This jam is now over. It ran from 2023-02-24 07:00:00 to 2023-03-07 06:59:59. View results

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Sponsored by AARP Games

|| Overview || Theme ||  Schedule || Resources || Research || Discord || 

Jam Wrapup!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the first Hidden Heroes Jam and congratulations to the top submitter-ranked entries!

Check out the full rankings here:

The top ranked games by category are:

Tied for 1st - 9 months and Keep Your Head Down
3rd - David's Day Off
4th - Lingering Shards

Tied for 1st - 9 months and A Pigeon Tale
Tied for 3rd - Kamukchi: Heros of My Journey and Lingering Shards

Storytelling / Narrative
1st - 9 months
2nd - Lingering Shards
3rd - Keep Your Head Down
4th - Litty's Legacy

Gameplay / Mechanics
1st - Mom is
2nd - Lingering Shards
3rd - David's Day Off
Tied for 4th - Kamukchi: Heros of My Journey Let the Kid Win!, and Keep Your Head Down 

1st - Keep Your Head Down
2nd - 9 months
3rd - Litty's Legacy
4th - Elinor in the afternoon

When: February 24th - March 5th, 2023
Where: Online

The Hidden Heroes Jam is a celebration of those who have shaped us. It is a game jam for creators to share the never-before-told stories of older and extended family members, teachers, co-workers, mentors, and friends – people whose wisdom have meaningfully impacted our lives. 

Join us to create interactive expressions-of-gratitude to those who have walked the paths before us and inspired us, our Hidden Heroes.

This jam is part of IndieCade Horizons 2023, however anyone may participate.
Spread the word with our jam flier!
Sign up for the paid jam research opportunity!

What’s a Hidden Hero?

A Hidden Hero is an older person in our lives whose life story and wisdom inspired, transformed, and guided us. A non-fictional older person who your game is about or who inspired your game. 

Here are three tips in identifying a great ‘hidden hero’ for this game jam:

  • Impactful - Pick someone whose life stories, experience, and wisdom resonate strongly with you. Maybe you learned from them for your own life, or maybe they are just fascinating stories that you would like to share.
  • Close - Pick someone that you are genuinely close with and whose stories are not public already. Family members are the obvious choice, but you can also pick a non-relative with whom you share a close connection. 
  • Older - Pick someone that is older than you. A hidden hero typically provides advice and inspiration through personal experiences, so they are usually significantly older. If needed, you could pick a posthumous hidden hero.

While you are more than welcome to pick a hidden hero that is no longer with us, it is easier, and oftentimes more rewarding, to pick someone that you can reach out to and show your game to afterwards. 

Learn more about the theme here!

Jammer Resources

We have a full page of resources for experienced devs and beginners alike, including game development tools, suggestions for beginners, and tips and tricks for interviewing someone about their story.

Resource Page

We also strongly recommend joining our Discord community for team making, playtesting, and showing off your work!

  1. Go to
  2. Hit the green button with the checkmark to acknowledge our Code of Conduct.
  3. There are channels marked specifically for the game jam.

Submitting your Hidden Hero Game

Submit your jam game through this page.

When you submit, include a written artist statement that explains who you are, why you picked your hidden hero, and how you translated their wisdom and/or life story into a game.  This is included in the submission field.

Share your work! Whether it be works-in-progress during the jam or your final project after the deadline we encourage you to share on our Discord server and use #hiddenheroesjam when you post on social media!

Voting & Prizes

All teams that submit by the jam deadline are eligible to vote and be voted for on One of the submitting teams will receive a free submission to IndieCade Anywhere & Everywhere (can be used for a game of their choosing).

Teams with members from participating Horizons schools are eligible for special prizes including portfolio reviews and mentoring. These will be pulled from the submitter rankings as well as a raffle.

A team only needs one participant from a Horizons school to be eligible.

Rules and Info

Participants will be tasked with creating a game that fits the Hidden Heroes theme described above during the duration of the jam (Feb. 24 – Mar. 5), in whatever format they choose. Form a team with others or work solo – you decide!

The jam is open to people of all skill levels, newcomers are always welcome, and we will ensure that everyone finds a team to join that fits your skills and interests. We encourage participants to join the Discord server for networking and team-building.

Use of pre-made code/assets is allowed as long as they are credited to the proper source.


Date Events
Before the Jam Participants are invited to join Discord, start forming teams, and consider who their Hidden Heroes are before the jam begins. We also invite you to join the jam research project.
Friday, February 24th Jam launch! Jam officially begins at the beginning of the day (midnight, Pacific Time)
During the Jam Make your game. Workshop it and share your progress on Discord.
Jam as long as you want, whether it just be on a weekend or the full ten days.
Sunday, March 5th Jam ends. Final submission deadline is at end of day (midnight, Pacific Time).
Teams that submit to by the deadline can vote on each other's games!
Monday, March 6th Discord showcase day! We encourage all participants to share their work in the showcase channel on Discord throughout the day and provide feedback for the other games.
Sunday, March 19th Submitter voting ends. Final submission deadline is at end of day (midnight, Pacific Time).


See our Community  FAQ Page!

If you'd like your school or academic program to partner with Horizons, enroll here.

Sponsors and Partners

Sponsored by AARP Games
Northeastern University - College of Arts, Media and Design
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
TAG Lab, Concordia University
IndieCade Horizons
Wevr Virtual Studio


All submissions
Browser playable (12)
Windows (18)
macOS (4)

No submissions match your filter

1980, Glenn Wichman ventures into a basement in University of California Santa Cruz, to save the development of rogue.
Role Playing
Play in browser
Decide your fate and create something beautiful.
Visual Novel
Play in browser
Play in browser
A wholesome point-and-click adventure about family love, dreams and a cute injured pigeon in an attic.
A game inspired by our grandmothers.
Play in browser
Uncover the trials your parents went through to make your childhood Christmas magical!
Role Playing
5 minutes of awesome is better than 30 minutes of mediocre
"Son, did I ever tell you about that time I..."
Visual Novel
A young boy who escaped from the wolves, but must return there to save who he loves.
Prove a sustainable lifestyle is possible with your friends in this print and play game!
Card Game
A game about how family recipes are passed down.
a nonfiction generator about my grandmother Elinor
Based on a true story about a terrible night.
Interactive Fiction
Play in browser
A game where you take care of and play with foster cats
Relive the Pakistani-India Partition's horrors in a story based on our dev's grandmother's experience.
A pre-retro ode to Mabel Addis and The Sumerian Game (circa 1964)
Play in browser
Try and let your grandson win, but don't make it too obvious!
Play in browser
A short 2D platformer where you play as Cassandra and climb Inspiration Mountain! (Prototype)
A game dedicated to our professor, David Abzug, and his love of tie-dye. :)
Hidden Heros Game Jam Submission
Type away at a poem, dedicated to a hidden hero.
Interactive Fiction
Play in browser
Story Fragments Left Behind
Play in browser
In honor of those who help us during our darkest moments
Play in browser
Play in browser
The conflict with the mother may be an opportunity to resolve the communication barrier
Play as a mother trying to get her son his lunch before lunch
Ren returns to her hometown after hearing about her grandmother’s passing.
Play in browser