Submissions open from 2022-02-13 15:00:00 to 2022-03-15 15:00:00
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Welcome to Magical Girl Game Jam #5!

Do you love girls wielding magical powers? Then this jam is for you! Create games with Magical Girls, fighting for love, friendship, justice or world domi--... sorry, I meant world peace!

The Magical Girl Game Jam is held twice a year, during the spring break and summer break in Japan (Feb-Mar and Aug-Sept). This jam started informally in early 2020 with the expectation that this jam would only exist once or twice during the pandemic; but as the pandemic drags on and the community grows, it is decided that the jam is going to be held regularly twice a year.

Discord server: https://discord.gg/nvHPB4X

Rules:

Although I want as much freedoms for you jammers to have, there are still rules in the Magical Girl Game Jam. The most important ones are:

  • Rule #2: Thou shalt put at least one Magical Girl character in your game -- it can be your main character, the enemy, anythingCreating an original character is strongly encouraged. For the purpose of this jam, the bare minimum requirement is a "Girl with Magical Power" -- as long as you fulfill this, I won't remove your submission for that specific reason.
  • Rule #164295: Thou shalt properly follow the themes or other forms the specific MGGJ might have (for MGGJ5, the themes are in the form of genre mashups)
  • Rule #3028: Thou shalt keep pornographic materials away from your game. Bare minimum criteria: no female n*ppl*s, no genitalia -- as long as you fulfill those you are safe from this rule. I would prefer it however, if you do more than that bare minimum. Gore NSFW are mostly unrestricted but I'd prefer it if you don't show internal organs splattering on the ground or something.
  • Rule #99742: Thy game has to be free to play upon submission
  • Rule #394899: Thou shalt submit video games. The question came out in MGGJ3 and I had to technically allow non-video game submissions such as board games in MGGJ3. From MGGJ4 onwards however, only video game submissions are accepted.
  • Rule #314159: Unfinished games shall be allowed
  • Rule #217828: Thou art free to use any assets you have legal access to -- however, I encourage you to create as much as possible during the jam, and during submission you will be asked about it -- players might rate more harshly if your game is mostly purchased assets.
  • Rule #161803: If you want more chance for the jam owner to play your game, it is advised to create a browser playable game with managable difficulty and reasonable length.
    • Apparently I have received reports lately that there are some not-so-friendly entities that spread executable "games" that are actually malwares through various sites, including itch.io. Due to this reason I strongly encourage jam participants to put a browser playable versions of their games if possible, and for players to be absolutely sure the program is safe when running an executable file. Some suggestions that were given by the more IT affluent members of the MGGJ discord include running executables inside a virtual machine.
  • Rule #33: Thou shalt respect the unwritten rules for game jams in general:
    • Submit games that are made for the sake of this jam
    • Keep toxicity away from this jam... or any jam for that matter
    • etc.
  • Rule #1: Have fun! :)

(Please don't mind the numbers. I was just making a little joke reference. Those of you who know what I referenced, high five to you!)

Additional Tip: There is a quick questionnaire you have to answer when you submit your game. Please answer the questionnaire properly. Answer it simply, you don't need to write an essay; but please answer it properly. For example, for the question asking how your game fits the Magical Girl genre, quickly explaining how your game has which character wielding what magical power works; but simply saying "My game has got Magical Girl" does not really answer the question.

Also while this is not really a rule, I would appreciate it if you put the following hashtags if you tweet about this jam: #MGGJ, #MGGJ5

Theme Genre Mashup:

Instead of themes, something different is going to be attempted in this jam: Genre Mashups. There are two categories: A and B. You have to pick at least one from A and one from B and incorporate both into your game. As for what genres will be in columns A and B... please do look forward to it :3

AB
##########
##########
##########
##########

Among two of the options are platformer and SHMUP; not telling in which category they will end up in or the rest of the genre options for now though XP

MGGJ5 Specific Q&A (or predicted concern):

Q: "Can I add more genres to the mashup that are not in this jam page?"

