Train2Game Games for Change 2021

Today, Games for Change (G4C), the leading advocate of games for social impact began accepting speaker submissions and award nominations for the 2021 Games for Change Festival (July 12-14)—the largest industry-facing event for social impact games in the world.

Major themes of the Festival include a focus on achieving equity and social justice, ensuring a thriving planet, promoting mental health, and regaining a sense of security.  
 
“The issues Games for Change has advocated for years have been accelerated through this time of adversity,” said G4C President, Susanna Pollack.

“We need to continue that momentum by sharing lessons learned and thinking big about the road ahead. We invite developers, researchers, innovators, and changemakers to create this shared vision for our industry and hope to inspire the next generation of media that tackles our world’s most pressing issues.”
 
Through an open call for session submissions, Games for Change is inviting the global gaming community to share the latest thinking around games and immersive media that imagine, inspire, and ignite a future rooted in tangible social impact. Talks, panels, workshops, and demos will be presented across multiple tracks, including but not limited to Civics & Social Issues, Health & Wellness, Games for Learning, and the return of the XR for Change Summit.
 
Given the increased interest from international communities joining the Festival virtually in 2020, Games for Change will feature more sessions and speakers whose work is making an impact outside of the United States. In addition, Games for Change reinforces that the Festival is a platform for all voices and backgrounds, providing the community an opportunity to celebrate and reinforce core values: cross-sector collaboration, innovative and progressive thinking, and diverse perspectives.
 
Nominations have also opened for the 2021 Games for Change Awards, which recognizes and celebrates games in various categories. Games and XR experiences released between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 are eligible to apply for one or more of the six award categories, such as Most Innovative, Best Gameplay, and Best Learning Game. Through a rigorous evaluation process by industry professionals, four finalists will be chosen in each category.
 
Submission portals for both speakers and awards open today and close on February 12. More information regarding selection criteria for each can be found on the Games for Change Festival website.

Train2Game News Indie Showdown 2021 Submissions Open

The Label’s annual Indie Showdown competition which celebrates indie game makers and honors excellence in the indie mobile game community is open through February 19, 2021.

Past winners include Levelhead by Butterscotch Shenanigans, What the Golf? by Triband, Mushroom 11 by Untame, Tiny Bubbles by Pine Street Codeworks, Old Man’s Journey by Broken Rules, and Bring You Home by Alike Studios. 

Indie Showdown submissions will be judged not only on fun-factor, but on all aspects of the game’s craftsmanship – its design, technical, visual, and audio elements. With no cost to enter and cash prizes totaling $17,000, the world’s top mobile indie game makers are encouraged to submit today https://www.thelabel.game/indie-showdown

“This is our sixth annual Indie Showdown and we’re excited to see what undiscovered games capture the judges’ attention and eventually land on the top charts,” said Mike Ouye, VP and General Manager, The Label. “While the year is just getting underway, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2021 when it comes to mobile games!” 

The panel of judges will include the original Indie Showdown contest winner, Tim Garbos, Creative Director on What the Golf? as well as Itay Keren, founder of Untame Games and creator of Mushroom 11, and Joshua Babich, The Label’s Director of Product.

The top 10 games will be revealed on March 10, with winners announced shortly after. Prizes include: $10,000 for the grand first-place winner, $5,000 for the second place prize, and $2,000 for the third place winner. 

Highlighted rules:

  • Pre-launch: Your game must not be launched worldwide.
  • Indie: You must not have a publisher or signed publishing agreement.
  • Original: You must own 75% of the showcased IP.
  • Mobile: Games must be playable on mobile devices.

Full contest rules available at: www.thelabel.game/rules/

Developers can submit their game by filling out a contest entry form here: https://www.thelabel.game/indie-showdown

Train2Game News Awesome Games Done Quick 2021 Charity Event

Games Done Quick, a grassroots organization known for its speedrunning charity events, will host Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) 2021 Online this weekend, with a thrilling lineup of speedruns taking place on the official Games Done Quick Twitch channel.

Despite moving online amid the COVID-19 pandemic, AGDQ 2021 Online will find the world’s best speed-runners racing through a mixture of modern and classic games, all in the name of charity. The full schedule for the event, which runs from January 3-10, 2021, is now live at https://gamesdonequick.com/schedule

The event will also feature a brand new, virtual interactive crowd experience. GDQ Twitch subscribers can join the crowd on the GDQ website and use various emotes in the Twitch Chat to have the audience of Velocities (GDQ’s mascot) cheer on the runners, viewable by everyone. The interactive crowd experience will be available at GamesDoneQuick.com throughout the event.

