The Bahrain Game Jam is a game development challenge set in Bahrain, where a group of developers can develop games over the span of 48 hours.

The Game Jam is organized by the Bahrain Internet Society in Collaboration with Bahrain Polytechnic, and the strategic partnership with The French Embassy. The local game development community Unreal Bahrain and Unity Devs Syndicate are supporting the cause along with prominent individuals from the community.

The event is officially part of the French Digital November initiative “Novembre Numérique” organized by France through its embassies.

The event is part of a larger initiative by the Bahrain Internet Society that aims to create the game development sector in Bahrain. The gaming industry is estimated at USD 116 Billion in 2017 with an expected growth of USD 134 Billion by the end of 2018. This is in Bahrain in partnership with the leading Special Needs Non-Profit organization Bahrain4All and the United Nations Industrial Development Program (UNIDO) Office, the Arab International Center for Entrepreneurship & Investment in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

This event aims to bring game developers from different backgrounds together and encourage them to form teams, so they may develop later into indie development studios. This would help in job creation for technical, creative, and business professionals in Bahrain for this industry.

Furthermore, this event would help in identifying local and regional talents for this industry and create external exposure on the region’s efforts towards attracting Large Developers and Publishers in the Gaming industry to the Region.

The Game Jam

The Bahrain game Jam will be held at Polytechnic Bahrain from 29th November until the 1st of December 2018.  The Game Jam Theme will be announced on the day of the Jam after the registration and opening ceremony at 1:00 PM.

It is an onsite event, meaning that participants need to be available in the physical location of the jam for its duration. They can leave during night and return in the morning. Game jams are usually a stressful, therefore, most of the jam participants are encouraged to participate in the activities by the organizers in order to relax and refresh their minds.

The event is expected to have around 150+ participants and 100 + visitors on the final day from the general public. Registration for participants is done through the Bahrain Game Jam website or on site location. It is expected that participants have talents and skills from different disciplines, which is including but not limited to, Development, Art, Music, Animation, Design, Writing, Marketing, and Management. No restrictions are applied for the exception of age as participants need to be 16 years or older.

The event is intended as a hackathon, so traffic in the first few days is limited so that the game developers can focus on developing their game.  All participants are free to interpret the game theme as they see fit; however, jammers should develop games that are culturally ethical (i.e. No Nudity, No Use of Vulgar language). Failure to adhere to the ethics of the game jam will lead into immediate dismissal of the game.

Game Jam Assessment Criteria

A committee including five Judges will look at the overall game feel, design, mechanics, and polish. They will analyze the relevance of the game the theme, taking Mechanics, Story, Visuals, and Sound into consideration and failing to adhere to the theme will result in immediate disqualification. Games loosely related to the theme (scoring less than 5) will have their overall scores capped at 65. Judges will also consider Aesthetics and Sounds, Originality, Innovation and Marketability.

Grand Finale

The Submissions will close at 1:00 PM on the 1st of December, where the judges will vote on all the games submitted for the jam.  All games created at the Bahrain Game Jam 2018 will have the opportunity to be displayed at a public space for the public to see and try; additionally, the game will be placed online so remote participants may try it as well.

On the last day of the event, the jam site will be open to the public via free entry from 3:00 PM until 10:30 PM.

Policies and Rules

1. Signing up for the Jam

You have to be registered to Participate in The Bahrain Game Jam.

Registration Options:

You can register through the online form on the www.BahrainGameJam.com website.

You can also register using the physical form provided to you on the day of the Jam in the jam location.

Up to five members can be part of a team.

One participant can be part of one team only.

Please inform the organizers if you will be arriving to the jam at a later time then 12:00 PM.

Team Formation

  • A team can be consisting from two and up to 5 members,
  • If a member of a team is missing, the team member can be substituted.
  • Substituted members have to be registered with the jam and informed at the Bahrain Game Jam Management office.
  • A single developer will be considered independent, however, the developer can place a team name to represent himself.
  • If a single developer wishes to be part of a team he needs to notify the registration organizers and the pairing will be provided to him.
  • Play testers are not counted as part of the team so you can ask others to try out your game and have them give feedback.