A: "Provided you have fulfilled the main genre mashup, do whatever you want."

Q: "Can I just make the genre mashup portion be a minigame and the main portion of the game completely unrelated?"

A: "After some discord members brought up this potential loophole, I have decided that to fulfill this genre mashup, the combination of the two themes have to be at least half the game, roughly measured in content. There may be some exceptions to this roughly half of the content criteria, but please do not just put a small genre mashup minigame in the game then the rest of the game is unrelated to the genre mashup. After some feedbacks, I decided that this will be judged subjectively, firstly through your answers in the submission questionnaire then via reports from players. I am very lenient though, so I will only remove very severe violations, where the game is very obviously and blatantly not even trying to mash genres."

Q: "Can I have the genres I mashup be in different sections of the gameplay, or do I have to fully integrate them?"

A: "Although I definitely prefer it way more if you can integrate them fully, as a bare minimum, I won't remove your submission for separating the genres into different sections of the gameplay -- but it has to be somewhat integrated and not completely separate.  Do not make two completely separate games then just combine them into a single application and call it genre mashup. For example, I will allow a Platformer + SHMUP mashup where say on one level you play platformer and then smoothly transition to SHMUP in a section of the level, but I will not allow a Platformer + SHMUP mashup where say, in the main menu I can choose to play the platformer game or the separate SHMUP game."

Rating:

Your submissions will be rated publicly like based on the following criteria.

  • Magical Girl Concept
    • How creative are the magical girl ideas in the game?
    • Changed from "Magical Girl Design" from MGGJ2
  • Engagement/Fun
    • Duh. How fun the gameplay/story is
  • Originality/Creativity
    • The creativity of the gameplay mechanics primarily
  • Graphics
    • How well the graphics fit the game
  • Audio
    • How well the audio enhances the gaming experience
    • Includes music if the game has one
  • Polish
    • Primarily talks about gameplay/experience polish. Is the difficulty balanced? Does the game give good player feedbacks, making it more fun to play? Special effects? If it's mostly narration are the texts properly screened for errors that may ruin player experience?
    • Graphics and audio polish should be rated based on the previous criteria
  • Genre Mashup Incorporation
    • The crazier you think the genre mashup is, the better score you should give.

What is a Magical Girl?

Some people unexpectedly joined the jam without knowing what the Magical Girl genre is in the first jam, so from MGGJ2 onwards, I decided to put this section to explain a bit about what the Magical Girl genre is.

To put it simply, the Magical Girl genre, or Mahō Shōjo (魔法少女) in Japanese, is a genre about cute girls having cute magical powers -- often associated with anime, manga, and other Japanese works. In my own personal opinions, some primary characteristics of the Magical Girl genre are (NOTE: THIS IS NOT PART OF THE RULE. The following is simply meant to introduce to those who are not familiar with the genre):

  1. Cute girl with magical powers.
  2. Cute dresses -- not always though... some Magical Girls go the elegant route while others go the wild route
  3. Transformation or Magical form -- not always but I think most do have it

If I need to emphasize this more, this is just my own opinion, not strict guidelines. Feel free to subvert or deviate from my expectations, but make a Magical Girl.

Some examples of Magical Girl works:

  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica
    • A veeery cute one. The cutest, most cheerful of all Magical Girl shows.  A complete masterpiece. I recommend this one very strongly

Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Anime) - TV Tropes

  • Sailor Moon

VIZ | The Official Website for Sailor Moon

  • Pretty Cure

Pretty Cure Name Meanings - YouTube

  • Minky Momo

Magical Princess Minky Momo- by Kunihiko Yuyama | Aesthetic anime ...

If you are previously not familiar with the Magical Girl genre, I hope this explanation at least gives you a vague idea of what you should be aiming for.

