1. Purpose

GDC is an annual competition associated with Computer Science, Multimedia and Graphic Arts. The competition is part of the efforts of the organizers to promote Computer Science, Information Society, Multimedia and Design.

2. Objectives

The objective of the challenge is to encourage creativity, problem solving, programming and game development skills, and teamwork. Computer game creation incorporates all the above and in addition it necessitates cooperation, communication and coordination between team members.

3. Categories

Junior Track

This track is for middle school/gymnasium students to build and submit a playable video game.

Senior Track

This track is for high school/lyceum students to build and submit a playable video game.

Advanced Track

This track is for university students to build and submit a playable video game.

Game Design Track

This track is for all students regardless of age. The tract is introduced to encourage game developers and designers with no coding skills to participate and explore applying their skills in a new and potentially area of interest to them.

4. Participation

  • All students at schools of secondary, public and private education are eligible to participate and all students at public and private Universities.

  • Each team must have at least two and a maximum of five members.

  • Each team must have at least one (maximum two) advisor who is either a teacher of Computer Science/Engineering or IT-related courses or graphic arts at the students' school, or an adult who has the written consent from the team members' parents/guardians.

  • Teachers may act as advisors to more than one team at their school. Other advisors may only work with one team. The team is not permitted to use the name of any commercial entity for advertising purposes.

  • University teams are not required to have an advisor.

  • A team can participate in ONLY one category of games.

  • Gymnasium students can participate in the Senior Track (but not the vice versa). In such a case the submission will be evaluated with the other entries of category Senior Track and not the Junior Track.

5. Themes and objectives

Playable games or game designs submitted must be educational. It is very important that entries do not contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, offensive, or defamatory, material that promotes intolerance, racism, hostility against any group or individual, or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation or age. Entries must not promote violence against humans or animals, should not include scenes or incidents of violence and materials such as guns and knives and in general must not contain material that is illegal.

This year each track has been assigned one theme/element:

Junior Track: Water

Senior Track: Wind

Advanced Track: Earth

Game Design Track: Sun

6. Enrolment

To enrol, students should fill out the online Registration Form by December 17, 2021.

Teams must provide:

  • name of each team member and email addresses

  • name of advisor(s) and email addresses

  • name of the school

  • name of the team

  • an abstract of the game to be developed

7. Final submissions

a. Resubmissions are allowed within the time frames mentioned above. Note that only the final submission will be considered.  The submission of a game can be made by any member of the team by filling out the following form and uploading the compressed ZIP or RAR file onto a repository, such as OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, giving the appropriate sharing permissions so as the evaluators will have access to the files. The compressed file should contain the following:

  • Executable program (game) created on Scratch, GODOT, Unity or Cocos2d or any other free/open source platform and which can be executed by the evaluators without using specialized software. For games without an executable (e.g. Scratch) attach a .txt file with a link to the game’s website.

  • Source code and libraries.

  • Team information document:  game title, names of team members, school / university name, game category, game development platform.

  • Reporting form: The reporting form should contain a description of the idea and philosophy of the game, and include a discussion on the development process of the game (originality, plot, entertainment and educational character). It would be good to place an emphasis on the evaluation criteria (poster on the competition's website).

  • User manual.

*All above documents should be submitted in one of the following file types: Microsoft Word (.docx) or Adobe Portable Document Format (. pdf). 

b. All entries submitted must adhere to the following restrictions.

  • Entries must not contain material that violates any copyright, trademarks, or patents of anyone.

  • Entries must not discredit sponsors, or any other person or party involved in the promotion and organization of this contest.

  • Entries must not contain audiovisual material (images, videos, sound) for which the rights have not been secured or which are not freely available.

  • Entries must not contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, offensive, or defamatory.

  • Entries must not contain material that promotes intolerance, racism, hostility against any group or individual, or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation or age.

  • Entries must not promote violence against humans or animals.

  • Entries should not include scenes or incidents of violence and materials such as guns and knives.

  • Entries must not contain material that is illegal.

  • Entries must not contain material or use software which requires a cash payment for purchase/use.

  • Organizers reserve the right to: (a) block and/or refuse to accept any participation which they consider to be in any way non-compliant with these guidelines; (b) make necessary changes to a participation that would make it eligible the competition, and (c) require the teams to make the necessary changes to their participation to comply with the above.

8. Evaluation of submissions

Entries are assessed separately for each category. The evaluation criteria are the same in the three game development categories.

The evaluation will be done in two phases:

Phase 1

Assessment of all team submissions/Technical Qualification - Counts toward 60% of the total score

An Evaluation Committee consisting of representative from the organizing and supporting organizations, will initially examine the submissions to confirm that they comply with the competition rules. Each submission will then be evaluated by at least two evaluators based on the evaluation criteria below. The best games in each category are selected for Phase 2, the final phase of the competition. The number of games to be promoted in the final stage is left to the discretion of the committee.

