Changes for 2023!
We are making changes to the submission categories for 2023 and we're pretty excited!
We are now inviting entries from students in year 4, something we get asked about a lot. We have also added an age category so there are now three age groupings. We have done this to balance the age range and highlight the expected progression in skill level of entries. We have maintained the Open platform category in each age group as we know it is an important catch all to ensure everyone can get involved using whatever platform works for them – as long as it’s free or free for education, of course. Here is the new breakdown:
Years 4-6 Playable Games
Years 7-9 Playable Games
- Godot Engine
- Open Platform
Years 10-12 Playable Games
- Unity and Unreal Engine
- Open Platform
Why the change?
We have noticed over the last few years that the Godot Engine category in both age groups has been under utilised. This got us thinking and reflecting on why Godot has its own category in the STEM VGC. It must be pretty great, right? Well, yeah. Here's how they describe themselves.
Godot Engine is a feature-packed, cross-platform game engine to create 2D and 3D games from a unified interface. It provides a comprehensive set of common tools, so users can focus on making games without having to reinvent the wheel. Games can be exported in one click to a number of platforms, including the major desktop platforms (Linux, macOS, Windows) as well as mobile (Android, iOS) and web-based (HTML5) platforms.
Godot is completely free and open source under the permissive MIT license. No strings attached, no royalties, nothing. Users' games are theirs, down to the last line of engine code. Godot's development is fully independent and community-driven, empowering users to help shape their engine to match their expectations. It is supported by the Software Freedom Conservancy not-for-profit.
If you haven't used Godot Engine before we really encourage you to take some time to explore it. It is an excellent step up from Scratch without being as intense as Unity and Unreal Engine, making it a great option for students in Years 7-9. This progression is the reason we decided to restructure the STEM VGC age categories for 2023.
The Godot Engine website has a comprehensive guide to getting started and lots of tutorials. Here are a few links to help you and your team get started:
Introduction to Godot
As the name suggests, this is a written introduction of the essential elements of Godot with well labelled screenshots. It is a good place to start.
Step by Step
This series builds upon the Introduction to Godot and will get you started with the editor and the engine. You will learn more about nodes and scenes, code your first classes with GDScript, use signals to make nodes communicate with one another, and more.
Your first 2D game and Your first 3D game
In these step-by-step tutorial series, you will create your first complete 2D or 3D game with Godot. By the end of the series, you will have a simple yet finished project of your own.
Take a look at the 2022 Showcase Reel of desktop games for inspiration.
Still not convinced? That's cool. We know there many great options for kids to work with so you can still use your preferred platform and enter through the Open platform category, as long as it’s free or free for education.
Next year's theme, Construction/Destruction is up on the website. We're working on updating the handbooks with the new submission categories. We'll let you know when they are ready.
As always, please reach out to us if you have any question.