For more information, you can check the TV Tropes page for it. While to avoid removal it is enough to fulfill the definition "girls with magical powers", I want you to aim for TV Tropes's Magical Girls

FAQs:

A few questions that came up a few times during MGGJ3, 4, and the current 5, in my discord server that may be in your head too if you are new:

  • What do you define as "Magical Power"?
    • For the purpose of this jam, there are a few ways it can fit:
      • A power the author declares as magical.
      • A power that may not be explicitly declared as such by the author, but natural explanations for the power is not given.
      • A power the author may declare as not magical (e.g. machines), but somewhat intends to feel magical and/or mimics something you may expect if it were magical. For a quick test, try to replace the supposed "non-magical explanation" with "magic" and see if it makes sense and does not feel forced.
  • Do Magical Boys count?
    • In general, no; but as long as the magical form is a girl, you may have the non-magical form as any other forms including animals, boys, objects, etc. and it still counts -- or maybe the opposite such as a girl having the ability to change into objects. As long as we can see a girl wielding some sort of magical power in action, it is good. 
      • In addition, as long as you put at least one Magical Girl I don't mind what else you put into your game as long as it doesn't get you into legal troubles.
  • Can I submit my game into other jams?
    • If it also fits that jam, yes. Feel free to do multiple jams in conjunction if it happens to coincide with MGGJ.
      • Beware though if you submit to so many jams, it might look suspicious. If I see your game being submitted to jams that your game doesn't actually fit into, even if your game fits my jam, I might question whether or not your game fitting into my jam is just a coincidence.
  • Can I submit multiple games into this jam?
    • If you have the time, sure! You can also participate in multiple teams; your choice. As long as you have the time, and your games all fit into the themes.
  • Can I continue my project from previous MGGJs?
    • If you can fit it into the new themes, go ahead -- but I think it's going to be difficult. You may want to instead create a new story with the same characters, or a sequel.
  • [Not Applicable for MGGJ5]Can I pick multiple themes?
    • Picking multiple themes is logically also picking at least one theme. If I were to forbid this all you needed to do would be to pretend as if you only had picked one theme and just coincidentally had matched the other themes; so yes.
  • Can I modify my game during the rating period?
    • I am very lax regarding this, so in this casual jam, I do not lock submission modification during rating period. However, I request you include all versions every time you add a new one -- or at least just the original one or the last one submitted before the submission period ends.
  • Can I submit my game late?
    • Until MGGJ3, I used to allow it. This time however, and onwards, unless your reason is very, very convincing (e.g. you finished your game way before and was ready to submit 24 hours before the closing, but then a magnitude 9 earthquake destroys your house's electricity and internet connection for a few days), I do not intend to accept any late submissions. Rather than submitting late, if you are unable to finish your game on time but still want to submit, it is better to submit first then modify later (do keep the original tho). 
  • The themes are revealed 1 week before the start of the jam itself. Why?
    • My jam, my rules XP. However, the primary reason is to let players ponder about the theme for a week first before jumping straight into coding/asset making/etc.; I want you people to have a mature concept/plan first. Can you start making your game anyway during that time? Yes; and I can't check. It's really up to you, although I think it's much better to work on the concept first (^.^;
  • [Not applicable for MGGJ5]Why are there multiple themes anyway?
    • My jam, my rules :/. The reason is that I don't want the themes to be restrictive. I want the themes to function as inspiration, not as restrictions. The idea came from a story my friend told me of a Game Jam he participated in. I can't go into details but the jam in question is said to use Sonic titles as themes.
  • With your definition <non-Magical Girl character X> is a Magical Girl (or vise versa)?
    • Well obviously I want as many obvious Magical Girl characters in while keeping as many obvious non-Magical Girl characters out... We however, are dealing with art and fiction, and it is basically impossible for me or anyone to enact a hard-line one fits all definition to pigeon hole everything perfectly. If there were such a thing, people will always find ways to subvert it. Because of that, what I put is simply a bare minimum definition that is as loose as possible which in consequent may technically allow obvious non-Magical Girl characters in (e.g. Wizards, some Sci-Fi chars); but I want you to aim for TVTropes' ideal. If you have better ideas for the definitions however, I will welcome it.

Previous jams

Some of you who are new might want to see games (or themes) from previous jams. Here are some links to the previous jams: