This jam is now over. It ran from 2020-02-24 23:00:00 to 2020-03-04 23:00:00. View results

Why this jam, and why now?

Italy, 23 February 2020. In these hours the infected of the COVID-19 virus, commonly called "coronavirus", exceed one hundred. 

Several population centers and some affected regions have ordered the closure of schools and gathering places, as well as the cancellation of sport, cultural events and fairs. Preventive quarantines begin and the virus is strarting to spread to other regions.

This jam was created to exorcise the paranoia and panic generated by the pandemic and its media coverage. It is not an attempt to ridicule or trivialize a real event, but our way to cope during these particularly frenetic days.

What is the Decameron Jam?

The goal of the Decameron Jam is to create an analog (non-digital) game inspired by the premises of Decameron, a collection of novellas by the 14th-century Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio.

The Decameron tells the story of a group of ten young nobles (seven girls and three boys) who, during the plague, leave Florence  and take refuge in the surrounding countryside. Here they spend ten days telling each other different stories, now humorous, now erotic, to deceive time. Every day a king or queen is appointed to establish a theme to be respected for the stories of the following day. In turn they tell a story and only Dioneo, the youngest and most skilled speaker in the group, is dispensed from having to use the chosen theme.

You can find the full text of the Decameron for free on Wikisource.

Date and Time

The Decameron Jam starts at 00:00 on Tuesday 25 February (GMT + 1) and lasts 10 days, until 00: 00 on Thursday 5 March (GMT + 1).

The evaluation phase will begin immediately after, from Thursday 5 March at 00:00(GMT + 1) until  Monday 16 March at 00:00 (GMT + 1).


The Decameron is a starting point for your game, through which you are free to explore the themes that revolve around the work. In particular, we propose the following themes:

  • paranoia;
  • forced coexistence;
  • sloth;
  • news;
  • quarantine.

Your game must respect a limit of 1,349 words and a maximum of 4 A4 sides. We do not place limits on the graphic structure of your game, but we ask you to also send a simple text document, in order to make it more accessible.

You can participate alone or in a team of any number of participants. 

For the Decameron Jam, the creation of original work is required. You can incorporate ideas or inspirations from other previous works, but you cannot submit a job that has already been published before the jam started. References to resources and influences are welcome, but be careful not to infringe on other people's intellectual property and to make proper attributions.

You can write your game either in Italian or English, according to your preference. 

All games must be shared under the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license (CC BY-SA 4.0) and must remain free for the entire duration of the jam (including the evaluation phase).

When you are about to submit the game remember to insert the tag: decameronjam.

Admission to the jam can be revoked if the approach to sensitive issues is not respectful. We strongly believe in the importance of cultivating a design environment capable of dealing with complex issues, but we also believe they need particular attention. If you intend to create a game that you believe, for some reason, to fall into this category, also evaluate the inclusion of specific support tools and, as necessary, external advice on its sensitive content.

After the end of the jam Thursday 5 March at 00:00 (GMT + 1), a voting phase will start and last another 11 days, until Monday 16 March at 00:00 (GMT + 1). You are not required to rate all the submissions but we encourage you to give a good number of votes according to your availability. For your evaluations, follow the following criteria (from 1 to 5 stars) and add, when possibile, a written comment that motivates them. Always make your evaluations based on how those elements relates with the design of the game.

  • Use of literary inspirations;
  • Impact on reality;
  • Use of the chosen themes;
  • Setting or backstory supplied;
  • Display and layout;
  • Your personal enjoyment.

During the evaluation phase, be respectful, constructive and helpful. We recommend following the guidelines of the "Mammut RPG Manifesto" (whose members of the collective we must thank for allowing us to start from the text of their jam Mapemounde, greatly facilitating our work).

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