The OGPC season consists of a theme announcement 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 Season Kickoff
Game Jams are a fun way to kick off the season with your team on the day the theme is announced. It is a chance to play some games that will help sharpen your game design skills, and get excited about this year’s theme.
When and where?
Teams can host their own Game Jam at any time after the theme is announced, but joining a Game Jam on announcement day with other teams helps to build excitement for the OGPC season.
Coaches from the locations listed below have offered to open their doors on November 11th for other teams to join them. Please note that these events are being hosted by teachers and or staff of the schools. Visiting coaches are expected to attend with their team and to help manage their group.
Sherwood High School (Sherwood)
Career and Technical Education Center (Salem)
Franklin High School (Portland)
Lane Community College – Downtown Campus (Eugene)
Cascades Academy (Bend)
If you wish to join other teams in launching the season, advanced registration is REQUIRED. It is free, but sites need to know who is coming to make plans for materials and food.
What to expect:
Here is what a Game Jam may look like. If you are a coach hosting your own event, it should serve as a good starting point for planning your activity. If you are attending an event hosted by another coach, make sure you check on the schedule at that event.
10:00: Intro and announcements
10:15: Game Brainstorming Activities
12:00: Theme Reveal
12:15: Team brainstorming
1:00: Head home and start developing!
What do I need to bring?
Nothing! Game Jam is not about programming or using tools. You will not be using a computer or learning anything related to 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.
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 in April or May, To Be Determined
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 not open until sometime in February.
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.