Game Design Challenge


Our Goal is to Empower Students through a Virtual Game Design Challenge with support from Game Development Professionals.

With many schools adopting a virtual or hybrid plan this school year, students are missing out on the opportunity to engage in hands-on STEM experiences with their friends and classmates.  To help fill this void, and encourage learning, computational thinking, and fellowship, Legends of Learning and International Game Developers Association (IGDA) are hosting a month-long Game Design Challenge. This virtual experience will enable K-12 students to learn more about game development and practice critical thinking while expanding their portfolios.  

About the Competition

We are excited to provide all learners with an opportunity to design a game, no matter their device-access, age, or previous experience. Depending on the grade level and experience of the participating students, there will be two different tracks they can participate in:

  • Fully build out a video game 
  • Create a paper prototype and game design document

To assist teachers with integrating this experience into their classroom, lesson plans, templates, and handouts for each portion of the Game Design Challenge are provided below.

Thanks to our amazing partners, there will be weekly presentations throughout the month of March from Game Development Professionals that correspond to the week’s lesson.

To encourage fellowship and collaboration, students can work independently or in teams of up to 5 people. In order to participate, all students must have their teacher register their team, using the “Sign Up Now!” button below. Teachers are welcome to register multiple teams.

Any questions regarding the competition can be submitted by email to We look forward to your submissions!


Sign Up Now!


  • February 1st, 2021:  The competition will formally open with the posting of the design document and related lesson plans.
  • Week of March 1st:  Opening ceremony, with Keynote Speaker, as well as the start of mentor availability.  This week will focus on Lesson 1: Concept, Planning, and Tools Determination.
  • Week of March 8th:  This week will explore Lesson 2: Prototyping, accompanied by a talk from our Sponsors. 
  • Week of March 15th:  This week will dive into Lesson 3: Production, coinciding with a panel from our Sponsors.
  • Week of March 22nd:  This week will detail Lesson 4: Finalizing and Polish, supplemented by a talk from our Sponsors. 
  • April 15th:  All submissions will be due by 11:59 pm PST. Submissions must be sent to and in accordance with all provided competition guidelines.  Confirmation of submission will be provided upon receipt via email.
  • May 15th:  The winners of the Challenge will be announced via email.

Sessions Presented By

ESA foundation logo       



Coming February 1st! 


The winning teams will be selected by May 15th, 2021.  Each submission timely received and not otherwise disqualified will be scored on the following criteria out of a total of 1000 points:

  • Creativity of Game Design Concept: 0 to 350 points
  • Completeness and Detail of Submission: 0 to 350 points
  • Ability to Blend Educational Material into Game Mechanics: 0 to 300 points

Prizes will be announced soon!

About Legends of Learning

American children need new education heroes: teachers dedicated to using modern and engaging methods for delivering their curriculum. Legends of Learning helps teachers make classrooms fun and productive learning environments through research-driven curriculum-based games. We use ongoing original research to create a marketplace filled with an epic range of curriculum-based games for stronger subject mastery and classroom engagement.

Currently, over two million US-based students actively use Legends of Learning.  100,000+ teachers in all 50 states use the platform to engage their students in math and science, creating an equitable learning environment where students can use multiple representations to solve problems and progress at their own rate, allowing for differentiation based on student needs. 30,000+ school buildings and 10,000+ unique school districts use our innovative approach to game-based learning as a primary vehicle for instruction to promote problem-solving, reasoning, and discourse in mathematics and science.

About the International Game Developers Association

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is the world’s largest nonprofit membership organization serving all individuals who create games.

The IGDA is a U.S.-based 501(c)6 non-profit professional association and a global network of collaborative projects and communities of individuals from all fields of game development. The IGDA’s diverse membership encompasses programmers and producers, designers and artists, writers, business people, QA team members, localization experts, and anyone else who participates in the game development process.

The mission of the IGDA is to support and empower game developers around the world in achieving fulfilling and sustainable careers.

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