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Code Coven, the first global award-winning game development accelerator for underrepresented talent, is using the grant provided by Unity’s Charitable Fund alongside support from two of the biggest names in gaming to launch its latest “Code Coven Create: The Solstice Program.” The program, which is being supported by Unity’s Charitable Fund, Riot Games and Xbox, aims to guide 10 teams through their development journey in creating social impact themed games with the goal of launching them commercially to prospective investors, publishers and studios.
Unity’s Charitable Fund earlier this year, generously provided a grant of $100,000, enabling the Introduction to Game Making by Code Coven course. This new program springs into action on the back of the original program’s success, which empowered novice game developers with structured guidance, mentorship and financial support.
“Code Coven Create: The Solstice Program” runs for 12 weeks from 8 August to 28 October.
The course is open to under-represented groups within the industry who want to learn prototyping. The course provides guidance from Code Coven, Unity’s Charitable Fund, Riot Games, and Xbox partners and mentors.
Selected participants will apply within teams of up to five members and will be building interactive experiences including games, education platforms, VR, and XR outlets which are centered around social-impact. Unity has made some great commitments to social impact and defines it as “focusing the power of our talent, technology, and grants to empower anyone to foster a more sustainable and inclusive world.”
With social impact being at the centre, the “Code Coven Create: The Solstice Program” also aims to:
Teach developers how to effectively run a Sprint Zero
Empower developers to design and build prototypes that focus on social impact
For each team to walk away with a prototype that will set them up for future funding opportunities.
Democratise access to lesser-known topics, such as financing
Reach developers of the global majority
Develop everyone’s networks, from participants, to mentors, to speakers, to Code Coven
Tara Mustapha, Founder and CEO at Code Coven says, “Continuing our work with Unity has been a real pleasure, and we can see tangible results that we are making a difference to the wider industry by providing such unique and catered courses for our cohorts. Being able to bring on and work with Riot Games, Xbox and Clever Endeavour is only further highlighting that the games industry is welcoming change and open to a diverse range of developers. Teams that sign up to this course are learning so much and the access that they’re being given is definitely a chance not to be missed!”
“We’re thrilled to support Code Coven’s work in increasing access and opportunities for underrepresented developers, furnishing them with the skills and knowledge to excel across both games and creative tech industries.” Said Kevin Truong, Education Grants Program Manager, Unity. “In addition to educational resources and courses, Code Coven’s new Solstice Accelerator Program will empower new diverse creators, enabling them to design and build meaningful social-impact experiences through high-quality workshops and personalized mentorship.”
Code Coven is excited to partner with such strong partners for this project. By having these key industry stakeholders to help power this project, it aids Code Coven in the organisation’s goal for global empowerment of marginalised developers. Riot Games believes that the Solstice Program is a great new opportunity for underrepresented developers to take that leap.
“We believe the path to a more inclusive industry is better achieved through collective action. This partnership with Code Coven will enable us to provide a unique opportunity for underrepresented creators and entrepreneurs who have been traditionally overlooked in gaming,” said Farah Sutton, Senior Manager of D&I Strategic Partnerships, Riot Games. ” Through tools and resources provided within the Solstice Program, accelerator participants will be prepared to take their projects to market.”
Since the inception of Code Coven, the team has supported over 450 marginalised game developers from 35 countries.