28-29 April 2018
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Zero-to-game in two days - game on!
#SheHacksGames is the first all-woman game jam in Australia – and our first hackathon specifically for the gaming industry! We’ll match your skills to a team of Girl Geeks and you’ll have two days to create a game of any genre and any platform. Along the way we’ll fuel you with delicious food, give you access to amazing mentors and at the end finish with a party to celebrate and share your hard work.
You don’t need to have any specific skills to join us, or even have built a game before. Whether you’re a programmer, artist/designer or a producer you’ll be welcome to play with us!
Why did we decide to host a games hackathon?
We're glad you asked.
We’ve said it before – there is a lack of opportunities for women to develop their skills in the games industry. Our annual #SheMakesGames program became a roaring success, but the feedback was that our community craved more – more hands-on experience, more exposure to the industry, and more opportunities to show off what they can do.
#SheHacksGames is perfect for those Girl Geeks who are new or early into their gaming careers and want to spend a weekend letting their creativity, skills and passion run wild to see what they can achieve in a short time. Throw in some great food & great people – and you’ve got yourself a hackathon, Girl Geek Academy style!
I'm new to game jams and hackathons - how does this work?
Traditional hackathons (like our #SheHacks program!) are about solving a problem in a very short timeframe – identifying a need, then creating a solution using technology. Often they are held over a day, or over a weekend.
Every team has a particular blend of skills that are necessary for success – we usually call them hackers (coding & tech legends), hipsters (design and user experience), and hustlers (team management & operational concerns like marketing, research, business plan etc).
#SheHacksGames is based around the same format except you’re creating a game! You’ll arrive with no idea what you’ll be creating or who your team members will be (unless you’ve bought a Team pass), and you’ll still have a mix of skills but this time it’ll be programmers, artists and producers. Details of each type are below if you’re unsure which one you fit into.
We’ll keep you well fed with healthy brain food over the whole weekend, and they’ll be industry mentors popping in to answer questions and offer support. And when it’s all done there’s a party to celebrate your achievements… and of course play the games we’ve created!
And on a final note – we love newbies! At every hackathon we host the most common questions come from nervous newbies who are worried about their skills. We promise that while the weekend will be challenging and fast paced, you’ll quickly realise that there is plenty you can offer your team regardless of your tech ability.
What ticket should I buy?
We value inclusivity
Let’s be real – we’ve all been to events where the organisers haven’t thought about some of the things our community needs in order to feel welcome. We don’t want anyone to feel excluded or that they should miss out on the fun!
We work hard to ensure that our programs are accessible to as many people as possible, and have already committed to the following initiatives. If you would love to join us but have a need that we have not addressed, please don’t hesitate to let us know before signing up.
On Saturday registration opens at 8:30am for a start at 9am sharp. Allow yourself enough time to find a park, register, grab a coffee & find a seat – there will be important information shared during that first session so you don’t want to miss it! We will work right through the day and finish around 9pm that night (don’t worry, we’ll keep you well fed and busy so the time will fly).
Doors will open on Sunday at 8:30am and the hackathon will finish around 4pm – but we ask that you stick around until at least 5pm for the Play Party! Check out the other games created over the hackathon and celebrate your achievements with cheese and cupcakes.
The whole event will finish no later than 6pm.
Whatever you like! Digital games, card games, board games, party games, app-based games… whatever your team gets excited by. The idea is to try and reach at least the prototype stage by the end of the weekend so others can play & test your creation.
Our mentors will have a broad range of experience across different disciplines so no matter what you’re creating there will be someone able to support you.
Of course you can! As long as you satisfy the criteria for that ticket type, and are happy to take responsibility for that role.
For example – if you were hoping to be a Producer but they are sold out, you might buy a Designer ticket… but you will have to take on the Designer role in your team. You can’t buy a Designer ticket but on the day say that you want to be the Producer, or arrive without any skills as a Designer.
Makes sense, right?
If you don’t have a full team, then you cannot request to be in a team with someone else. So be prepared to be split into different teams.
The reason for this is so that all participants are able to participate, share and contribute equally to the team project as a whole. If you were to join a team where your two teammates were already friends and had an idea to work on, you might feel that your ideas aren’t equally heard. And feeling excluded isn’t a fun way to spend a weekend.
