Join Core’s latest environment art jam with a $25,000 prize pool, five diverse categories, and dozens of winners!


Prize Categories

Real World CityscapesMonuments and LandmarksSchool CampusesSci-Fi and Fantasy CitiesBest Playable

How to enter

Deadline: March 22, 10:00AM PST

Publish a scene in Core and fill out the form at the bottom of the page before 10:00AM PST on March 22.

Categories will be revealed on Feb 25 and those winners will be announced on April 1.

Submission details and official rules are below.

Get Started

Show us your favorite places

In the last year, a lot of our favorite places proved to be inaccessible due to the pandemic. However, Core's multiverse has no such limitations; you're free to explore them in a virtual space!

The contest has five categories/themes - Real World Cityscapes, Monuments and Landmarks, School Campuses, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Cities, and Best Playable. First, second, and third place for each category (as determined by our judges) will win prizes, and everyone that submits a valid entry will receive a unique Core profile picture to showcase their status in the Core community.

Real World Cityscapes Recreate a portion of a city from the real world. We’ll be judging based on how well the scene captures the architectural distinctness and character of a chosen urban location.Monuments and Landmarks Build a favorite monument or human-made landmark. We’ll be judging based on accuracy and/or cleanly stylized depictions.School Campuses Bring to life your favorite real-world school campus. High school or university, a section of a campus or the whole thing, it's all fair game. We’ll be judging entries on how well they capture the aesthetic space and feel of the given campus.Sci-Fi and Fantasy Cities Create a sci-fi or fantasy-themed town, outpost, or city setting. From orbiting space stations to orc fortresses, this category lets you create a world from scratch. We'll be judging based on environmental storytelling and overall composition.Best Playable This category rewards city creators that take their beautiful environment and turn it into the setting for a game. The best full game experience set in a cityscape will take home the prize. We’ll be judging on level design, environmental storytelling, and gameplay.
Entries in the contest will be judged on aesthetic appeal, adherence to the theme/category, and overall environment polish.

Don't forget to scope down, and enjoy creating. We look forward to seeing what you dream up!

Tips and Tricks For "A BEAUTIFUL CORNER"

A beautiful corner is one of the first steps on the journey towards making a game real. It offers for the very first time a glimpse at how an environment looks and feels in-engine. Put simply, it's one slice of the game that's meant to show what the final game will look and feel like. The beautiful corner is a piece of the game the artist puts all efforts into making a single environment rich with atmosphere and narrative that can set a benchmark for the rest of the in-game art. Planning for a highly polished, focused scene, may help you scope sucessfully in this jam.

To help you get started, here are some tips from our Senior Environmental Artist, Josh, for creating scenes and games in Core:
The fundamentals of art are always the foundation on which all environments are built. Beauty means little in games if it is only that. If it's just there to look pretty but hinders the narrative or gameplay experience in any way, you'll need to rethink things.Oftentimes, it will be more beneficial to plan out your environment on some grid paper first, then go into Core and just block out the area with loose shapes. Trust me, there's nothing more demoralizing than spending a week making something look great only to then playtest and find that nothing about it is fun. So, fun first.Think vertically: It can be easy to fall into tunnel vision and only see what's on the horizontal plane around the player, but games are full 3D space. So use it.Pay close attention to silhouette, negative space, composition, level flow, and the relationships between colors.Adding too many colors, objects, or jarringly disparate visual styles, could all end up hindering the experience for a player. It's better to have one refined style than multiple cacophonous ones.Pay attention to construction detail/trim. In architecture, you will almost never see two building points just placed next to one another without some form of trim or proof of construction. Think of a window sill. Without these, a structure looks weak, as it probably is, and in games, their absence is generally responsible for that noticeably "CG" look. It's not always the case, but if something feels off, try it.And of course, as with anything artistic, none of these are absolute, unbreakable rules. At the end of the day, it's important to have fun and express your artistic self.If something doesn't feel right at first try don't give up! Good environments take work but are so rewarding when they come together. Good luck everyone!

$25,000 in Prizing

Overall Best

  • $5000

  • Contest Winner Profile Pic

Each Category

  • First: $2500

  • Second: $1000

  • Third: $500

  • All: Contest Winner Profile Pic

All Participants

  • Contest Profile Pic

FAQ / Details

What is Core?

Core is a radically accessible game construction kit, community of creators, and game-playing platform, all in one. With Core, you can create multiplayer games, using the power of Unreal Engine, with no coding or art skills required. When you're ready to share your creations, publish them to the Core platform where they'll be instantly available to play. Not only is Core completely free, select creators can also monetize their games to make a living!

Core is like having an entire game studio in your hands. It gives you the power of Unreal Engine; lets you access hundreds of free, high quality music, sound, and art assets; and enables you to bring immersive, multiplayer worlds to life.