3. Restrictions to Participations

  • You must be 16 years or older to participate in the Jam.
  • Young adults (younger than 18) cannot stay at the jam location past 9:00 pm if they are not accompanied by responsible adults.
  • Participants need to be in the jam location, however, they can leave and comeback as they please.
  • The jam requires that the jammers be available in their stations during the day so judges and mentors can visit, advise, guide and get an early understanding of each game.
  • The Bahrain Game Jam implements an equal opportunity policy; no one wishing to participate is excluded.

4. Game Jam Timings

  • The Bahrain Game Jam is a 48 hours competition, so you are welcome to stay for the entire duration.
  • 9:00 PM is the official time where jammers can leave to get some rest, however access to the jam site will still be allowed at all times as long as you carry a valid ID.
  • 8:00 AM is the official Opening time of the Jam, jammers can come back and continue their work.
  • The jam site is a common place, meaning that no dedicated sleeping area
    is provided.
  • The Jam will start on Thursday and conclude on Saturday.

5. Devices and Personal Items

  • Game Jammers are responsible for their own devices. The Bahrain Game Jam Organizers are not responsible for any damage, loss, or theft of personal items during the jam.
  • Sufficient Power outlets and Wi-Fi Access will be provided for the duration of the jam event.
  • The Bahrain Game Jam Office can store items for safe keeping up to a
    limited capacity.

6. Mentors and Coaches of Jammers

  • Mentoring will be provided upon request during the jam.
  • Teams / individual participants will be allowed to seek guidance from any mentor available at the time.
  • Participants are not allowed to ask mentors to take part in any creative process.
  • Reported abuse of the provided mentoring may result in game disqualification.

7. Adherence to the Jam Theme

  • Game submissions must adhere to the game jam’s theme announced on the day of the event.
  • Submissions loosely related to the theme (scoring less than 5 under “Theme Adherence”) will have their overall scores capped at 65.
  • Submissions not adhering to the game jam’s theme will be disqualified.

8. Submission of the Games in the Game Jam

  • Game submissions are to be done online in the Bahrain Game Jam Itch.io site (Link will be provided)
  • A copy of the Game will be provided to the event organizers after the submission of the game via hard drive
    or flash.
  • It is advised that screenshots and preferably a video recording of the game is provided on the site and the physical copy submitted to the organizers.

9. Usage of Third Party assets

  • Assets created by the game jammers need to be disclosed, these include
  • 2D assets.
  • 3D assets
  • Textures, sprites, and Materials
  • Music and Sound effects.
  • Animations
  • Code
  • Or any other asset not developed by the jammers at the jam.
  • Jammers must declare if they have pre-existing code or assets they wish to use.
  • Usage of engine assets are allowed without the need to mention its source.
  • Bought assets need to be disclosed.

10. Disqualifications

Teams can find themselves disqualified if:

  • They are involved in unethical acts.
  • They conduct sabotage of the jam location.
  • They are involved in disruptive behavior of the jam.
  • The team is found in violation of the Bahrain Game Jam rules.
  • Is utilizing help from external members outside of the jam.
  • A game may find itself disqualified if:
  • If it does not follow the Theme
  • If it displays Ethical or Cultural inappropriateness.
  • If it showcases adult material or offensive language.
  • If it failed to disclose where assets being used are taken from (plagiarism).
  • The game is not submitted on the deadline.

11. Ownership of the Games of the Jam

All Games and assets produced in the jam are the property of their respective owners.

The Bahrain Internet Society as well as Bahrain Polytechnic, and strategic partners have the full right to use images and videos of the Games and the media produced for marketing purposes only.

It is appreciated if you include the Bahrain Game Jam logo in the splash screen to help with future events.

12. Ethics and Code of Conduct

  • All participants can support each other and offer help and guidance.
  • All participants will be treated in a fair and respectable manner.
  • No fighting will be allowed in the premises, should a conflict arises seek out one of the event organizers to have it resolved.
  • All participants are required to cooperate with the game jam organizers
  • No lewd behavior will be allowed.

Code of Ethics

  • All games developed in the jam should remain morally and culturally ethical, this includes:
  • Usage of copyrighted material without the right of permission is not allowed.
  • Games that contain political agendas.
  • Dilbert Discrimination against ethnical groups.
  • Games that Deals with culturally inappropriate material.
  • All game jam participants are to treat each other with respect and avoid all and any form of verbal and physical abuse, assault, or harassment.
  • All Game Jam Organizers are held accountable to any form of negligence and are expected to hold themselves accountable to the same standards of the participants.