So what is the Oregon Game Project Challenge (OGPC)?
OGPC is a program that uses game development as a means of engaging students in various STEM/STEAM disciplines while having loads of fun.
How can I support OGPC?
OGPC is run entirely by volunteers but does require money to pay for the cost of the Main Event and things like insurance. We can also use items to use as prizes and giveaways. If you or your company is able to help with sponsorship or donation of items, please consider helping out. You can find more information on our Sponsorship page.
We also need a small army of volunteers each year for the OGPC main event. Our biggest need is judges – people who will use a rubric to evaluate whether teams met specific achievements. We need judges for categories both technical and non-technical. You do not have to be a developer to help judge. If you are willing to help out, sign up for our mailing list as a volunteer. We will reach out to you as the main event approaches.
A large number of kids are already passionate about games – why not encourage them to learn skills and develop problem-solving skills through creating their own games?
Creating games requires a wide range of artistic, technical, and soft skills. Because of their passion for what they are creating, many participants are inspired to spend countless hours studying advanced programming concepts and learning new art skills to bring their ideas to life.
What do teams do?
Each year, OGPC announces a new theme (examples of past themes include “Urban Planning”, “Internal Obstacles” and “What Makes a Hero?”). A team’s primary objective is to build a game that explores that theme. To build their game, teams must design the gameplay rules and goals, write a story and develop characters, create art for the visuals, record sound and music, and write computer code to make it all work.
Then, at the Main Event, they must present their work to professional judges and “sell” their product.
How can students get involved?
One or more students who are interested in participating need to start by finding a coach – an adult who will be in charge of their team. (See “What do I need to know to coach?” below).
Teams will need a wide variety of skills – not everyone needs to start off knowing how to program or as an artist. Teams should focus on their strengths by building around the skills their members have and look to recruit other students with skills the team is missing.
What do I need to know to coach?
Every OGPC team must have an adult coach. But that coach does not have to be an expert in making games. The main jobs of a coach are: to make sure the team is registered, provide space and time for the team to meet during the season, to help the team find information and resources, and to chaperone it at the main event.
There are lots of books, webpages, and videos on every aspect of game making. If you do not know how to make games, you can focus on helping your students find resources that will help them.
My child has never created a game. Where would s/he start?
Does every team need an experienced programmer?
Absolutely not! Many of the recommended game development platforms are designed for non-programmers and can get you started in just a few hours of time.
What do we do if we don’t have an artist or musician?
Teams can make use of any free, openly licensed art or music. See the resources page for suggestions. They will, however, miss out on a lot of the points in the art & assets category – a team will score better making its own art even if that art is cruder than what they could get from some resource pack.
How big / small can an OGPC team be?
OGPC teams work best with 2 to 5 team members, with a maximum of 7. A school or group with three or more teams must have at least 3 members in each team.
How is the judging kept fair across different ages and abilities?
First, the teams are split into middle school and high school levels. Second, first-year teams can be considered for a special “Rookie” category prize in addition to other prizes. Third, there are prizes given for Game Design, Art and Assets, Theme and Style, Professionalism, Programming, and other focus areas. So even if a team is missing expertise in one area, they can win an award by focusing on what they are good at.
Can middle and high school students work together on the same team?
Yes, but they have to register in the high school division if there are both middle and high school team members.
Does a team have to be affiliated with a school to join?
Nope, anyone can form a team! In fact, we have a long tradition of neighborhood and homeschool teams participating in OGPC.
How much does it cost to participate in OGPC?
The OGPC Main Event is $50 per team, no matter the size of the team (2-7 students).