LEEDS 2023 GAME JAM – Fri 24th September

Hosted by LEEDS 2023

LEEDS 2023 is hosting a 10-day GAME JAM!  It’s time to test, collaborate and prototype some extraordinary new ideas. 


Part of Leeds Digital Festival 2021, this is a 10-day event during which game developers, artists, students, hobbyists, and anyone else interested in getting involved can come together to develop an interactive experience, digital artwork, or game.

We want everyone to get involved. That’s why our GAME JAM is open to anyone across the UK and internationally who is interested in collaborating, learning new ways of working or that wants to prototype extraordinary ideas.

Deadline to sign up as a team is September 15th  

You could be an expert game designer wanting to test out innovative ideas or ways of working, or this may be your first time even thinking about making something like this. You can bring any creative expertise, skills, or training you have or learn new skills throughout the process. You may want to make the music, design the code, think about user experience, or help with the story – it’s up to you!

What is a GAME JAM?   

It is a gathering of people for the purpose of planning, designing, creating or testing out one or more ideas within a short span of time. “Jam” is a reference to musical jam sessions.

About this GAME JAM   

Over 10 days you are going to create a short prototype of a game, interactive experience or digital artwork that will be hosted on itch.io and shared through our social platforms.

For this GAME JAM, LEEDS 2023 have worked with 3 artists to create a brief that will be the inspiration and the subject matter for the GAME JAM. Each team will be given 1 of the 3 briefs in advance and will develop a response or re-imaging of the artists’ original idea, to be submitted as an interactive digital experience at the end of the 10 days. It doesn’t need to be a finished product – we want teams to learn, experiment and test things out.

Teams will work together over the 10 days to develop their response, this can take many forms, but must have interactive elements.


The Events

The jam will have three main elements, consisting of an intro event, the development phase, and a premier event. We will also host a couple of short meetings before and after the jam about LEEDS 2023 and future GAME JAMS.


20 Sep 15:00 -16:30 –Event 1, Prototyping with GAME JAMS, Talk: 

A free public event inside gather.town that will officially launch the jam and introduce the teams. There will be a talk from all three artists about their briefs and talks from academic and industry professionals. This event is for everyone taking part in the GAME JAM and is also open to anyone interested in GAME JAMS, collaborations, and prototyping.

21-30 Sep –Event 2 Prototyping GAME JAM:

Over 10 days you will develop your game, digital artwork, or interactive experience. You will have help from LEEDS 2023’s Creative Technologist team who will assist with development. They will also work on helping you document your development process and will create an online presence for your team in gather.town that the Leeds Digital Festival audience can engage with. We don’t expect you to work on your idea for 10 days; we want you to put in as much or little time as you comfortably can within that time frame, even if that is just a few hours. You will submit the final prototype of your ideas at 5pm (BST) on 30th September 2021.

01 Oct 15:00 -17:00 –Event3, Presenting Game Jam Prototypes:

A free public event inside gather.town where the teams present their games to the public, including a short walk-through and a talk about the process. The audience and other teams will then be able to play the games from within gather.town on itch.io.

How To Apply? 

If you are interested in being involved, please sign up at our Eventbrite by September 15th. You will be contacted shortly after applying with more details.

We are happy for full teams or individual applicants to join. If you are joining as an individual but want to work in a team, LEEDS2023 can match you up with others to form a team, otherwise, you are welcome to work solo. It is free to enter, but please note that LEEDS 2023 will not be able to compensate for teams’ expenses. You


Who can take part?   

Everyone! This GAME JAM is open to anyone aged 18+, and any participants under the age of 18 as long as they work with the supervision of a guardian. We welcome participants from all genders, races, ethnicities, religions and abilities. No previous game development experience is required


Why 10 days?   

LEEDS 2023 actively discourages crunch*. We’re hosting the jam over 10 days so you can work at your own pace, and prioritise mental and physical health during the jam.

(*Crunch is defined as working extra hours for extended periods of time in order to finish a project or meet a deadline.)

About LEEDS 2023   

LEEDS 2023 will be a landmark year of culture for Leeds and our wider region. Starting on 1st January, 2023 will be an extraordinary, year-long programme of creative experiences. Co-created with local, national and international artists, LEEDS 2023 will be for Leeds, with Leeds and inspired by Leeds.

A showcase of creativity across all forms of culture: from dance to design, art to architecture, poetry to pop, sculpture to sport, grassroots community theatre to performances on our world class stages, LEEDS 2023 will have something for everyone.

Fuelled by a belief in the power of artistic expression and cultural experiences to transform lives, LEEDS 2023 will unlock talent and creative opportunities for people from every district in the city.

New connections, collaborations, creative excellence and friendships forged in building LEEDS 2023 will play a vital role in our city’s journey to becoming a cultural giant in the world; one that benefits all Leeds people now and long into the future.


Arts, Culture & Music, Coding & Software Development
LEEDS 2023 GAME JAM – Fri 24th September
24th Sep 2021
9:00am - 5:00pm
Hosted by LEEDS 2023

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