The third “Armed Forces Jam” will brings gamers, innovators and creatives from across the country to Central Florida Tech Grove, Sept 8-10, 2023, where they will be challenged to create prototype, game-based solutions – in 48 hours – for applications and needs that military Tech Grove customers can source.


This year’s Armed Forces Jam is the result of Tech Grove’s partnership with Indienomicon, a nonprofit firm that organizes other “jam” events throughout the year with different themes and partners. Its annual “MeGa Health Jam” focuses on challenges in the healthcare industry, while its “Indie Galactic Space Jam” is a collaboration with NASA and the U.S. Space Force.


Carol Ann Logue, Tech Grove director, said that partnering with Indienomicon gathers gamers, companies, graphic artists, sound engineers and other creatives in game development, who don’t normally work with the military. According to Logue, collaborating with Indienomicon provides access to the “nontraditional,” nondefense community that Tech Grove wants to introduce to the Department of Defense (DoD), national security and innovation opportunities.


“The jam also shows government how rapid solutions can be developed,” Logue said. “It gives government officials the opportunity to see these rapidly created prototypes, engage with the teams that created them, and potentially move them forward for further development and use.”


Teams participating in next month’s jam will focus on challenge statements provided by the DoD to address real-world needs that present real-world opportunities. The competition offers 12 gaming categories and cash awards of $1500, $1000, and $500 for teams that finish in first, second and third place, respectively. The jam will also feature a $1000 award for a special, metaverse-centric challenge, as well as $100 prizes for winning various “bounties,” such as best artwork, best sound, and best narrative experience.


Logue described additional reasons, beyond cash prizes, as to why aspiring game developers and other members of Central Florida’s modeling, simulation, and training (MS&T) community should attend the competition.


“We’ll be showcasing those winning teams at our Tech Grove booth at the Metacenter Global Week and I/ITSEC conferences later this year,” Logue said. “Companies that are already in the MS&T space and defense industry are always looking for talent and small businesses with innovative, creative approaches they can add to their teams when pursuing defense contracts. Government people in the MS&T community recognize the need for rapid innovation, which they need industry to do, and this event lets them see what’s possible, how it can be done, and it gives them the chance to work with the teams that come up with these rapid solutions.”


Certain expertise, such as game design, motion & video, and programming, are helpful for participants to have, but not always required to contribute to a winning team. Logue said previous jams have seen teams that were full of college students, to “folks with grey hair,” who didn’t always possess the latest technical knowledge.


“Competitors can be anybody who wants to get engaged,” Logue said. “You don’t necessarily need game development skills. People with industry or military backgrounds who have experience in certain training situations can be hugely valuable in guiding a team by saying, ‘That’s not quite how that works.’”


Logue has seen previous Armed Forces Jam ideation make tangible contributions to military training. One of  2022 challenges from the Air Force involved the four pilot training platforms (often called “sleds”) at Tech Grove. Last year, those four units weren’t networked, they didn’t talk to each other, and they couldn’t run on different gaming platforms. The challenge involved networking those sleds to make them fully integrated, but each operating on a different game engine with various scenarios so that all four could interact in a multi-mode environment.


“The team that tackled that challenge continued to work with the contractor that developed the software for those training platforms, so if you walk into Tech Grove today, those sleds are all networked, and they all run on a different game engine.” Logue said. “That has tremendously enhanced the training environment for Air Force personnel and Air Force ROTC cadets who use those training platforms and wouldn’t get the opportunity otherwise. In a year, using a nontraditional, rapid-innovation approach that started at a game jam has had a significant effect on training.”


Participants must bring their own development gear to use during the jam, but do not need to be members of teams when they sign up. Organizers will form individuals into teams at the event.


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To sign up to participate, go to


The Central Florida Tech Grove is a modeling and simulation collaboration space consisting of 6,400 physical square feet and unlimited virtual space. Its mission is to create opportunities for collaboration and innovation through a variety of events, programs and competitions for innovators, industry, academia, and government to engage in addressing the needs of the military.


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