This jam is now over. It ran from 2019-05-04 05:00:00 to 2019-05-28 05:00:00. View 73 entries

If you’re not sticking to the rules, you might as well just write fiction.

A lot of folks have some strong ideas about what a game Is and Is Not.


This Is The Not A Game Jam Game Jam. Make "games" which are literally impossible to play. Make games with no interaction. Make games without mechanics. Make games that are meant to be read, where play is a secondary concern. Make a list of everything that makes a Game a Game and then make a game that has none of those things. Make a game that Isn’t. 

Analog and Digital "games" are welcome in this jam as well as any other types of "games".

Take some pressure off, lean into the strengths of the medium, we want these submissions to be unlike "games" we've seen in really cool ways, and we think we'd get some REALLY cool games out of it.

Mobile games, walking sims, visual novels, and other genres that challenge our expectations of Game are breaking ground both in creating innovative avenues for the art form but also in innovating new ways to disappoint tired gamers with set expectations. Video games have been dealing with this for a while but tabletop is not free from these comments either.

Years ago I attended a panel on Elegant Game Design where the panelist explained that all games must have a way of rewarding a set of behavior while punishing another set of behavior. He went on to say that conflict was a necessary element of design, and that all games required a conflict resolution mechanic that had some set of randomization, and condemned games without these elements as “just storytelling prompts”.

Maybe this game jam is created out of spite to people who try to tell you that you’re not making a “Real” “Game”. Maybe it’s a way to explore the medium in new ways and push your design comfort zone. Maybe it’s both, I don’t know. For me it’s about saying “I disagree” to a panel I sat in years ago because I didn’t feel comfortable standing up then.

There’s so much importance placed on how a game plays, to where we playtest ourselves into burnout. Make a game that’s finished when you hit the last “.” Make something that you finish & walk away, never looking back.

So much of the small experimental game experience of these jams is about reading these little conceptual games which will probably never get played anyway.

So we thought “what if we gave people the chance to really lean into that and make some really weird and out there things specifically designed to be regarded as reading and thought experiences before play experiences?”


While this game has an “official” run time, please know that we will literally always take “late” submissions. This is also Not A Game Jam, so like, who cares about the deadline, don’t stress about it.

We encourage you to charge for your Not-Games. We have the opportunity to set a standard and if you’d like to follow it, you can set the minimum price for your entry as $5 and the suggested price as $10. With that said, we also encourage you to include consideration for those in financial hardship by either including a plaintext copy of your game available for free, or including the following text in your Not-Game’s description: “If the price of this game is a hardship to you, please email me at [YOUR EMAIL] or DM me on Twitter [YOUR TWITTER] and I'll get you a download key, no questions asked.”

This jam is hosted by Amber Autumn Faebrooke and Taylor LaBresh in conjunction with the RPG Design Friends community as part of their 12 jams in 12 months.


All submissions
Browser playable (7)
Windows (7)
macOS (3)
Linux (2)
Android (1)

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A mini solo-LARP about talking through your anxieties, frustrations, and joys with a tiny god who's always by your side.
a friend for your pocket.
a game about a house.
New Desire for 2 Queers
They took her heart and her future. Now Nepthys will pay!
Visual Novel
Reclaim the Sea Witch
A zine format game(?) about play
an exploration of cultural assumptions through the medium of worldbuilding
Games For The Missing And The Found, Volume 1.
An unlicensed RPG based on the classic play by Samuel Beckett.
Play this "game" by getting hydrated
I used my hand to smear your name on a condemned warehouse. 1:38 pm on a Tuesday.
Interactive Fiction
Play in browser
You are not a scholar. You are not an archivist. You are attending the end of an age.
A parenthood simulator
A literary micro-RPG for one player, based on Hamlet.
Sometimes a game makes you feel bad when you play, so it's better to just not play them.
Play in browser
A simple, minimalistic "game" about the rain.
A game of flash-fiction divination
A not-game about trying to get your ttrpg session schedule.
A #NotAGame about giving money to someone trying to pay their bills.
A game that isn't a game about being a millennial, for millennials.
Thank You For Shopping! is where you go shopping for mum
A mysterious book club that has little to do with books
a Not-A-Game Jam game for 0 human players
another long night with your awful guest
An impossible-to-play tabletop rpg about wayward thoughts.
A collaborative creative writing activity
An impossible game of Civil War burials, hungry hogs, and exclusion
You can't do other characters justice. So roleplay yourself!
a Not-A-Game Jam game for 0-1 players
a memory of a departed friend, of fragile flesh dressed in stone, of being the guarded without a guardian.
Something approaching a 2048-esque puzzle game.
Play in browser
Make stick figure comics with your friends!!
a one player rpg about the nature of time
It's not like you have anything better to do.
white people samurai
Make a salad out of words
A non-game about death and car passengers
Play in browser
use wasd to move and space to jump
A game for #notagamejam. Roll a d6 to work your way around The Loop.
stop motion/ run projector
Play in browser
A not game game about eating - print & "play"
A #NotAGame About Deriving Meaning
Bouncy balls!
Play in browser
and the twists and turns of how we seal our fates, as this way or -- another
Put down some animals and then control their world
Play in browser
A game, based on Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass.
A handy-dandy generator/prompt for making micro-RPGs
a different kind of roll.
This isn't a game, I just tell you to do something and then you maybe do it.
A line art tutorial
It's everything and nothing and something inbetween
A short essay on learning to love yourself.
Instructions on how to be a Koel Bird.
not a game about sticking your hands deep in the dirt