Submissions open from 2018-10-20 02:00:00 to 2019-10-20 02:00:00
Submissions due in
years
months
days
hours
minutes
seconds

Wecome to the yearly 4 o'clock VN jam! The 4-o-clock jam, which will officially be nicknamed the "Yonjijamu", is a game jam starting at four in the morning and ending a year later.

But what's the 4 o'clock jam about?

Well... Everything VN!
Visual novels are wonderful. Things of beauty. They can tell stories that are either hilarious, heartwarming, tearjerking, suspenseful or anything inbetween. They have a certain air to them that anime, manga and even light novels simply don't reach. Some of them encourage the reades to read them again and again, changing their decisions to get that extra CG or see that bonus scene... Some can immerse their readers with their masterful stories, beautiful artworks and breathtaking soundtracks... And others simply tell a relaxing tale for the readers to enjoy at their own pace. Whatever it is that's desired, visual novels can deliver. No exceptions.

But even if there are so many beautiful visual novels, why stop at what we have? There are countless people, lone hikineets armed with nothing but a pc, imagination and a month's supply of cup ramen and professional teams with several people dedicated to their respective roles alike, that dream - no, that work to - to make the next wonderful visual novel. And while it's true that not everyone can mix the arts of storytelling, visuals, music and voice acting into that perfect end product, there are countless great visual novels out there, overshadowed by the bigger titles. And that is why the Yonjijamu exists. Starting at four in the morning, aspiring visual novel creators - from that lone hikineet who realised a month's supply of cup ramen wasn't going to be enough to the team that just hired another sprite artist because they were behind on schedule - are welcome to submit their works for an entire year.
However, the 4 o'clock jam isn't supposed to be just some visual novel collection. Aside from the obvious condition of being a visual or kinetic novel, works are required to follow one rule to be submitted to the Yonjijamu. Every part of the VN must be made for that vn. Not entirely clear? You are allowed to use pre-built engines and other programming. But the story? The artwork? The music? The Yonjijamu challenges people to make their visual novel theirs. So no googling free-use art databases and royalty-free music! And no loose alliances with people on Soundcloud or similar sites either! Everything is to be tailor-made specifically for that visual novel, and nothing less will do. That guy who was so happy that was so happy you chose his art for your VN? If he wants his art in your VN, and you want your VN in this jam, he'll have to make some new sprites if you want your visual novel in the 4 o'clock jam.
That said, the 4 o'clock jam isn't going to be too restrictive. If you were already making a visual novel by the time the Yonjijamu started, you can submit it here as long as every sprite, background, sentence and background-music-track has been custom made for that visual novel. Hey, even if you already finished it, as long as every part is original, you're free to submit your VN here.

Are you working on a visual novel, and you want to submit it to the Yonjijamu, but you won't be able to finish it this year? Don't worry! No matter what people think of this jam, it's going to return every year from now on, hopefully evolving as the years pass. So if you missed your chance this time, or if you can finish it in time but you'd rather have a while longer to polish your visual novel to perfection? No problem! Just submit it to the next 4 o'clock jam.

Submission Rules:

  1. Your submission must be a visual or kinetic novel. To be clear - Choices, soundtracks and voice acting aren't required. As long as your submission is a visual or kinetic novel, it's allowed here. You can even add non-VN parts like quicktime-events or other minigames in it if it enhances the experience, but the majority must be visual novel. An RPG Maker-game with VN-style dialgue that makes up 30% of the game, for example, doesn't count as a VN.
  2. Tag your submissions. Every VN is allowed. Mystery, romance, comedy... From stories suited for all ages to full-on nukige works, you can submit it here. But please tag your works. The Yonjijamu is here to connect visual novel creators with visual novel fans, and not to let people who want to read a short mystery VN stumble upon a 50-hour-nukige. Make sure people know what kind of visual novel you've made, so that everyone can find the visual novels they're interested in.
  3. Everything must be made for the visual novel you want to submit. Your work must be your own. If you're working in a team, use what your team can make for the VN. If you're working alone, use whatever you can make on your own. Of course, you're allowed to ask people on the internet to help fill in the things you can't do as well. But you aren't allowed to ask someone on Soundcloud if you can use their existing tracks. Their music is only allowed if they made it specifically to be the background music for your visual novel.
  4. Not exactly a rule, but to keep in mind: Everyone is allowed to submit, really. The Yonjijamu isn't aimed specifically at beginning nor at experienced VN creators. Have you made something and does it follow the rules above? Feel free to submit. It really doesn't matter if you made it alone in a dark room or if you hired one hundred professional people to shape it.

Voting Rules:

  1. Be reasonable when it comes to genres and the specifics of these genres. Don't give a slice-of-life comedy a bad rating because it isn't suspenseful and don't complain that a nukige a bad rating because it sacrificed the story for the H-scenes. It shouldn't be hard.
  2. Also, if someone made a VN on their own, don't be too hard on them if the music or art isn't amazing. On that same note, don't overdo it either - sorry, but sometimes a visual novel is just bad. You don't need to give every VN a good rating just because a lot of effort went into it.

Misc:

Any suggestions about the 4 o'clock jam on its own? Think you know how to improve this wall of text or the general contents of the Yonjijamu? Send an email to the dedicated address: 4oclockvnjam@mail.com