AGDQ 2021 Online will be held this year in support of Prevent Cancer Foundation. Donations can be made directly to the charity during the event via the viewing page available at GamesDoneQuick.com. One hundred percent of all AGDQ 2021 Online donations go directly to Prevent Cancer Foundation.

Across the past decade, Games Done Quick has teamed with charities around the world, including Doctors Without Borders, AbleGamers, Organization for Autism Research, and Prevent Cancer Foundation, while bringing gamers together to marvel at the achievements of the most high-level speedrunners out there. To date, Games Done Quick has raised over $28 million for charity.

Last year, more than 2,750 people attended Awesome Games Done Quick 2020 in person, while the Twitch live stream saw a peak of 236,000 concurrent viewers. Through donations made during the event, more than $3.16 million was raised for Prevent Cancer Foundation.

AGDQ 2021 Online will be broadcast live on Twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/gamesdonequick.

The event is sponsored by Twitch, The Yetee, Fangamer, NIS America, and Devolver Digital.

For more information, please visit GamesDoneQuick.com.

Train2Game News London Game Fest 2021

The 2021 London Games Festival will showcase a range of unreleased titles from around the world, explore how games have aided players’ lives under COVID-19, and connect creators with global investors when it returns next year – running from Friday 19 March to Sunday 28 March

Next year professionals and players alike have a wealth of activity to enjoy, the majority of it from home. This includes a brand new showcase of new games, some of which will be playable at home for free, broadcasts and streams from iconic London locations and a must-attend business track.

A select number of outdoor elements are also planned for LGF and will be fully unveiled in early 2021. These include a public exhibition celebrating Ensemble, the festival’s showcase of Black, Asian and marginalised ethnicity UK video games talent, plus events run by Now Play This, which returns to Somerset House at the end of March.

London Games Festival is backed by the Mayor of London and seeks to make London the games capital of the world.  It is delivered by Games London, an initiative from Film London, the capital’s screen industries agency, and video games trade body Ukie (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment).

Highlights for London Games Festival 2021 include: 

  • For the first time in its six years, LGF will curate an Official Selection of titles across key themes such as narrative excellence and diverse creators while offering enhanced ways for players to experience these games, from developer sessions through to streaming gameplay
  • Ensemble, Games London’s acclaimed exhibition of Black, Asian and marginalised ethnicity UK video games talent, returns with an outdoor exhibition in partnership with the City of London Corporation, showing in Aldgate Square and Guildhall Yard across March, April and May 
  • Games Finance Market, running across 22 March to 25 March, which will connect 60 major investors with games businesses for private online pitch meetings curated by Games London
  • BAFTA Games Awards, the games industry’s most prestigious accolades, broadcast on the night of 25 March
  • Plus another head-turning collaboration with Now Play This. Now Play This runs 25 March to 28 March and is set to feature experimental gaming installations and activities at Somerset House
  • All content will be underpinned with daily broadcasts from London. This includes keynotes with major developers and creatives, plus explorations on key themes such as games’ impact on culture, how creators can address burning issues such as sustainability and diversity, collaborations with filmmakers, and the ways audiences found solace in virtual worlds while living under lockdown

LGF was one of the first events globally to switch to digital platforms in early 2020 and to great success: its programming this year generated millions of pounds of business for 402 participating global games companies. The call is now open for game submissions and applications for investor meetings in 2021.

Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “London Games Festival will unlock more potential for the capital next year. The festival was one of the first events to switch to all-digital and we’re proud to see it evolve the model further with a dedicated games showcase and more. The games sector has proven its resilience in 2020 and we remain hugely committed to championing London and connecting the city’s game businesses to colleagues across the world, all while continuing to promote this exciting sector.”

Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said: “London Games Festival will focus on topics that are close to our industry’s heart – namely diversity, sustainability, and the ways many of us have used games to escape to at challenging times. As games continues to prove its value commercially, it’s never been more important to build invaluable connections between creators and funders to support the creation of world-changing games businesses in the UK.”

You can discover more about the programme in the coming months via www.games.london and @londongamesfest.

Train2Game News Global Game Jam 2021 Online

Global Game Jam 2021 will be a completely digital event in January in response to COVID 19, and site registrations open today at https://globalgamejam.org/jam-site-registration
 
Following the success of GGJ NEXT Online – the Global Game Jam event for younger participants that takes place each summer, and this year also moved to a digital format – GGJ Online is officially announced to take place January 27-31, 2021. Join thousands of hobbyist, student, and professional game developers from over 115 countries across the world online this January to celebrate creation, collaboration and togetherness despite being apart!
 
