Games for Change and N Square are excited to announce the winner of the $10,000 N Square Challenge, a design competition that invited concepts for games that address the risk of nuclear weapons.
N Square Challenge winner: $10,000 prize
Epic Orphan, by Yvette Chin
An episodic thriller where you are agent working in an anti-terrorism agency of a prominent superpower tasked with investigating nuclear incidents. Follow clues to solve puzzles and other mini-games and track down the private individuals taking advantage of orphan sources, uncontrolled radioactive materials that could be used for dirty bombs.
The Oregon Road, by Alex Wellerstein
An RPG survival game, inspired by the original Oregon Trail (1971). This remake would be based on carefully-researched, extremely-plausible models of conditions after a nuclear weapons exchange at one of the tensest moments of the Cold War. Pick your team, pack your provisions, grab your Geiger counter, watch your dosimeter, and start making your way through the post-nuclear American heartland.
Inspector-General, Christopher Ihan Choy
A real-time nuclear crisis management and investigation game that puts you in the shoes of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Inspector General, who is in charge of inspecting nuclear sites, preventing weapons proliferation, and tracking cases of stolen nuclear material. Determine good intelligence from bad and oversee an ever increasing number of inspections sites, regimes intent on nuclear proliferation, and investigations of missing material with a limited budget.
Beads and Rocks, by Matthew Nadelhaft
A turn-based tabletop game that invites groups to compete in a proliferation arms war trading game. Trade beads and rocks with other players to build and defend your stockpile. This competitive strategy game asks players to make decisions as nation leaders and work to keep the balance between security, diplomacy and safety through a series of turn based events.
Evaluation and award winners
The evaluation process spanned three weeks of careful deliberation, and four titles were hotly debated in the final hours. In the end, one winner was identified as the winning entry and recipient of the $10,000 cash prize. In the upcoming months, the game concept will be developed into a playable digital game by a third party developer.
In addition to our grand prize winner, three submissions are also being recognized by N Square with an honorable mention based on the strength of their submissions and well-designed gameplay.
More on the N Square Challenge submissions
The N Square Challenge invited anyone, anywhere, to conceptualize a game aiming to engage and educate players about the dynamics of nuclear weapons risk (no prior game design experience or subject matter expertise was required). The competition yielded over 240 submissions (the most ever in a G4C challenge) from innovators across the world. In addition to gaming professionals, we received submissions from nuclear experts, scientists, filmmakers, students and everyone in between.