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?


aka 'Hackers'

You’re all about the game mechanics – in digital gaming you’ve got mad tech & coding skills (on whatever platform you choose) that will get the game made.  For analogue games you’ll create the logic and mechanics of the game that will keep your players enthralled.


aka 'Hipsters'

Calling our artists & designers! The look & feel of the game is your domain. You’ve got a knack for colour choices, adore creative thinking, and work with the Programmer to always make sure that the experience is amazing for your players.  Knowing your way around design software is a big plus!


aka 'Hustlers'

If you’re not a programmer or artist but still have a passion for game creation, this is the ticket for you. Producers keep the project on track, on time and oversee that all the elements have been thought of. Bonus points if you have other skills that your team will love – like sound design, creative writing or anything else that could be used to create a game!


For pre-made teams only

If you already have a team of 3-5 people already that have the right blend of skills (programmer, artist and producer) then we have a limited number of Team tickets available! Make sure to buy one ticket per participant, with a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5.  Note: All members must identify as a woman, non-binary, genderqueer or trans man as per our hackathon policies.

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.

  • Disability access and facilities within venue
  • Live CART captioning during opening and closing speeches
  • Babysitting services for children 3yrs+ (upon request during signup)
  • Gender neutral bathrooms
  • All dietary needs catered to where possible
  • Subsidised ticket costs thanks to our amazing program partners

You'll love the venue

Australia's best coworking space for indie games developers

The Arcade is Australia’s first not-for-profit, collaborative workspace created specifically for game developers and creative companies using game methodologies and technologies. It’s the home of cool indie gaming companies like League of Geeks, Hipster Whale and Tin Man Games.

You’ll literally be working in the same space as full time gaming industry legends… a snapshot into your future, perhaps?

You'll love the support

Some of the best in the biz will be at your disposal

There’s nothing worse than getting stuck when the clock is ticking… so we’ve invited our friends from the gaming industry to come along for mentoring and support throughout the weekend.  These mentors have incredible experience in a variety of areas, and are all passionate about sharing their wisdom and helping you create the best game you possibly can.

It’s an incredible opportunity to get advice from some of the best brains in gaming.

You'll love the food

We don't build the internet with beer & pizza - we do it with tea & cupcakes

If there’s one comment we hear the most from event attendees, it’s praise for our amazing catering! Just because it’s a hackathon doesn’t mean the food has to be greasy and gross.  The weekend is fully catered with healthy and delicious food… plus a few treats thrown in for good measure. We’ll keep you hydrated with tea, coffee and herbal teas, and of course no Girl Geek Academy event would be complete without cupcakes to finish.

And if our past events are anything to go by, you won’t go hungry!


What time do I need to be there?

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.

What kind of games can we create?

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.

My preferred ticket type has sold out... can I just buy another type?

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?

We don't have a complete team - can we just have an extra person join us?

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.

Eek! I don't know coding/Photoshop/Unity/Linux/[insert skill or software here]!

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.

Something has come up and I can no longer attend... can I get a refund?

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.

Can my friends/partner/kids/grandmother/llama drop in to say hi?

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.

What will we be eating?

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

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