It’s also the best way to encourage meeting new people and opening yourself up to a more creative and surprising event.
While this is our first gaming hackathon we have run many startup hackathons and tested different team models – and this has been the most successful model by far for participant enjoyment and equality within teams. Trust us on this.
Deep breaths… it’s going to be ok.
There is no prerequisite knowledge to attend #SheHacksGames. The beauty of a hackathon is that you work within the skills and knowledge that you have. If you want to challenge yourself to learn something new – go for it! As long as you can deliver what you need to, how you do so is completely up to you.
Don’t forget we will have mentors roaming the space to give advice as well – so if you’re unsure if there’s an easier way to do what you want to do, ask!
And we said it above, but it bears repeating – newbies are absolutely welcome! Every year our inboxes are flooded with nervous newbies wanting to know if they should pull out of the event, or if they are good enough to attend. Of course you are! If you have passion for creating games and are happy to work with a team and as a team, then that’s all we ask.
Unfortunately we are unable to provide refunds for this event, so please make sure you can commit to the program before you sign up. You do have the option to transfer your ticket to someone else, as long as they satisfy the same requirements as your ticket type (e.g. if you bought a Programmer ticket, your replacement must also have programming skills).
Due to our workload we are unable to help you source someone to transfer your ticket to, but if it is sold out we sometimes have a waitlist so let us know and we might be able to pass on your info to someone else.
Most importantly – if you cannot attend, please let us know as soon as possible so we can reallocate another participant into your team. We handpick our teams based on skills and experience levels, so by not showing up on the day your team will be left without crucial skills that can’t necessarily be replaced easily. Please consider your fellow participants.
While it’s awesome that they want to support you & cheer on your team, for OHS reasons we can’t have an open door policy during the hackathon so it’s best that they leave you to do your thang. If there’s a situation where this does need to happen (e.g. dropping off/picking up kids from our babysitting area) then check with a Girl Geek Academy staff member beforehand so we are aware.
HOWEVER we don’t want them to miss out on all the fun – so we will be releasing tickets to our post-hackathon Play Party! They can play the games, eat some cheese and support the amazing effort you put in over the weekend. Stay tuned for more details.
If you’re asking that question, you’re our kind of person 🙂
Girl Geek Academy is known for fantastic and abundant catering at all our events. (Have you ever tried to be creative when your stomach is grumbling? No hangry gamers on our watch.) Our focus is on delicious, filling but healthy food – so no pizza or greasy food here. And you know we will always have cupcakes to celebrate!
We also cater for dietary requirements, so when you fill in your order form you can tell us about what you need. If for some reason we can’t work around it we will get in touch directly and make it happen. Nobody should be put off attending just because they can’t eat the food.
With Thanks To Our Incredible Partners
NEW POP-UP WORKSHOP FOR HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS!
Sunday 29th April – 10:30am to 4pm
While #SheHacksGames is an 18+ event, we had SO MANY requests for a way to allow high school girls to be involved. So we have made something just for you!
The #SheHacksGames Workshop is for secondary school girls who want to learn more about game jams, the game making process and the wide range of career options directly from amazing women who are working in the gaming industry right now.
This pop-up workshop will include:
- a ’bootcamp’ to learn how a games jam works
- an overview of steps and things to think about when you want to create a game
- hands-on mini workshops on some game making skills
- a full tour of The Arcade and our #SheHacksGames event in progress
- some amazing #SheHacksGames mentors popping in to meet the girls and chat about their career path, what it’s like to work in the industry, and give their tips for anyone wanting to follow in their footsteps
- full catering provided – including our famous celebratory cupcakes 🙂
- and finally joining the #SheHacksGames closing celebrations and Play Party so they get to see what was achieved AND play the games that were created during the event!
The workshop is hosted in the League of Geeks studio at The Arcade (South Melbourne) so you’ll see what a real working studio looks like!
It’s not about learning coding or Photoshop – we want to focus on other skills like design thinking, project management and teamwork while introducing the girls to more advanced technology like VR. Don’t worry about bringing laptops or any devices either – we will supply everything that is needed.
There’s only 15 spots in this workshop, so if you’re keen to come & play with us grab your ticket now!
Can’t make it this event, or is it sold out? Click here to join the waitlist for future games programs for school students so you hear about them first!