ROM Game Jam

ROM Game Jam 2015: Space Rocks logo

Bring natural history to life at the Royal Ontario Museum this October! The ROM, in partnership with the University of Toronto, is opening its doors to game developers for the third annual (and FINAL) ROM Game Jam. ROM Game Jam is a three-day event from October 2 - 4 where participants are challenged to create digital games that animate the museum’s exhibits.

Here’s the beta:

  • Spend three days inside the ROM creating games that animate its exhibitions, including overnight access during Nuit Blanche.
  • Explore over 30 galleries of the museum containing millions of specimens.
  • Learn about the history of these specimens directly from ROM experts.
  • Have the opportunity to showcase your game in a Toronto cultural institution with an audience of thousands.

Register Now

Selection Criteria for Choosing GAME JAM Teams:

  • Team is motivated
  • Team has a concept in mind for what you’d like to make
  • Game Jam has a balance of entry-level, student, and professional participants and teams
  • Game Jam has a balance of game styles/types
  • Inclusiveness: The ROM is committed to creating inclusive programming that is accessible and welcoming of diversity. Participants who self-identify as women, Indigenous peoples, visible minorities, and/or persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

WHO, WHEN, WHERE?

THEME: SPACE ROCKS

That’s right - space games. Read on my friends:

The ROM's Earth and Space collection includes meteorites, 4 billion year old Earth rocks, and even pieces of the Moon and Mars. (Nerd fact: the ROM has over 500 meteorites and the largest collection of shergottites - a specific kind of Martian meteorite - in the world!)

How would you animate this spectacular collection through a video game? Join us for our final ROM Game Jam this Fall and let your creativity shine!

Even for veteran Game Jam participants, there will be a few fresh surprises for this final ROM Game Jam experience. Draw inspiration from the Teck Suite of Galleries: Earth's Treasures, which includes our gem vault, the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame, and the Barrick Gold Corporation Gallery. Bring your game to life as you learn about the OSIRIS-Rex mission (bringing back samples from an asteroid) and Mars exploration (exploring landforms and searching for life) direct from ROM experts. You will also have a chance to view our newest exhibition Pompeii: In the Shadow of the Volcano.

WHO

Up to 100 participants will participate in this event!
 
Teams of up to 4 people will be selected. 
 

WHEN

Oct 2-4, 2015
3 DAYS, including overnight Saturday during Nuit Blanche!
Photo of an empty Roloff Beny Gallery

WHERE

Rolff Beny Gallery (in the top of Michal Lee-Chin Crystal overlooking Bloor Street). Think of superman’s Fortress of Solitude...on Mars. Be inspired by NASA images and a truly unique venue.
 

WHO OWNS THE GAME

Not to get all fine-print on you, but best of all you keep the IP to your work, including the right to distribute and see the game!
Have more questions? Check out the Game Jam 2015 FAQ section!
 
Gamers playing a Game Jam game at the ROM
Gamers playing a Game Jam game at the ROM

ROM GAME SHOWCASE!

Our hope is for your completed game to live on long after the Game Jam ends. With this in mind, we’ll provide showcase opportunities that could feature your creation with ROM visitors! ROM assets that are available to showcase games include: PC laptops, iPads, Google Cardboard, and a multi-touchscreen game table (Please email gamejam@rom.on.ca if you want to develop for the game table).
  • Inspire next generation - shown to student groups who visit the ROM.
  • Engage thousands of visitors during a public arcade that will run during our epic ROM For The Holidays program.
  • Completed games, at the discretion of the ROM, will be play-tested at various ROM events between November 2015 and March 2016. Other confirmed dates will be posted here later – please check back!
Or see what gamers created in previous ROM Game Jams, visit the ROM Arcade!

LOOKING FOR SOME INSPIRATION?

We live in exciting times for planetary exploration! The Curiosity Rover is looking for sites where life may have existed on Mars, the New Horizons mission has reached Pluto after nine years of travelling, OSRIS-Rex, a sample return mission to an asteroid will launch in the Fall, 2016, to name but a few!

Every new mission is helping us understand: Where did we come from & What is our destiny?

These are fundamental questions that drive human curiosity. The ROM explores these questions by studying planetary materials and we want to share this wonder with everyone. We believe that by engaging creative, motivated, and inspired game developers in a collaborative environment, AMAZING things will happen. What will that be? It’s up to YOU.

Expert talks by:

  • ROM Managing Director of Earth & Space who’s a Planetary Scientist & founding member of the NASA Datanauts Corps
Datanauts logo
  • Unity Field Engineer: More games are made with Unity than with any other game technology. This is your chance to ask your questions and build upon your game development expertise.  
Unity logo

You had me at asteroids…..

Picture of an asteroid in spaceHere at the ROM we are fascinated by asteroids! In fact, Dr. Kim Tait, Curator of the ROM’s Earth & Space collection, will be part of a NASA-led mission to sample an asteroid. This mission, called OSIRIS-REx will launch in the Fall 2016.

Imagine travelling back in time over 4 billion years ago and experiencing the very early building blocks of our solar system. Asteroids are leftover debris from this cataclysmic time period and the majority of them host organic material. Asteroid impacts throughout Earth’s history have influenced the evolution of life as we know it. Samples from these objects can help answer questions that are central to the human experience: where did we come from?

Looking to the future, should we fear a catastrophic impact event here on Earth? How often have large (and small) impact events happened over time? Large asteroids are currently tracked by space agencies. Bennu, the target asteroid for the NASA-led OSRIS-REx mission, is actually one of the most potentially hazardous asteroids, as it has a relatively high probability of impacting the Earth late in the 22nd century. How can we protect ourselves from potential destruction? What is our destiny?

Are there any potential benefits of asteroids to humanity? Some intrepid companies are exploring the idea of mining asteroids for water, metals, or building material to be used in space to help enable further planetary exploration. There are many challenges associated with such an ambitious undertaking. How can we adapt what we know on Earth to the space environment?

Follow these links for more information!

FAQS

RESOURCES FOR GAME DEVELOPERS