'Cross-Section' is a game jam created by Queerly Represent Me to celebrate the cross-sections and intersections between all of our diverse identities and experiences.
We're asking you to make a game that celebrates diversity, whatever that means to you!
While researching for our soon-to-be-released book, Cooperative Gaming, directors of Queerly Represent Me discovered that there is a desperate need for more opportunities to make diverse games. While researching, we found 15 game jams (both in-person and online) that focused on diversity in 2019.
That breaks down as follows: 1 about women (in Brazil), 1 about gender equality, 1 about Indigenous Australia, 1 about Black History Month (a United States observance), 1 about neurodiversity, and 10 about the queer community (1 about nonbinary folks, 1 about asexuality, 1 about aromanticism, 1 about trans men, 1 about trans women, 2 about gay men, 1 about lesbians, and 2 about queer representation more generally).
15 game jams is awesome! That means 15 people or organisations created opportunities for game developers to think about some aspect of identity and diversity, and express themselves on that topic. But compare that to the hundreds of game jams that were created on itch.io alone in 2019 about all sorts of themes, from cats to Christmas, from popcorn to procedural generation.
So we want to add another opportunity to the collection. Take this and do whatever you wish with it!
You can choose to make your game alone, but we highly recommend connecting with other diverse people to learn new things and push yourself out of your comfort zone. You can use our Discord server to help.
Think about your life and experiences, and see if there are aspects of your own diverse identity that you can bring to your game. If you want to create a game about an identity that you don't share, or an experience you haven't had, make sure you consult with somebody who has. Or join their team!
Now more than ever, it's easy for people to make games to express themselves. Making a game used to be so coding-intensive that their creation was restricted to computer engineers and hobbyist programmers. Nowadays, with the creation of a whole pile of accessible, free game engines, anybody can make a game.
Here are some game engines you might like to try!
Ren'Py is a free visual novel creator that requires some coding experience (using a programming language called Ren'Py Script).
RPG Maker is a role-playing game maker that has several versions (most recently MV). The engine retails for $79.99 USD but regularly drops to 75% off; if you're interested in the engine, keep an eye on their official website, Steam page, and Humble Bundle for discounts.
Adventure Game Studio
GameMaker Studio 2 is capable of making 2D games from many genres, which can be programmed using a mixture of drag-and-drop coding and a scripting language called GameMaker Language. It retails for $99 USD, but regularly goes on sale and is also included in Humble Bundles for larger discounts.
Construct 3 can also be used to make 2D games from many genres and uses a drag-and-drop coding system that is easier to learn that a full programming language.
Bitsy is a free tool for making pixel adventures.
Flickgame is a free tool for drawing point-and-click games that uses colour to create simple variables and rules.
sok-stories costs only $3 USD and can be used to make simple drawings, drag them onto the canvas, and create simple rules about how they interact with no programming.
You are definitely not restricted to this selection of game engines; you're more than welcome to use whatever tools you're comfortable with! But if you're interested in trying something new, or you've never made a game before, hopefully this list gives you a place to start.