Lift Off 2022 is a free six-week program promoting diversity of gender and gender identity in game development. This virtual workshop invites nonbinary and trans people of all genders, and cis women, to create their own game with direct, one-on-one guidance from experienced mentors. Participants will practice applying essential game making skills including design, art, coding, audio composition, and more. No prior experience needed!

Lift Off will return this October! Applications are now closed, but we’re still seeking mentors and guest speakers.

Have you ever wanted to make a game, but felt uncertain about how to get started? You’re not alone. Lift Off is designed for people just like you, because the truth is that you absolutely can make a game! Join our 2022 cohort and take the first step toward bringing your creative ideas to life with support from our team of experienced mentors and the friendly community at Tech Valley Game Space.

When & Where:

Online meetups will be hosted via the Tech Valley Game Space Discord

October 23rd – December 11th, 2022


Applications for Lift Off 2022 are now closed. If you signed up as a participant, you should be receiving a notification soon with more info about your application status. Please note that the start date for 2022 the program has also been updated.

Become a Mentor or Guest Speaker

We are still seeking additional mentors and guest speakers for Lift Off 2022! If you’re interested, please sign up via the TVGS educator interest form by 11:59pm EDT on Saturday, October 15th.


  • What are the eligibility requirements?
    • Participants must be 18 or older, and must be a current resident of New York State. Participants should also have an underrepresented gender / gender identity – this includes nonbinary and trans people of all genders, cis women, and those who are otherwise marginalized.
  • How much does this cost?
    • Nothing! Lift Off is a free for all participants, but capacity is limited to selected applicants only.
  • Do I need my own laptop or other equipment/software?
    • Since the 2022 edition of Lift Off will be hosted online, you will need access to a computer in order to participate. We’ll be providing details about a variety of free and accessible game making software tools that you can run on just about any laptop or desktop computer.
  • Does TVGS/Lift Off claim any ownership rights or make profit from my work?
    • Nope! Anything you make is entirely yours, and participants retain all ownership rights to their creative work.
  • Do I need to have a personal goal?
    • We do prefer that you have a game idea in mind! It doesn’t have to be fully realized design from the outset, but we want you to have a basic concept so we can offer meaningful guidance and help you start making it once Lift Off is underway.
  • How much work is involved to participate in this program?
    • 2 hours per week of required participation, plus 8 hours per week of suggested work time.
  • How is the program structured?
    • This year’s program will be entirely virtual, with weekly remote meetups hosted on the TVGS Discord. These weekly meetups provide an opportunity to check in with your mentor and teammates (if any), and will also include presentations from guest speakers.
  • Do I need to work on a solo project, or can I work with a team?
    • We ask applicants to apply individually, and in past years our participants have primarily worked on solo projects during the program. However, due to the high volume of applicants for 2022 we are looking into the possibility of supporting teams as a way of enabling more folks to participate. If you are accepted into our 2022 cohort, we will be following up to ask whether you’re open to working in a small team. If so, we can help you connect with fellow Lift Off participants who have complementary skills and interests.
  • Are you looking for a certain kind of applicant?
    • We’re looking for people who don’t already have extensive experience with game making. If you are at a beginner level, then we’re looking for you! Even if you’ve made or worked on a game before, you are still welcome and encouraged to apply.
  • Do I need to have any programming, art, or audio creation skills?
    • Nope! Lift Off is intended to support participants from a diverse range of backgrounds, and there is no prerequisite knowledge needed to participate. The program is designed to help you get started with game development, and provide opportunities for you to learn about relevant skills from experienced mentors and guest speakers.
  • What are the requirements for mentors?
    • We ask all mentors to attend the weekly virtual meetups, which include dedicated time to check in with your mentee(s), answer any questions, and provide guidance.
  • Are the mentor and guest speaker roles paid?
    • Yes! All mentors, speakers, and organizers will receive honorarium payments. The precise amounts for these payments can vary based on our overall budget for the program.
  • Can cis men apply to be mentors or guest speakers for Lift Off 2022?
    • We usually prioritize mentors who have a direct connection to the underrepresented group(s) that Lift Off is supporting. However, cis men are still welcome and encouraged to sign up as mentors and guest speakers! Our primary goal is to ensure that we assemble a team of mentors with the necessary skills and experience to support all of our participants.