Submission open from 2017-09-22 11:00:00 to 2017-09-25 12:00:00
Starts in

Welcome to the MUSIC GAME JAM, a game jam where you create a music-related game in one weekend!

In particular, the Music Game Jam aims to facilitate an exploration of new, innovative approaches to the music game genre.

We've seen plenty of Guitar Hero clones with tap-to-the-beat gameplay, and this jam it'd be awesome if we could explore some new territory, whether it's an 8-bit tribute to your favourite band, an interactive music video, a Beethoven RPG, or an FPS musical.

The only limit is your musical imagination!


  • Jam: Friday 22nd September - Monday 25th September (in your timezone: start time, end time). 72 hours + 1 submission hour.
  • Voting: Tuesday 26th September - Monday 1st October


  1. The satisfaction of finishing a music-related game in one weekend!
  2. Bragging rights for top placers (according to voting results) and my top picks!
  3. Great Steam games worth up to $100 USD in total (depending on # participants), including Undertale and Worms Clan Wars.
  • The more participants there are, the bigger the prize pool will be, so make sure to invite your friends!
  • Steam game prizes will be awarded to my favourite entries, with a particular emphasis on innovation and integration of music.
  • Prizes may also be awarded to participants who stand out in terms of feedback and help provided to others (depending on # participants).
  • Prizes may also be awarded to entries that make the most progress towards a strong, polished, and fully-realised product by some future post-jam date (depending on # participants).
  • We are also looking for sponsors or donators (see Sponsors section below).
  • Prizes are subject to change at any point. Updates will be given closer to the date.


After the submission period is over, voting will begin. All participants can rate other entries in the following categories on a scale from 1 to 5 stars! Please leave feedback on each game you rate; it's more helpful than just a number, and helps them find your game!

  • Overall: your overall impression as to the quality of the game.
  • Music: how well-crafted and unique was the music? Was the music well-integrated into the game?
  • Innovation: to what extent does this game bring new mechanics, ideas, perspectives, and creativity, to music-related games?
  • Fun: how much did you enjoy playing this game? Did this game make you lose track of time? Was it addictive?
  • Visuals: how visually-impressive was the game? Did it have a unique art style that complemented the music and gameplay?


  • Anyone, regardless of experience, is welcome to participate!
  • Do not start working on the game prior to the game jam, as it isn't fair to other participants starting from scratch.
  • You must start from scratch. However, you may use publicly-available assets if you give full credit on your game page.
  • Leave feedback on any game you rate! Your comment will include a link to your game so they can play yours too:)
  • Your game must be free to play until the voting period is over.
  • Teams are allowed and encouraged! Find teammates via the Community tab above, on Reddit, or via our Discord (coming soon).
  • Games that are discriminatory, contain hate-speech, or are in very poor taste will be removed.
  • Rules are subject to change up until (and unlikely but possibly during) the game jam.


Please follow the official Twitter account @MusicGameJam and make your tweets with the hashtag #MusicGameJam :)

If you have any questions or want to have some input on the jam, please tweet me @XAVIER_GAMEDEV


An official Music Game Jam Discord Channel will be made available once we have a sufficient number of participants (we don't want anyone jumping into an empty channel). An email will be sent out later to everyone who has joined this jam.


Games will be submitted through Please upload your game normally through first; after doing so, you will be able to submit that game as an entry to the Music Game Jam through this page you're on now!

Other requirements:
1. Short gameplay video or trailer for your game entry (doesn't have to be fancy). You'll be asked for a YouTube link when submitting.
2. Include #MusicGameJam as a tag for your game. You can find this if you go to your game page -> Edit game -> Tags.


If you would like to sponsor or make a donation towards the prize pool for this event, please tweet me or email me at xavierindiegamedev [at] You could be a business, a game developer with some Steam keys to give away, or just a kind soul who has a few unused keys they want to donate. Separate prizes can be made for sponsors e.g. the 'SponsorName Music Game Jam Innovation Prize'.

We hope that having a more exciting prize pool will help attract a large number of participants, which means a bigger community for the event and even more great ideas coming out of this jam!


If you are a streamer or YouTuber interested in playing the games from this game jam, I can add you to a list in this section so participants and onlookers can easily find your content! If interested, please tweet me or email me at xavierindiegamedev [at]


Who made the Music Game Jam logo and banner? Can I use it in my game?

The logo and banner were made by the awesome Zephyo (@zephybite). Feel free to use it in your game and when promoting it!

Are teams allowed?
Yes! I especially encourage teams to reach out to indie songwriters, composers, and other musicians to collaborate. For finding musicians, I recommend using our community tab, asking musicians on Bandcamp, Soundcloud or Reddit, or just asking your friends!

Can I use music or songs that were made before the start of the game jam?
You may use songs or other music that were created prior to the jam start date, but you must make note of this on your game page and give appropriate credits. This will also disqualify you from the 'Music' voting category, unless it is a cover of the original song/music that was recorded/created after the jam start date.

Can I use other peoples' work in my game?
Try using work that you are authorised to use or that you created from scratch yourself. If you still wish to use other people's work, use it in the spirit of fair-use and do not put the game on sale. Please also give full credits of this work on your game page, and note that you will be opted out of the relevant category e.g. Visuals if you used pre-made art assets. We do not take responsibility for any unauthorised uses of other peoples' work and any consequences that may result from its use. It is best to ask first.

Is there any restriction on game engines?
Nope! You are free to use whichever game engine you like - including your own custom-built engines - as long as you create your game code and assets from scratch.

How do I make the gameplay video?
Try using Fraps or Xsplit. It doesn't need fancy editing or effects; focus on recording the main gameplay and what makes your music-related game special. If you're short on time just record the first 2 minutes of gameplay, save it, and upload it to YouTube.

What are some good examples of innovative music games from recent years?
Some good examples of innovative music-related games in recent years include Crypt of the Necrodancer (rhythm roguelike), Peter Panic (mini-game musical), Geometry Dash (rhythm platformer), Transistor (scifi action-RPG with singer main character), Thumper (rhythm violence), Audiosurf (surf along your own music), Resynth (music puzzler) and Tadpole Treble (sheet music you create and adventure through).

Do you have any tips for doing a game jam? Funny you should ask! Yes we do:

  • Form a team early! If you want to work with some songwriters, composers, or other musicians, get in contact with them well in advance!
  • Keep the scope of the game really small. With such a short amount of time, the aim is quality, not quantity! You can add in more levels/dialogue/songs/effects/content later!
  • Allow sufficient time (at least half a day) for polishing and testing.
  • Get straight into the main 'hook' of your game. Assume that most people will probably stop playing if there's a long tutorial or a lengthy unskippable cutscene.
  • Games playable in the browser are best way to get the most plays and the most feedback! Additionally, try to make your game available on as many platforms as possible.
  • You can submit as many times as you like prior to the deadline, so submit early and often!