Kilted Otter Games Jam

Have you ever wanted to design your own game? Maybe you've got a story you want to see brought to life? Or, maybe, you want to share some Scottish or Gaelic culture with the world?

Then you should join the Kilted Otter Initiative for a two-month-long video/digital game making experience!

Kilted Otter Mascott

The Kilted Otter Initiative is organising an extended games jam, which is going to run from September 20th to November 20th 2021. The jam is being run by staff at Abertay University with the aim of tackling the lack of Scottish representation in the digital games space. They want to encourage people all over Scotland to get involved, in whatever way they can, to show off the best of Scottish Culture. There are opportunities for singers, musicians, poets and storytellers to get involved without designing a game too and you don't need to be a Gaelic speaker either!

This is a brilliant chance to have fun creating a new game and best of all - there's no experience needed and lots of support available! So whether you already love making games in your spare time or want to try something new, fun and challenging, sign up today and get involved. When the games have been submitted at the end of the Jam in November, one game is going to be selected to be developed into a full game by InGAME!

Kilted Otter Promo Poster

What Is a Games Jam?

A games jam is a competition where teams join together to design and make a digital game within a set timeframe.  This is usually over a week or just a weekend but this project has been planned out to be accessible to anyone and everyone, so is going to run over two months.

In that time, you'll be able to create a a playable game with 10-15 minutes of play time. You can use what ever game design tools (e.g. Scratch, which can be used in Gaelic!) you like for this, but the recommended tool is GameMaker Studio 2, a non-coding game engine. You can check out loads of examples of games made using GameMaker on YoYo Games.

What If I've Never Made a Game Before?

Don't worry if you've never made a digital game before - there's plenty of help available! YOYOGAMES has a downloadable tutorial which teaches you how to make Fire Jump, in infinite platformer! It can take you how to create a playable character, generate infinite obstacles, build a solid game loop, in-game menus and much more. There's no coding involved either, so you don't have to worry about being able to learn how to do that.

Fire Jump infinite platformer

If an infinite platform platformer's not your thing, maybe you'd rather try their Little Town tutorial. Little Town is an adventure game in which players follow clues to find different items and bring them to the other characters in the Town. With over 8 hours of video tutorials as well as other supporting materials, you can learn how to build an adventure game from top to bottom with no previous experience!

The Kilted Otter Initiative are also organising online lectures, suitable for beginners, to introduce you to some of the best non-coding game deign engines and websites. The are also organising a series of mini-lectures from academic and game-design industry experts and mentors will be able to provide guidance too.

What Will Be Expected of Me?

The hope is that if you're making a game, you create a game with;

  • 1 playable level with about 10-15 minutes of play time.
  • 3 or 4 different mechanics (such as jump, run, fly, shoot).
  • A link to Scotland or Scottish culture, especially Gaelic language and culture.

It's expected that most of the development will take place in your own time, but with the mentorship, lectures, tutorials and other resources there's plenty of help on hand too.


There are lots of amazing rewards to be had throughout the process - including lots of opportunities to earn Young Scot Rewards points! - but the biggest Reward will be given to just one team. At the end of the Jam, one of the games will be selected to be developed into a full game by InGame. InGame are a group who support digital game development in Scotland, particularly around Dundee, and it's hoped that the Team who's game is chosen to be developed will continue to have an input throughout the development process.

It's not a "winner takes all" situation though. There are going to be opportunities to get your hands on game codes, vouchers, a bespoke painting, an internship in a game studio worth £500 and other rewards too!

Young Scot Rewards Points

  • 150 points for signing up - no need to hag around!
  • 50 points for EVERY lecture you tune-in to.
  • 1000 points when you submit your game at the end of the jam.

Key Dates

  • Sign-up closes on September 19th 2021
  • The games jam begins on September 20th and ends on November 20th 2021
  • Play test session at this year's Royal National Mòd on the 8th-16th of October 2021

How to Sign Up

You can sign-up to take part in the Kilted Otter Extended Games Jam on Eventbrite.

You can join as part of a team of up to five people, on your own to be joined with other people to make a team, or to work on your own as a lone wolf - whatever works for you!

For more information, send an email to


Head back to our Gaelic page to see more Gaelic information and opportunities.