Evaluation Criteria and Percentages

Along with each criterion, its weight in the evaluation process is given.

Plot and Overall User Experience (20%)

The evaluation process will consider the originality of the plot and the effect on the user experience. Here the overall picture of the game and how pleasant it is to the user will be assessed. Each team will have to present on a report evidence presenting the topic selection process and plot design with explanations about their choice.

Educational Character and Relationship to Theme (15%)

The educational direction of the game must be evident. Also, higher scores will be given to games related to the theme set for the event. The above two elements should be included in the report.

World of the Game (15%)

The characteristics of images (drawings-colors) of the world and other media (eg sound) of the game affect the overall experience (gameplay) of the user and should be designed/created with elegance. For example, objects must be designed with sufficient detail, colors to blend harmoniously, sounds to

reproduce smoothly and with constant intensity, etc. Each team will have to present in the report pilot designs and the selection process and/or their development.

Game-control mechanism (10%)

User control of the behavior of a character or mechanism must be in a manner consistent with the flow of the game. In particular, it must enable him to perform functions that allow him to cope with the challenges of the game. This design must be done in parallel with the design of the world of the game so that the flow of the game is always smooth. Each team must show the mechanism selection procedure in the report.

Existence of multiple levels of difficulty with gradual escalation (5%)

The game must allow the user to choose different levels of difficulty. This is very important because the skill level varies among players. Therefore, it must be possible for the player who tries the game to choose the difficulty that helps him/her to enjoy the game (to make it easier if it is difficult at a certain level, or more difficult if the game at the level tested is not a challenge – becomes boring). In addition, multiple levels of difficulty increase the chance of reusing the game by a player (at a more difficult level). Also, the game must consist of multiple levels that are related to the plot of the game. Action levels must present a diversity, which can be expressed by their representation (images, world, objects, characters), the level of difficulty (gradually scaled) and/or the purpose of pursuing the particular level of action. Regarding the level of difficulty, it is important to define the goals of the user in the game, to be challenging, to be initially easy (for adaptation) but to gradually become more difficult so that to have a learning curve, and not result to a failure without the user realizing the reason which caused it. Each team will have to show on the report the levels of difficulty and action of their game with examples that demonstrate their existence.

Player Scoring System (5%)

The game must use a system by which the user will score points according to the tactical game he/she chooses. Thus, the user will be able to adjust the game mode to maximize its final score. The way of allocating extra points must be done in a logical manner that can be perceived by the user during the game. This can vary from time to time, but it should not be based on random events. In addition, weak awarding points should appear rarely or not at all. It is also suggested that the amount of rewarding points be increased with the evolution of the game so that there is a match of difficulty-reward. Examples of rankings are: rewarding to visit specific (remote) space positions, exterminating opponents (if any), completing a level in as little time as possible, scoring by collecting objects, etc. Each team will have to show the player's performance record with examples from the game on the report form.

Dynamic gaming behavior controlled by the computer (10%)

The game should use some kind of behavior for the characters the user will be facing. This behavior should be controlled by a stochastic (unpredictable/random) mechanism so that the characters do not become predictable by the user. In such a case, the user can find tricks to play the game successfully without really trying, but the game becomes boring and the user looses interest. Each team will have to present in the report the way they produce behavior for computer characters.

Technical playability (20%)

Games must run without any errors in their operation and without delay in their time response.

Gender balance in the group (+ 5%)

Groups are encouraged to include boys and girls to enhance gender participation in the competition and the development of games that appeal to both genders.

Phase 2 - Final Phase

Counts toward 40% of the total score

In this phase of the competition the successful teams from Phase 1, will be invited to showcase their game on the day of the final, and will need to answer questions from a Jury consisting of representatives of the organizers, supporters, and sponsors of the competition. The members of each team should know exactly the functions of their game and be able to answer any questions about its creation.

The presentation of each group must include the following (in the order given):

  • A reference to the elements of the group (school, responsible teacher names and student names).

  • Summary of the work done by the team during the development of the game (eg, workshops in the afternoon, free time, separation of tasks, teamwork, etc.).

  • Brief description of game idea and philosophy. In this section the teams should explain in summary how they reached this idea and why they believe they meet the requirements of the competition on the proposed themes and philosophy game development (originality, plot, entertainment, educational character).

  • Presentation of game features. Here the teams have to report the characteristics of the game that they themselves consider to be its strengths. They must also indicate which of evaluation criteria are met by the final implementation and how.

  • Demonstration of the game by a member of the team and commenting on the flow of the game by members of the team.

  • End of presentation - questions from the jury.

The Jury will meet at the end of the competition to rank the games in each category based on the Phase 1 and Phase 2 evaluation results.