March Break Game Jam

March Break Game Jam

What is a Game Jam?

A Game Jam is a contest where participants make a video game from scratch within a prescribed time. The brief time span incentivizes the participants to be creative and develop a compact and functional game. When the jam starts, a theme is announced and the participants need to come up with game ideas relevant to the theme.

All games must be designed, prototyped, developed, and submitted by the end of the jam. Participants may work independently or in teams.

What is a Game Jam’s ‘theme’?

A Game Jam’s theme is a simple word or sentence that has to be applied in the jam’s games. A theme can be interpreted and applied in many different and creative ways. Here are some examples of game ideas applying a suggested theme:

- Theme: Up is Down

- A shooter game where your vertical keys are inverted. Up goes down and down goes up.

- A puzzle game where you have to turn your game upside down to solve puzzles.

- Theme: Black Hole

- An arcade game where you control a black hole and have to eat planets.

- A thriller game where aliens appear from a black hole.

When is the Game Jam?

The PixelPAD March Break Game Jam will start on March 11th and end on March 25th, 2021.

Who can participate in the Game Jam?

Participants must be between 13 and 18 years old, and reside in Canada.

How to participate in the Game Jam?

Go ahead and register via the My Team page. Registration will open February 1st and close on March 10th.

When and where will the theme be announced?

The theme will be announced on March 11th at 2pm Pacific Time, marking the start of the Game Jam. It will be displayed on the Overview page, and announced in our Discord Server.

Must I use a specific game engine?

Yes. PixelPAD's March Break Game Jam requires that your game is developed in PixelPAD. To learn more about PixelPAD and how to use it, visit PixelPAD’s Documentation.

I've just registered to the jam. What now?

While you wait for March 11th, you can start getting ready for the jam by joining our Discord Server and checking the Resources channel.

How do I get started?

If you have already registered you and your team members, it's time to prepare yourself for the jam:
1) Finish a free PixelPAD Tutorial
2) Finish some Tidbits
3) Practice what you've learned by creating your own app

Do I need a team to participate in the Game Jam?

No, you don’t. It’s totally fine to work independently!

How can I find team members?

You can try finding your team members using our Discord Server. There is a special channel for people who want to find team members for the Game Jam. Keep in mind that a larger team (4+ people) does not connote an easier development process. Sometimes a large team can be harder to manage. Try keeping your team small and efficient.

Can I join multiple teams?

Yes, you can. However, you can only be the Team Leader for one team. Also, keep in mind that participating in multiple teams means that you will also be competing against yourself.

Do all of my team members need a PixelPAD account?

No. A PixelPAD account is only needed for the Team Leader, who will register the team for the Game Jam and submit the game.

I’ve already created my PixelPAD account. Am I registered to the Game Jam?

No. To participate in the Game Jam you will need to fill the form on the My Team page to successfully register yourself and your team members (if you have any).

Do I need to wait for the start date to begin development?

Yes. Your game should be built around the Game Jam’s theme. The theme will only be announced on March 11th, at the jam’s start date.

Does my game have to apply the jam’s theme?

You are allowed to code any game you wish. However, keep in mind that your game’s rating may be affected if your game does not apply the theme. The more creative you can be with the theme, the better your chances for a high rating.

Where to find game assets I can use?

Games that use original designs and sounds are likely to score higher for Awards!
Here are some free resources to get you started: - Sounds - Sounds and Sprites - Sounds and Sprites - Design in general

How can I get help during the Game Jam?

There are three ways of resolving any questions you may have during the Game Jam. First, begin by searching the Documentation.

If you can’t find an answer to your questions in the documentation, try reaching our community in Discord. We have a specific channel called #help, where other community members can help answer your questions.

You can also request that one of our volunteer mentors review your code and get back to you with their feedback. Please note that it may take 24 to 48 hours for a mentor to get their comments back to you. You can request mentor feedback through your Code Review page.

How can I contact the Game Jam’s admins?

You can find a list of all admins you can contact in our Discord Server (read the Info channel on the Game Jam’s section). Keep in mind that admins are not meant to help you with your coding/logic questions.

What is a mentor?

Mentors are industry professionals who have volunteered to lend their support to teams during PixelPAD’s March Break Game Jam. They are not necessarily game developers nor PixelPAD experts. Mentors will do their best to provide teams with helpful feedback on each Code Review.

Who is my mentor?

Teams are not assigned to specific mentors. When requesting help from our mentors, your project will be forwarded to one of our available volunteers.

How can I get a mentor to review my game?

You can request a mentor’s feedback through your Code Review page.

How many times can I request a Code Review?

You are allowed to request a Code Review once every 48 hours.

How long does it take to receive a mentor’s feedback?

Our volunteer mentors will get back to you as soon as they can. Typical response times are anywhere from 24 to 48 hours, however this may be affected by the volume of Code Review requests. Consider submitting your request early!

When should I submit my game for Code Review?

If you would like to request a mentor's feedback on your code, please submit a Code Review request before requests close at 11:59pm Pacific Time on Sunday, March 21st.

Where can I find the mentor's feedback?

Your game's feedback from each Code Review request will be displayed on the Code Review section, available to view once you log in.

Can I keep working on my project after requesting a Code Review?

Yes, absolutely! Be aware that the mentor doesn’t receive a copy of your project code as it was at the time when you submitted the request: instead, they receive the direct link to your game. Hence, if you keep making changes to your game, the mentor will see your most updated project at the time of their review.

When do I have to submit my game?

All games must be submitted by March 25th at 11:59pm Pacific Time.

How do I submit my game?

Your team’s game must have been created and developed in the team leader’s account. That's because the game must be submitted by the team leader, and it must be listed on his/her My Apps section within PixelPAD.
To submit your game, go to the Submissions page and select the game you want to submit.

Do all team members each have to submit our game?

No. Only the Team Leader needs to submit the game.

May I submit multiple games?

No. Only one game is allowed per team. However, you are allowed to be in multiple teams at the same time (thereby competing against yourself).

How will I know if my game was successfully submitted?

After submitting a game, all team members will receive an email confirming the submission.

How will the winners be selected?

The Game Jam’s games will be ranked and awarded in 3 categories:

- Public’s Choice: The highest rated games as voted by the public.

- Mentor’s Choice: The highest rated games as voted by the mentors.

- PixelPAD’s Choice: The highest rated games as voted by the PixelPAD team.

PixelPAD will contact the winners and profile them for media releases after the Game Jam: we’re working on getting you the biggest bragging rights on your win!

When will the voting phase begin, and how long will it last for?

The March Break Game Jam ends on March 25th at 11:59pm Pacific Time. The voting phase will then begin on March 26th.

- Public voting will last for 3 days and close on March 28th at 11:59pm Pacific Time. Anyone can vote on the jam’s submissions during this period.

- With public voting closed on March 28th, mentors and the PixelPAD team will then review the winning games for the other categories.

- The winners will be announced on March 31st, 2021.

Are there awards for the winners?

Yes. The 3 top-ranked games in each category will be awarded prizes! Also, PixelPAD will profile the winners for media releases after the Game Jam: we’re working on getting you the biggest bragging rights on your win!

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