Games Jam: Novels that Shaped Our World

Games Jam_ Novels That Shaped Our World

Artwork by Tiger Tea

Saturday 24th (10.30 – 8.30) and  Sunday 25th of April (10.30 – 3.30)

Room 700, Leeds Central Library.

What is it?

Join us for a two day jam that will aim to introduce the joys of storytelling and reading by creating games inspired by the BBC’s 100 Novels That Shaped Our World. Combine technology, books and creativity that make games bring stories and characters to life.

BBC Arts are running a year long celebration of literature, which includes a list of 100 novels which have had an impact over the last 300 years.

You can create video games, board games, escape games, card games – anything you want! The only constraints are the time frame, the theme and your imagination.

How does it work?

Form teams of up to 6 people or work alone, start in advance or on the day. This jam is aimed at ages 16 and above.

Whether you are a designer, historian, developer, artist, writer or fancy a challenge,  battle against the clock to develop your game.

At the end of two days you will present your game to a panel who will decide which team has created the game most likely to inspire new readers.

We will provide free snacks, pizza and a bar for you to purchase booze on the Saturday evening.

The Themes

We will be making content from our collections available in advance of the game jam across four of the BBC Novel themes:


Life, Death and other worlds

Rule Breakers

Crime and Conflict

We’ll post links to this content at the end of March. More content will be available on the day. The list of books can be found here.

The Date

The Jam will take place on the 24th (10.30 – 8.30) and 25th of April (10.30 – 3.30) in Room 700, Leeds Central Library.

Book a ticket to secure a place.

What do I need to bring?

A laptop if you are creating a digital game. If you know what software you want to use it is helpful to have it downloaded in advance.

There is a list of great free digital software below that you can use.

We will have a range of craft materials for anyone wanting to create a table top game but bring any extra materials you think you may need.


  • You can use any tools, materials, collections that you like.
  • Your game must link to one of the novels on the BBC list in some way
  • You can use pre-made assets from sites such as Open Game Art as long as the license permits it (eg. public domain, Creative Commons etc.). Make sure you give proper credit so the judges know what is your work and what is the work of others.
  • You can present a prototype, model, or proof of concept with accompanying rule book for the panel to judge.
  • Groups will submit digital games using
  • This hack is aimed at adults, to create games for young people which may be used in further mini hacks or events across our service.


The prize for the winning team will be TBC and there will be other prizes available for runners up.

What happens after the Jam?

We would love to be able to use your games to inspire young people across the city and for the purpose of publicising the event. If you don’t want your game to be used in workshops or for publicity please let one of the organisers know.

Our mini jams for young people will take place in May, please book a place via

Tuesday 5 May 3.30pm: Armley Community Hub and Library, 2 Stocks Hill, Armley, Leeds LS12 1UQ

Wednesday 27 May 3.30pm:  Hunslet Community Hub and Library, 190 Dewsbury Rd, Leeds LS11 6PF

Useful resources

Free Game Creation Software
Game Maker (2D, Cross Platform)
Unity (3D, Cross Platform)
Construct 2 (2D, Coss Platform)
Stencyl (2D, Web)
GameSalad (2D, Cross Platform)
Ren’py (Visual Novels, PC)

Free Art Software
Gimp (2D)
Blender (3D)
Pickle (2D, Pixel Art)
Pyxel Edit (2D, Pixel Art)
Spriter (2D, Animation)

Free Sound and Music Software
LMMS (Music Editor)
Musagi (Music Editor)
BFXR (Sound Effects Generator)
Audacity (Audio Editor)

Made possible through Libraries Connected funding