The OGPC season consists of Game Jam (the kickoff event) in November, the work period, then the Main Event (where the judging takes place) in April. During the work period, teams design and create their games however works best for them. Some teams meet after school in a school lab, while others meet at their Boys/Girls Club, 4H location, or each others’ homes. There’s no single way to run your team!
OGPC Game Jam and Coach Training
Game Jams are a chance to learn about creating a game in a fun environment. Stretch your creative muscles by playing games that force you to come up with design ideas. Then eat some pizza and learn about this year’s theme for OGPC.
Coaches, come with your teams to learn how OGPC works (or what is changing this year) and network with other coaches.
The Oregon Computer Science Teacher’s Association has a special offer for anyone who attends the 2016 coach training at a Game Jam. In recognition and support of your efforts to provide opportunities for students they will reimburse you for the cost of registering ALL your teams (normally $50 a team).
When and where?
2016 Game Jams were held November 19th at the following locations:
Sherwood High School (Sherwood)
Pacific Northwest College of Art (Portland) – Hosted by Make+Think+Code
Lane Community College – Downtown Campus (Eugene)
Cascades Academy (Bend)
Registration is now closed
Registration is free, but ESSENTIAL for us to make sure we can plan for food, materials and support. (Not every team member has to register, a coach can simply report how many people plan on attending)
What to expect:
The schedule at Game Jam will look something like this:
10:00: Intro and announcements
10:15: Game Brainstorming Activities (students)
Coaches introduction and round table (coaches)
12:00: Theme Reveal for Season 10
12:15: Team brainstorming
1:00: Head home and start developing!
What do I need to bring?
Preparing for the OGPC Game Jam is easy: just show up! Ideally participants will attend as a team and use the Game Jam to learn more about game design and kickoff their own design process for the OGPC Main Event.
Game Jam is not about programming! You do not need to bring a laptop. You will not be learning Game Maker, Java, C#, or anything related to computer programming. Game design and software development professionals often use "low-fidelity" techniques in the early stages to test and explore ideas before translating into a computer program, and that’s exactly what you’ll be learning at the OGPC Game Jam.
What if I'm not part of a team or I'm the only one who can come?
Just sign up and join the event! We will be mixing up groups for the brainstorming activities, so not having a team with you won’t mean you are working alone all day.
OGPC Main Event
The Main Event is the culmination of team’s efforts – it is where they bring their games to share with others, compete for prizes, and learn from industry professionals.
Saturday, April 8th
Western Oregon University
New Physical Education (NPE) Building (Directions)
The day starts with check-in and getting your table assignment and schedule (which includes judging and lunch times). Setup starts at 8:30am with the opening and judging beginning at 10am. Keynote and awards will begin around 4pm. During the day, there will be sessions for students hosted by industry and educational speakers.
Registration is $50/team. Registration will close March 24th.
What to expect
The day starts with check-in and getting your table assignment and schedule (which includes judging and lunch times). Exact timing will be announced as we get closer to the main event, but expect the day to start between 8:30 and 9:00 and last until ~5:00.
Your table is like a conference booth — bring banners, signs, props, and other things to make a great presence for your team and its entry. Teams must bring everything that they need. At least one power outlet is provided so bring a power strip and limit your devices as much as possible. Students can set up their laptops, poster boards, and other items in their space. You can’t count on having a wall, so bring tape if you want to attach a sign to your table.
At the beginning of the day, teams gather in the presentation area for the main introduction and speech about the event. Any last-minute things to know will be discussed. Throughout the day, judges will be visiting the teams to discuss their work. This is where the team members can make their presentations and discuss how they worked together. They should be ready to talk about their contributions and what makes their game special. Criteria for judging is contained in the Achievements document. After all of the judging is complete, it takes some time to put it all together and make the final decisions. During this time, all students will gather in the presentation area again for a talk about game development, and usually some fun activities until the results are ready! The awards presentation is the final part of the day. Once it’s over, it’s time to head out. Take a well-deserved break until next year!
What to Bring
Teams need to make sure they bring:
- Their game and hardware to run it on. If your game involves networked multi-player, we highly recommend bringing your own wired network. No private wireless networks are allowed as they interfere with the event wifi.
- A power strip. Each team will have access to 1 plug at/near their table. Unless you can run all your devices off one plug, bring a power strip.
- Food. There are nearby restaurants, but teams will likely not have enough time to leave the event to go get food. Unless you have extra parents you can send on a food run, pack lunches and snacks.
- Signed release forms. Every team member must have a release/consent form signed by their parent/guardian.
Attending the Main Event
While some kids just spend their free time playing video games, others are making them! The Oregon Game Project Challenge (OGPC) promotes STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Design, and Mathematics) through video game development.
OGPC is a yearly computer game development competition that promotes the entire STEAM spectrum. Middle/high school students form teams of coders, animators, artists, musicians, writers, etc. to compete for awards in various categories while learning valuable skills. It bridges the disciplines in a way that most academic courses do not and encourages students with different talents to work together.
For 2017, the tenth annual event, the theme is Space Race. Come see how students interpret the theme and what our many teams from across Oregon and Washington have created.
The Oregon Game Project Challenge Main Event is free to attend and open to the public. No need to register or get tickets to attend.