Additionally, Seattle video game industry veteran and champion for game development and climate science, Tim Cullings, joins Global Game Jam, Inc as Director of Operations, replacing Jo Summers who served as the GGJ Executive Producer for over three years. A Systems Engineer at Oculus and Founding Board Member for Seattle Indies, Cullings also helped found GUILD, a support group for indie game developer community organizers, as well as Games For Our Future, a multi-city game jam that brings together climate science researchers and game developers to make games about climate change related issues. 
 
“We’ve been discussing GGJ Online with our community on social media for a few months already. Given the current global situation, it was really never an ‘if’, it was a ‘when’ and ‘how’,” said Kate Edwards, Executive Director of Global Game Jam. “The tenets of Global Game Jam – creativity, collaboration, inclusion and fun – are more important now than ever, and we are so excited to have Tim Cullings joining our staff. His extensive background in supporting indie developers and organizing charity game jam events for change will prove invaluable as we steer into the uncharted waters ahead.”
 
The Global Game Jam® (GGJ) is the world’s largest game creation event taking place around the globe, typically at physical locations. A “game jam” is essentially a hackathon focused on game development. It is the growth of an idea that in today’s heavily connected world, we could come together, be creative, share experiences and express ourselves in a multitude of ways using video games – it is very universal. The weekend stirs a global creative buzz in games, while at the same time exploring the process of development, be it programming, iterative design, narrative exploration or artistic expression. It is all condensed into a 48 hour development cycle. The GGJ encourages people with all kinds of backgrounds to participate and contribute to this global spread of game development and creativity.
 
For individuals interested in running a GGJ Online site, please click here to fill out the application.
 
Read our frequently asked questions to learn more about setting up a site.

Train2Game News MtG Releases Through 2021

Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., unveiled today details for its upcoming slate of Magic: The Gathering releases through 2021.

The Magic team previewed the highly anticipated set Zendikar Rising – releasing on MTG Arena September 17 and September 25 for tabletop – by showing off first-looks at brand-new cards, new and returning card mechanics, and the set’s booster packs. The company also revealed exciting collaborations with AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and K-Swiss, set names and graphics for 2021, teased Magic: The Gathering Arena release on mobile, and much more.

Today’s announcements were part of the Zendikar Rising Debut Moment, a streamed event giving Magic players a look at what’s ahead for the entire brand, ensuring there’s something coming for everyone regardless of how they play.

Zendikar Rising

Zendikar Rising takes players back to the popular world where a new adventure lies around every corner. Over 20 Zendikar Rising cards debuted today, including all-new powerful Planeswalkers cards for Nahiri, and Jace, with art for a new Nissa. Players also got a glimpse of returning gameplay mechanics Kicker and Landfall, as well as new ones: Party and Modal Double-Faced Cards. Booster Fun and Set Booster packs were also previewed.
 

Set Roadmap for 2021
Also revealed today were upcoming sets in 2021:

  • Kaldheim – Magic’s Viking world – Winter 2021
  • Strixhaven – The most elite university in the Multiverse – Spring 2021
  • Adventures in the Forgotten Realms – Dungeons & Dragons comes to Magic – Summer 2021
  • Innistrad (two unnamed sets) – Werewolves and Vampires are back – Fall 2021
  • Time Spiral Remastered – Recapture the fun of a fan-favorite block
  • Modern Horizons 2 – A follow-up to the popular Modern Horizons set

New Secret Lair Drops
Magic teased two upcoming drops from its highly collectable, lovingly curated line Secret Lair: Yargle Day and an exciting collaboration with AMC’s hit show “The Walking Dead.” Fans should follow @MTGSecretLair on Twitter for more news and availability.

Magic: The Gathering X K-Swiss Limited Edition Sneaker
In collaboration with K-Swiss, the American heritage tennis brand, Magic unveiled a limited edition sneaker inspired by the iconic look of one of its most beloved characters, Jace Beleren. The reimagined Gstaad ’86 sneaker is crafted with premium leather overlays and underlays that are accented by glow-in-the-dark elements — the leather collar lining, printed designs, rubber outsole and extra laces. Metal lace clip-ons modeled after Jace’s character design and a debossed Magic: The Gathering logo at the tongue and a sublimated sockliner of Jace’s artwork complete the magical reinvention of this classic K-Swiss style. They are packaged with a special-edition box and tissue paper. The limited run sneakers go on sale today exclusively on Hasbro Pulse.

Magic: The Gathering Arena Comes to Mobile
Magic confirmed what fans have long been asking for: the upcoming launch of Magic: The Gathering Arena for mobile devices. More details will be revealed soon.

Check out the DailyMTG for more information and view the Zendikar Rising trailer HERE.