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AT&T unveiled the finalists of its Unlocked Games developer contest on Monday. The women game developer competition held an open submission call on Oct. 26, and the finalists were selected on combined criteria of visuals, audio design, gameplay, mechanics and creativity,story.

The six finalists are AiliA, a 3D perspective puzzle game developed by Chenwei Jin, IceToad Studio; Freshly Frosted, a donut factory puzzle game developed by Ally Overton; Kova: AlphaLink, a 2D sci-fi arena shooter developed by Mandy Lowry, Black Hive Media; Lab Rat, a satirical puzzle game developed by Gwen Frey, Chump Squad; Scarlet Hollow, a choose-your-own-adventure horror game developed by Abby Howard, Black Tabby Games; Swapette Showdown, a competitive action puzzle game developed by Victoria Sertich, 3D Generation LLC.

“It’s remarkable to see the variety of creative genres and approaches of gameplay that came from these developers,” said Shiz Suzuki, assistant vice president of sponsorship and experiential marketing at AT&T.

In an Unlocked Games live showcase event, each finalist will pitch their in-development games to a judging panel of industry experts including Renee Gittins (executive director of IGDA, CEO of Stumbling Cat), Gordon Bellamy (CEO of Gay Gaming Professionals, Board of TheWaveVR), and Kimberly Corbett (VP of Mobile Publishing and Analytics at Warner Bros). These “end boss” judges will select a grand prize winner and a runner-up.

What’s at stake? The grand prize winner of Unlocked Games will be presented with $50,000 in game development funding, mentorship, a lifetime membership to International Game Developers Association (IGDA), promotional and marketing support from AT&T and a dedicated activation at Dreamhack 2021.

The catalyst for AT&T’s Unlocked Games was a 2019 survey of game developers, which showed only 24 percent of respondents identified as women in the U.S., but women account for 46 percent of all game enthusiasts. In its commitment to gender equality and desire to elevate female voices in underrepresented fields, AT&T spearheaded this project in collaboration with IGDA, Society of Women Engineers, and Women Who Code to promote the competition and drive submissions.

“All six of the finalists underscore how the gaming industry benefits from creators with diverse experiences and fresh thinking. I’m proud that we can elevate these great titles through this program.” Suzuki said.

Viewers will also have the opportunity to vote on a gamers’ choice winner. Voting opens once the live showcase ends on Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. PT. The grand prize winner, runner-up and gamer’s choice winners will be announced Dec. 4.

Top streamers are set to host the showcase event, which takes place on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. PT, and can be livestreamed on ELEAGUE’s Twitch channel and AT&T’s official Twitter page.


Photo courtesy of AT&T