Ubisoft ANZ Brings Game Jam Program To Aus [Updated]

Ubisoft ANZ Brings Game Jam Program To Aus [Updated]

Ubisoft will bring its global program of Game Jams to Australia in March.

Aus Game Jam 2024 will run from March 29th to April 12. Developers of any skill level are invited to sign up. There are some catches, though: you must be currently enrolled in Australian universities or TAFEs. You’ll need a valid .edu email address to sign up. The goal is to use Unity or Unreal Engine to create a unique game on a tight two-week turnaround. The Aus Game Jam theme will be announced via the Game Jam Discord in the near future.

Update 23/2/24: After further investigating how Ubisoft ANZ is staging this event, here’s what I can tell you: this is an initiative that is being funded entirely by the local branch. The ANZ arm is organising the event and footing the bill themselves, which I applaud. That makes the Aus Games Jam an entirely separate initiative from the ones that Ubisoft runs internationally. I still think the prizes are on the weaker side, but (as I suggest in the yarn below) this appears to be a pilot program that must prove it can fly first, which explains a lot. I’ve made a few amendments to the piece to reflect these findings. — David.

You can enter as an individual, or you can team up with other devs. Your group can’t be any larger than six though. Games are uploaded to itch.io and are judged by the community.

So, what happens if you win? Ubisoft says three winning teams, one from each category — Overall, Theme, and People’s Choice — will be selected. These teams will take home “exclusive prizes, including Game Download Codes, Collector’s Editions, and Statues/Figurines from Ubisoft’s extensive library of games. But that’s not all – brace yourselves for a moment of fame as your game gets showcased on Ubisoft Australia’s official social media platforms!”

I was stoked to see Ubisoft ANZ’s tweet about the Aus Game Jam go up! … but these prizes. This is the part that, I confess, I’m a bit disappointed with. Game codes and a shout-out on Twitter aren’t on quite the same level as what’s offered at other jams around the world. But, look. I want to give Ubisoft ANZ the benefit of the doubt here. I’ve worked with their local team for many years, well before I was at Kotaku Australia. I know them to be good people who work hard to produce cool shit for the local scene. This is the first time Ubisoft ANZ has run a game jam of this kind in Aus, and it must prove that it can succeed in order to grow. I hope that it does exactly that, and next year we’re back here talking about scholarships and cash prizes for the winners.

Regardless of the prizes on the table, any game jam presents a great opportunity for developers to work together and stretch creative muscles. Events like these are about creating positive stressors, meeting new people, cutting ideas down to absolute essentials, and building something weird and special that you might not have made on your own. I’m saying that if you’re going to enter, let it be for those reasons rather than the chance to win a copy of Skull and Bones.

You can read more about how the Aus Game Jam will work, and sign up at the official page here.

Image: Ubisoft ANZ

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