Game Jam in a Box

What is a game jam?

A game jam is a friendly competition for participants to make and showcase games centered around a specific theme. A game jam can be run in the classroom or as part of a coding camp as a fun challenge where individuals or teams can practice their game development skills.

The Game Jam in a Box resources are all you need to run a game jam yourself.

Some examples of previous MakeCode Arcade game jams are listed below:

Theme Link
One Room
Five Second Games
Climate Change

Preparing to host a game jam

See the following overview for suggested preparation and activities. Each of these steps is presented in detail in the downloadable teacher preparation document and customizable presentation deck linked below.

Step Details
Plan 1. Determine prerequisites for your participants.
2. Review available materials
3. Establish Game Jam theme
4. Determine timeline and rules
5. Create a rubric that communicates components of a successful game
6. Prepare your participants
7. Suggest prerequisite activities for participants based on experience level
Build Encourage participants, pairs, or teams to build a game in MakeCode Arcade that aligns with your theme.
Submit Participants share their completed MakeCode Arcade games using the method you specify
Share/Showcase Will there be judging, or will you award prizes or certificates?
    • Most creative sprite
    • Best game play
    • Best illustrates assigned theme
    • People’s choice

How will you showcase the games created?
    • Classroom show and tell
    • Online web page linking all games
    • School newsletter
    • Community celebration
    • Social media shoutouts

Thinking about theme

Computer Science is helping to solve some of the toughest problems we’re facing in the world – like combating infectious diseases, reducing the effects of climate change, and distributing resources to those in need. This makes a game jam a perfect opportunity to apply computing skills to any topic – social good, local community cause, academic subject area, or physical/mental health issue.


Game Jams typically run for a couple weeks. However, you can decide what timeframe works best for you. A game jam can be for any length of time – from an hour, to several weeks!


Below are some rules that have been used for game jams in the past. Determine the rules and rubric for your game jam.

  • Games must be built using MakeCode Arcade (they can be written in Blocks or JavaScript/Python)
  • Your game must relate to the jam theme. Someone playing your game should be able to see how it relates to the theme without explanation.
  • Keep the games PG: no inappropriate, offensive, or excessively violent content
  • Be creative and have fun!


Decide how participants will submit their games to you.

  • Submit a link – Students can click the share button at the top right of the MakeCode Arcade editor page, then select Publish project. They can copy and paste the resulting link in an email or document.
Share Publish
Orange share icon Orange publish button
  • Submit a file – Students can click the save button at the bottom of the MakeCode Arcade editor page to download a .png file of their project. They can copy this file to a fileshare location or email it to you. You can import this file (or just drag and drop it) into MakeCode Arcade.


Will you just be awarding participation certificates or calling out specific projects for their creativity, complexity, or alignment with the assigned theme? Download, customize and award certificates of achievement.

Educator Resources

If you’re a teacher, we got you covered! Here are some additional resources to get you started:


  • Block Documentation: General documentation for MakeCode Arcade blocks
  • Sharing Code: How participants in groups can share their code with each other
  • Forums: We have forums for educators to ask questions or share MakeCode tips and tricks
  • Twitter: The team can be contacted on our forums or Twitter account.