Season 16 (2022-2023) - Breaking Conventions

Conventions can be an important tool for helping players understand and play a game. When you start playing a new game and instinctively use the left controller stick to move around, you are relying on the game following the convention that the left controller stick controls your character’s movement. In this case, the convention is a positive thing, because it allows you to easily and quickly transfer your existing game-playing knowledge and experience to a new game.

However, when game design and storytelling overly rely on conventions, it can result in an experience that feels tired. Have you ever had to climb a tower in a game to unlock part of a map and a new save location? Or played a game where your character starts with amnesia? These conventions have been used so often that they may make frequent gamers start thinking “oh, this again?” Even worse, some “conventions” are based on stereotypes that will turn off many players - not every princess needs to be helpless and in need of saving.

This year’s theme asks you to think about conventions in video games – specifically, conventions that you want to break. What characters, settings, themes, game mechanics, or other elements can you develop that would surprise your players with the unexpected or challenge their assumptions?

Documents For Season 16

Check out these for all the details on this year’s theme and achievements and how the competition works:

  • Quick facts about this season of OGPC. A quick reference sheet to the competition. Participants and coaches should make sure to read the full competition manual.
  • The Competition Manual for the season. This has the full theme description as well as rules and guidelines for the competition.
  • The coaching guide with helpful tips for coaches new and old.
  • Achievements guide. These are specific things judges will be looking for when scoring your project.

Getting Started

New to OGPC and trying to figure out how to get started? Here is a checklist:

  1. Check out the Competition Manual to learn about the theme and how the actual competition works.
  2. Form a team. (The Competition Manual has requirements.) If you are a student, you will need to find an adult who is willing to be the team Coach.
  3. Register in the Team Management System (TMS). This involves:
    1. The Coach making an account and creating a Team and then inviting students to join.
    2. Students making accounts and accepting the invites.
    3. The Coach registering for the Main Event and paying the registration fee.

    This video shows how the process works.