This jam is now over. It ran from 2020-08-26 00:00:22 to 2020-09-28 04:59:05. View results

CUDO Plays is an annual board game design competition that has been running since 2013, but COVID has forced us to go somewhat digital, so this will be our first game jam! Participants will have just one month to create tabletop games using only the components provided (to be revealed on 8/25 when the jam begins). Although CUDO Plays is based on central Illinois, everyone is encouraged to join this jam whether you've been to a CUDO Plays event before or not. Entries will not be judged, however teams local to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois will be entered for the chance to win a big stack of board games when they submit.

You're more than welcome to playtest your design at home using physical components, however we will be running weekly virtual playtesting events during the course of the jam over Tabletop Simulator. For more details on those, join the CUDO Plays Facebook page and Discord.

CUDO Plays is also partnering with Playful By Design - participants will have the chance to join a design chat at the Playful By Design Symposium! 

Whether you're a veteran board game designer or a total beginner, we hope you'll be a part of CUDO Plays' first foray into the world of digital board game jams! 

There’s no theme for this tabletop game jam. The primary constraint is that you can only use the following components to create your game:

  • A standard deck of playing cards (52 cards plus 2 jokers)
  • A standard set of polyhedral dice (d4, d6, d8, 2d10, d12, d20)
  • 20 cubes (4 different colors, 5 cubes of each color)
  • 4 tiles (3 of one color, 1 of a different color)
  • One side of one 8.5x11 inch piece of paper to use as a board or player aid

You do not have to use all of these components - however you cannot include anything in your game that isn’t part of the above list. You cannot alter the components besides determining the appearance of the single sheet of paper - this means no drawing on cards or tiles, no folding or dividing up the sheet of paper, and no making certain components bigger than others of the same type, although this is easy to do in Tabletop Simulator. This “no alterations” rule is in place so that anyone with a physical or digital component pack can quickly play any of the games in this game jam.

Participants in and around Champaign-Urbana Illinois will be able to pick up a physical component pack at the CUDO Plays Socially-Distanced Social Hour on Aug 29th. However, if you’re not in the area but would like to playtest physically, the component pack has been selected to contain bits that the average gamer home is likely to already have, so we encourage you to also prototype and playtest physically with whoever you’re quarantining with!

If you want to prototype and playtest all virtually, we’ve tried to make that as easy as possible as well through either Tabletop Simulator or Tabletopia. Check the full rules and FAQ to find out how to access our virtual component packs. 

All games will be submitted here on before 11:59pm Central Time on September 27th, 2020.

Because all participants are using (nearly) the same components, all you need to upload with your submission is a digital copy of your written rules, and a digital image of your 8.5x11 inch sheet of paper if you have one in your game. 

Games will not be judged - however there will be a four-day rating period where other game jam participants and players will be able to rate your game in three different criteria:

  • Unique use of available components
  • Creates interesting decisions for the players
  • Game is enjoyable and makes you want to play it again

These ratings are not tied to any prizes, but we hope they foster helpful feedback and discussion among designers.

All teams from the United States that submit a game will be  entered into a raffle to win this awesome collection of tabletop games!

If the raffle winner will need these games shipped to their home from Champaign, Illinois, the winner will have to pay for shipping.

Still got questions? Check out the full rules & FAQ!


All submissions

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Let the problems of life drift away as you plant a garden and help it grow.
A Solo Survival Card Game using common game components.
A Blackjack heist Roleplaying game for 1-4 players
An abstract game of basic addition and subtraction
Use your Heroes to fight waves of henchmen and save the world!
The game for people who love GIANT ROBOTS and tolerate poker.
1v1 30 min board game where players try to eliminate the other team's knights.
A SOLO ADVENTURE GAME | Find Dracula’s lair in the Greater Cleveland area before sunset!
A Board Game
Recruit a team of contractors to meet the client's needs.
Yet to be themed cube racing game
BLACKJACK ON STEROIDS. Play It Safe, or Go Big? Roll the dice to find out!
A worker placement game using all the GameJam components.
Asymmetrical board game where 3 heroes fight 1 boss, rotating among the players.
2-4 player family game. Ps only see 2 of 4 cards in face down hand ("Kabob") Card power is based on Suitlayer