2019 is the first year that new content is entering the public domain since 1998. Works published in 1923 are now free to share and remix. This game jam is to celebrate these works entering the commons by making games about and inspired by them.
There are plenty of interesting works to draw on, including silent films starring Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, stories by P.G. Wodehouse and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay and Robert Frost.
This jam is open to both digital and analog games – choose the medium that excites you!
For digital games, we’ll only be judging games that are playable in the browser. This includes interactive fiction using frameworks like Twine. You can submit desktop or mobile games but we won’t consider them for prizes.
For analog games, we’re looking for tabletop RPGs, larps, board games, and everything in between. We encourage you to design something short and quickly playable. Our judges are only committed to reading the first four pages of your submission. Golden Cobra and Game Chef contain great examples of brief, compelling games.
Don’t worry about making a highly polished game! We’re more interested in your ideas and how you use the public domain.
We’ll be awarding prizes in the following categories:
You have until the end of January to submit your games. We'll be judging the submission in the first two weeks of February and awarding prizes soon after.
This jam is organized by Randy Lubin of Diegetic Games and Mike Masnick of Techdirt and we’re contributing prizes. Every winner will get a copy of our recently Kickstarted board game CIA: Collect It All or a Techdirt Copymouse t-shirt - their pick!
The game is a remake of the public domain game Collection Deck – which is an actual CIA training game – and we’ve dedicated our adaptation to the public domain via a CC0 license.
We have a wonderful panel of judges that include digital and analog game designers as well as public domain experts:
We may add more judges depending on the volume of submissions.
We will not tolerate sexism, racism, or discrimination of any kind. Some works from 1923 may contain offensive stereotypes. Either avoid these works or address the problematic material in a responsible manner.
Can I use public domain material from another year?
Yes, but at least one work from 1923 must be included in your game in some form.
Can I submit multiple games?
Can I submit as a team?
Do I need to license the game in any way?
No, and by default you’ll retain all rights to your game. However, we’d love for you to publish under a Creative Commons license. CC0 would add your game into the public domain!
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