Envisioning Istanbul’s Future: Highlights From the Istanbul2124 Game Jam!

The Sandbox
4 min readJun 14, 2024


From May 24 to 26, 2024, the Istanbul2124 Game Jam took place at StartGate Maslak, organized in collaboration with The Sandbox, StartGate, and YTU GamesUP. This event offered participants the opportunity to shape the future of Istanbul within The Sandbox metaverse.

A Week Filled With Innovative Projects

Developers from The Sandbox, with contributions from StartGate and Yıldız Technical University, worked on various themes and mechanics to develop numerous games envisioning the future of Istanbul. Here are some of these creative projects:

1. StrayCats

Crafted by the Retro Zero team during a 48-hour hackathon marathon, StrayCats invites players to experience Istanbul in the year 2124 from a unique perspective. In this futuristic setting, the iconic Galata Tower is not only a human landmark but also a sanctuary for the city’s beloved feline mascots. As danger looms, players must help the cats use their wits and skills to defend their home.

2. MetaClub! Future Istanbul Builder

Developed with a visionary approach by the Godzilla team, MetaClub! Future Istanbul Builder challenges players to construct their vision of Istanbul in 2124. In this interactive experience, players must think strategically and complete tasks to accumulate points, which can be used to build critical structures like SANDBANK. The game combines city planning and creative design skills, allowing players to shape the future of Istanbul according to their tastes, reflecting the innovative spirit of the Istanbul2124 Game Jam.

The Istanbul2124 Game Jam became a marathon where participants blended technology and creativity to design the future of Istanbul. Equipped with The Sandbox’s Game Maker and VoxEdit tools, participants reimagined the history, streets, skies, and culture of the city.

Creativity and Innovation at the Forefront

Throughout the event, students and game developers contemplated their vision of Istanbul in 2124 and how to gamify this concept. The resulting projects reflected Istanbul’s rich cultural heritage and aspirations for the future.

Awards Found Their Owners

In the event, featuring a total reward pool of 30,000 SAND, the first place winner received 6,500 SAND, the second place 3,500 SAND, and the third place 1,500 SAND. Additionally, there were eight honorable mention awards and an extra reward pool following the publication of the experiences.

Support from Mentors

During the Istanbul2124 Game Jam, experienced professionals from the gaming industry joined the participants as mentors. These interactions provided valuable feedback and industry insights, enhancing participants’ creativity and technical skills. The mentors’ visits offered real-time support, helping to maximize the potential of their projects. These experiences created inspiring moments in the participants’ game development journeys and facilitated connections with the gaming industry.

The Sandbox and Turkey’s Young Talents

The Istanbul2124 Game Jam, organized in collaboration with The Sandbox, StartGate, and YTU GamesUP, served as both a game development event and a platform to spotlight Turkey’s emerging talents on the global stage.

Next Steps

With the shift to a self-publishing process, participants’ creations will be featured on The Sandbox, helping them reach a global audience. The Istanbul2124 Game Jam will be remembered as an event that influenced the future of Istanbul and showcased Turkey’s digital creativity.

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors

Istanbul2124 Game Jam was more than a game development marathon. It was an unforgettable experience where technology and creativity converged. We express our deepest gratitude to our sponsors, who were the biggest supporters in making this fantastic event happen.

  • Turknet: For opening the unlimited access gates of our digital world with strong internet support.
  • TAB Food & Burger King — Arby’s — Popeyes: For fueling our participants’ energy with delectable treats.
  • Coca-Cola: For providing a sweet break that fueled our creativity with refreshing beverages.
  • Google: For generously contributing $100,000 in Web3 cloud credits to the top three projects, nurturing their technological aspirations.
  • OtelZ Contest: For fulfilling holiday dreams by awarding the competition winners with 3000 Zpara for the 1st place, 2000 ZPara for the 2nd, and 1000 ZPara for the 3rd.
  • Feast — Bombastic: For delighting us with their tasty chocolate snacks.
  • Marsea: For surprising participants with special discounts and gifting recycled products.
  • Denebunu: For enriching the experience with 150 DeneBunu boxes as surprises for the participants.
  • Algida — Nogger & Knorr Quick Soup: For keeping our participants happy throughout the marathon with instant flavors.

Each sponsor contributed to making this event more than just a game development marathon, turning it into a festival of creativity and innovation. With their support, participants were able to turn their dreams into reality on their journey.

We thank our sponsors for their contributions and belief in making the Istanbul2124 Game Jam a resounding success. Together, we pushed the boundaries of technology and creativity, shaping the future of Istanbul.

Visit our website to explore the game experiences mentioned in this article in The Sandbox Turkishverse.