Simply put, we want to help you create the game of your dreams. To get started, download the client at

If I'm a newcomer to Core, where's the best place to start?

Check out our complete introduction to the Core editor to quickly get up to speed and begin creating. For a more structured set of tutorials, follow along with our free courses at Core Academy.

Can I make unique looking art in Core?

Yup! From high fantasy to dark wonderlands to modern military, we've got assets to match the mood - and thousands of primitives and materials to kitbash your own from scratch as well! Our art director's blog post describes the ideology behind it all, for those who are curious.

What do you mean by "art-focused" jam?

We'll primarily be judging the submissions by their aesthetic values, but gameplay will be help elevate submissions. Note that we provide plenty of tools to make it easy! See our 'frameworks' (create --> new project) for full sets of game logic you can drag and drop into your map.

Can I use community content?

As always, yes, it is encouraged! Please do give credit (in your game descriptions) to pay it forward.

Are there any submission specifications?

To enter, you must fill out the form below. Feel free to ask any questions in the relevant Discord channel (e.g. to confirm your entry was received successfully).

We encourage also including reference images/WIP shots, and anything else that helps show off the process, but this isn't mandated.

Can we use existing games?

As long as it fits the theme/category, yup! We do balance the judging based on what new/unique content was made, so existing games don't have an unfair advantage, but we want to encourage people to not 'reinvent the wheel' and to keep improving existing games - doing so helps you get up and running as fast as possible (important in a time-dependent jam), and also helps make a more fully-featured game you can really be proud of!

How are entries judged?

We will take into account any adherence to the theme and category, then will judge based on the aesthetics (50%), functionality (10%), and our overall impression (40%). Note that the interpretation of these is up to the judges' discretion, and they have the final say.

Can I submit multiple entries?

Sure, but they must be unique entries! You can not submit the same entry in multiple categories.

Note: One unique case in this jam is that you can add gameplay to a map and submit the map as one category and the combination for Best Playable. Note that this isn't recommended, as the best entries almost always focus on polishing a limited scope/vertical slice, and this would spread your options out, but it is a valid option.

Can I update my entry after submitting?

Yes. But beware, judges will only be reviewing your entry once, so if you push a last-minute update and it has a game-breaking bug that will be reflected in your score. Because of this, it is heavily recommended to stick to the deadline. To keep things as fair as possible, judges will randomly be playing the games from the list so you nobody can rely on an extra day or two.

Can I work with a team?

Yes, and please do! For profile pics, please put all your collaborators' names (up to 5) and their credits in the game description for them to get this endowment too. Note that if your team wins, distribution of the prizing must be handled by yourselves (i.e. we'll give the prizing to the submitter, then they can allocate to team members).

What if I'm under 18?

Ask your parent or guardian to submit your entry on your behalf. They will receive the prize and then can pass it on to you at their discretion.

How are winners paid?

We use Tipalti to pay winners in their local currency. Winners will be contacted via email with the details.

Where can I see the official rules?

Manticore Games, Inc. (“Sponsor”) will sponsor a contest for each of five (5) city building categories: (1) Real World Cityscapes, (2) Monuments and Landmarks, (3) College Campuses, (4) Reimagine Recreating, and (5) Best Playable, (each a “City Building Contest”), in addition to (6) Best Overall (collectively, with the City Building Contests, the “Contests”).

Contest Period
Starts: Thursday, February 25, 2020 @ 8am PDT
Ends: Monday, March 22, 2020 @ 10:00am PDT

How to Enter
Complete the submission form linked on this landing page. Entries for the Best Overall Contest will be comprised of eligible entries from the City Building Contests. Each entry must be unique (for example, you cannot submit the same entry to multiple categories, but you may submit unique maps to different categories).

For each City Building Contest, the first place winner will receive Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars (US$2,500.00), the second place winner will receive One Thousand Dollars (US$1,000.00), and the third place winner will receive Five Hundred Dollars (US$500.00). The prize winner for the Best Overall Contest will receive Five Thousand Dollars (US$5,000.00). All Contest entrants will also receive a genre profile picture.

Prizes will be paid through Tipalti. Winners must create or have a Tipalti account to collect their prize. For more details on Tipalti and potential tax implications, please see our Help Center article.

The contests are subject to the Core Contests Official Rules.

What if I have more questions?

The best way to get help is through the dedicated Discord contest channels; alternately email us at and we'll do what we can for you.

Core May Art Contest
“Through the Looking Glass”

Core May Art Contest
“Through the Looking Glass”

Core May Art Contest
“Through the Looking Glass”

Core May Art Contest
“Through the Looking Glass”


The City Building Jam is subject to the Core Contests Official Rules.

Get Started

© 2020 Manticore Games, Inc.