GameJam+ — a yearly video game development marathon established to foster and mentor new independent studios and support their entry into the global video game industry — today announced open registration for the first stage of the event and the dates it will take place. Known as the “Game Development World Cup,” the first stage of GameJam+ will take place from October 9 to 11, 2020, and welcomes developers and industry professionals of all skill levels and areas of expertise to compete, collaborate, mentor, and connect with developers from across the globe.
As the fifth edition of the event, GameJam+ 2020 will feature 50 Brazilian and 37 international cities, more than 2,000 participants, 400 projects (100 incubated over two months), and 1,000 volunteers. GameJam+ sponsors include Google, Sebrae, Nuuvem, Unity, Poki, UK consulate, Big Festival, Gazeus, and more.
“With GameJam+, we’re able to provide a platform for exchange and opportunities to connect with developers from around the world in a way that participants have never experienced,” said Ian Rochlin, a GameJam+ organizer. “With this initiative, we hope to foster the growth of all developer communities that dared to embark with us on this unique adventure.”
GameJam+ encourages game developers and industry professionals of all experience levels to participate in the event. All areas of knowledge will provide a meaningful contribution to the mentorship provided to participants throughout the event. Likewise, “jammers” of all areas of expertise are welcome to contribute to projects. GameJam+ officials believe that game development is a multifaceted and multidisciplinary activity that requires a wide range of abilities and knowledge.
Many studios who have participated in GameJam+ have gone on to flourish and grow their company. 2017 winner, acclaimed Brazilian development studio Patada! is just one of many examples of the kind of success that follows thanks to the mentorship and support that GameJam+ offers. After proudly accepting the judgment for their project titled Fake News, an interactive experience that makes players aware of the impact of fake news and false allegations in our society on a global scale, the talented studio was able to grow and go on to achieve great things. In 2019, Patada! was able to secure funding from Raja Valley Ventures. Fake News then went on to receive the “Best Brazillian Game” nomination at BIG Festival 2019.
Developers and industry professionals interested in participating, whether as a jammer, judge, mentor, or sponsor, or organizers who would like to register their city as an official GameJam+ event site, can sign up and learn more at the GameJam+ official site: www.gamejamplus.com.
The first stage of GameJam+, which will run from October 9 to 11, begins as a typical game jam as the participants present ideas, form teams, and develop a game prototype within 48 hours. At the end of the first stage, each team will create a pitch for their project and present it to a panel of judges who will then evaluate and pick the finalist teams for each region. Due to coronavirus restrictions across the world, each city can choose whether to carry out this part of the event online or in-person.
Contestants who successfully make it through the first stage move onto the second stage of GameJam+, which occurs between November and December. Teams will be given access to targeted mentoring and online workshops that connect participants to renowned industry professionals. Then, in January 2021, teams reconvene for the third stage, where they will participate in five continental semi-finals (Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, North America, Europe, and Asia and Oceania), ultimately ending with finalists who will move on to the last and final stage of the event. Finally, the fourth and final stage takes place in May 2021, where teams will face off in the grand final during BIG Festival in São Paulo. Winners will be rewarded based on categories such as Best Art, Best Marketing Strategy, and Best Sound, among others.
Categories of GameJam+ 2020 Include:
- Publisher’s Pick: Open to anyone with a work-in-progress project, publishers from around the globe will select the very best curated projects for the opportunity to connect with publishers and investors.
- Game for Change (G4C): In partnership with G4C LATAM, this category challenges teams to create a game that tackles one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals issues, such as poverty, world hunger, gender equality, accessible education, and more.
- Sponsor’s Choice: Otherwise known as the “open innovation” category, a sponsor chooses a theme and diversifiers that must be incorporated into the qualifying project. It may contain elements of the sponsoring company, such as the name or logo, or may serve as an employee training tool or customer loyalty project.
- Diversity: Intending to provide a voice for marginalized groups, this category warmly welcomes games created by women, Black, and LGBTQIA+ developers, as well as projects including protagonists and themes from these underrepresented communities.
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