Submissions open from 2022-09-01 04:00:00 to 2022-10-02 03:59:59
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Welcome to our 4th annual Spooktober Visual Novel Jam!   We are running a jam contest with prizes based around the best holiday of the year!

Halloween!

Here's how it works. During the month September,  participants will have the entire month to create submissions based around the holiday.  Then, through the month of October, we'll invite itch users, streamers and the visual novel community to join in to celebrate and vote on their favorite submissions!  Teams will be selected by our panel of judges to receive awards and prizes!




We are DevTalk!  We represent a vibrant and diverse community of visual novel creative professionals and hobbyists.  Our objective is to provide a safe learning space for people to develop professional skills related to visual novels, provide networking opportunities focused around actionable problem solving.  Our community, between jams we host or support, our Twitter bots, and our helpful Discord Server, helps over 300 visual novels get created annually, many of which are available here on on Itch.io!

The Spooktober Visual Novel Jam is our biggest event of the year, and is our only sponsor backed event.  We hope that Spooktober Visual Novel Jam being the competitive event that it is will encouage game developers to try their hand at visual novels using any and all of their skills, and inspire existing visual novel developers to shoot for the sky with their submissions.


In this Game Jam, you are tasked for completing a spooky or Halloween themed visual novel.  This could mean...

  • A Horror Genre Visual Novel
  • A Visual Novel that takes place on the holiday
  • Individualized themes related to Halloween.  Examples: Monsters, Ghosts, Costumes, or Candy.
  • Creepypasta version of an existing work you created.

Offshoots, spin offs, and 'fan-disc' style submissions are allowed and encouraged!  Please see this from our community if you intend on making a spin off entry: https://itch.io/post/4185256


We will be offering awards for the following categories! Awards do not have prizes unless otherwise noted.

Submission based criteria:

  • Judge Favorite: Receive the most votes from the judges!  1st place 50% of prize pot, 2nd place 30%, 3rd place 20%
  • Itch.IO Favorite:  Receive the most votes from the public!
  • Best Logline:  Judged to have the best log line (1-3 sentences with what your visual novel is about.)
  • Best Thumbnail: Judged to have the best thumbnail in your submission!
  • Best Monster/Costume

Creator based criteria:

  • Best Voice Actor: $500 USD Prize
  • Best Cinematography: $200 USD Prize
  • Best Original Music: $200 USD Prize

Want to recruit voice actors, or find a project to work on as a voice actor?  See our Casting Call Club project!

Jam ends September 30th and judging ends October 28th!  Extensions may be requested, but it disqualifies your team from prizes!


  1. Tag your submissions appropriately!  If there is violence, substance abuse,  mature themes or other such things, please list the types of content within it.  Not respecting this rule will count against your submission in judging!
  2. We respectfully request that all submissions be made without explicit sexual content.  We won't complain if you change it after the jam.
  3. Submissions containing depictions of suicide or self-harm will be disqualified and removed.  Text, whether in-game or in the files of the submission, containing instructions, encouragement of, or statement of intent of suicide or self-harm are similarly disqualified.
  4. New assets may be worked on prior to the Jam's start time to a 'concept' state.  Colorless concept sketches, stand alone color palettes, written outlines, visual or audio motifs and such may be established prior to the jam.  Third Party resources are exempt from this rule as long as they are also available for usage/purchase by other participants.  
  5. Your jam submissions must be made freely available during the month of October 2022.

Due to an abundance of submissions in 2021, we are including adding the following criteria. Failing to do the below will not result in removal from the jam, but may count against your final scoring.

  1. Include the Spooktober Visual Novel Jam 2022 logo either as a splash screen or on the title screen in your game. 
    Feel free to grab the one on this page.
  2. Have a log line in your submission somewhere.  
  3. Credit your team members on your submission page. If you are the only member, please credit yourself as a sole developer.
  4. Be mindful of your loudness!  Consider having someone master your audio prior to submission.  Especially your on-launch sounds and title music!


Can I submit my (Other Game Jam) Jam submission too?

As long as it fits the above criteria and was created within the same time span as this jam, then yes! 

Are you looking for judges?

Yes!  Inquire on our Discord Server or at Nai@SpooktoberVNJam.com

Can I charge for my submission?

We expect that people be allowed to stream and consume the content during the month of October freely.  If you'd like to add a price after October 31st, we won't object. 

Who owns my game jam submission?

We claim no ownership of any jam game submitted.  By submitting to the Spooktober Visual Novel Jam, you do agree to allow the hosts of Spooktober Visual Novel Jam and its sponsors to use all or part of your submissions for promotional and news purposes.

Where can I ask for feedback on x, y, z?

If you have any concerns about your jam submission, whether it be a rule based on or you'd just like some feedback on improving it before submitting, check out our Discord server.



Ratalaika joins us again this year as our top sponsor, contributing $4,500 USD to the cause!  They are a publisher and porter of games and visual novels, and you can see more info about them here:  https://www.ratalaikagames.com/

Naninovel also returns this year as a sponsor, increasing their contribution and firmly making them our second top sponsor.  Naninovel is a writer friendly visual novel development engine for the Unity game engine.  You can see more about them here: https://www.naninovel.com

Casting Call Club and Closing Credits comes to us this year.  They provide casting and recruitment services for voice actors and other professionals as well as educational services to help you in your creative pursuits!  You can learn more about them here https://www.castingcall.club/ and here https://www.closingcredits.com/

Penguin Pop joins us this year too.   Penguin Pop games is a publisher of visual novels, and you can learn more about them here: https://www.penguinpop.com/

CELSYS, the creator of Clip Studio Paint, returns this year as well.  They provide a powerful tool for illustration that’s popular among our community.  You can see more about them here: https://www.clipstudio.net/en/

Esoteric Software is a new sponsor this year.  Esoteric Software is the creator of Spine, which is a 2D skeletal and mesh based animation tool.  You can see more about them here: http://esotericsoftware.com/

Very Ok Vinyl is also a new sponsor this year.  They produce vinyl records for video games.  You can see more about them here: https://www.veryokvinyl.com/

If you are interested in sponsoring this year's Spooktober Visual Novel Jam, reach out to Nai@SpooktoberVNJam.com!


Thanks to our sponsors, the prize pot has reached $6,120 USD!   

1st Place Winner will take away $3,060 USD, a 12 month license for Clip Studio Paint from CELSYS, and a copy of Spine Professional from Esoteric Software!

2nd Place Winner will take away $1,836 USD, a 12 month license for Clip Studio Paint from CELSYS, and a copy of Spine Professional from Esoteric Software!

3rd Place Winner will take away $1224 USD and a 12 month license for Clip Studio Paint from CELSYS!

1 voice actor will take away $500 for best performance in the jam!

1 submitter will take away $200 for best cinematography.

1 submitter will take away $200 for best original music!



Jam Planner