the Alliance formed in the games industry to help fight climate change here.

Considerations to help you incorporate sustainability into your game: 

1) Creative Design Principles

How can you build the nudges for sustainable behaviour into your games, this could range from information that people may not know, rewards for certain actions or defaults that are designed into the game that encourage certain behaviours. For example:

  • Feature natural elements, landscapes or environments
  • Game mechanics that favour restoration of trees (instead of destruction or degradation) or collection of certain items (eg rubbish)
  • A narrative that raises awareness about climate change or its effects on nature, communities, wildlife, the individual or encourages one/multiple SDGs
  • Characters or skins that reflect sustainability through their visuals, design or dialog 
  • Sound or audio that enhances or brings environmental elements to the forefront 

2) Community and Social Features

What kind of social features can you incorporate in or around your game to spread awareness amongst the game’s player community

  • Opportunities to rally around environmental causes within the game, as part of a game mechanic, or even in real life
  • Chats or forums where players can discuss environmental challenges, ideas or share updates
  • In-game rewards tied to real-life sustainability actions

Submissions:

Firstly you will need to register for a free account on itch.io and sign up to the game jam here

All games need to be submitted by 5pm on November 6 at the very latest - please email Leon if you are having difficulty.

  • Games must be submitted via itch.io on the Green Game Jam page here by 5pm on the 6th November. If you are having issues then please contact Leon@ukie.org.uk.
  • If you need to send it via email instead then please do so to Leon@ukie.org.uk.
  • Please also submit a video of you playing the game to Leon@ukie.org.uk with your team name. 
  • Please also submit a short paragraph about why you created the game you did to Leon@ukie.org.uk.

Hashtag:

Tweet your progress throughout the game jam to @UkieStudents using the hashtags: 

#UkieGreenJam2019 

#Playing4ThePlanet

Winners Announced:

Tuesday, November 12th via press release, social media, and email.

Awards & Prizes: 

Awards up for grabs:

  • First Place Award - (Winning team!)
  • 'Mentor of the Planet' Award (given to the best mentor – voted for by the teams) 
  • Social Champions Award (given to the most active team on social media) 

Prizes up for grabs: 

  • Eco friendly trophy designed by All Brandz
  • £2,000 - Rabin Ezra scholarship fund 
  • Week-long internship at Playmob
  • Tickets to Games First 2020 + chance to present game
  • Free game of Operation Survival, Fire Hazard Games climate change game 
  • More prizes to be announced soon! 

Judges:

  • Gorm Lai, Board Member, The Global Game Jam
  • Colin Hughes, Senior Principal Engineer, Developer Services, Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe - on Board of Rabin Ezra Fund
  • Nic Walker, Deborah Mensah-Bonsu, Space Ape Games
  • Dee Patel & Jake Pegram, Playmob
  • Leon Cliff, Jo Twist, Ukie

Rules: 

  • Students must be registered to a team to take part
  • Work can only commence at 9:30am on the 5th and finish at 3:30pm on the 6th November
  • Students are not allowed to use any work done prior to the 5th
  • Students can use any game engine they choose to create their game
  • Students must make lecturer(s) aware that they have entered the Ukie Student Game Jam
  • Students must let their lecturer(s) know where they’re intending to make the game on the 5th and 6th November 
  • Only students registered submitted as a part of the team can take part
  • Games must be submitted via itch.io on the Green Game Jam page here by 5pm on the 6th November. If you are having issues then please contact Leon@ukie.org.uk.
  • Enjoy yourselves! 

For any questions please contact Leon