Submissions open from 2023-10-28 14:00:00 to 2023-11-01 04:59:59
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Spoopy Jam is back from the biggest little journey for another year of absurd Halloween-flavored game-dev action. We're buliding on last year's accessibility success : the online portion of the jam and theme are live and open for the entire month of October. That's right, spooksters: YOU HAVE A FULL MONTH TO WORK AT YOUR OWN PACE. 

The last Saturday and Sunday of October we're in-person on UNO's campus for a spooktastic weekend sprint. That's a solid weekend together to either start and finish your bogus masterpiece, or 48 hours of just hanging out and showcasing the fine work you've completed during spoopy season.

View all the Spoopy Jam games:

Spoopy Jam | 2: The Spoopening3: Spoopy as Heck4: Back from Heck

We welcome first time game developers! Designers, artists, musicians, programmers, voice actors, hobbyists, educators, anyone and everyone is welcome to try their hand at making a game. If video games aren't your thing or access to hardware is an issue, you're encouraged to test the waters by making a board game! 

Anyone can participate online! In-person participants must be at least 19 years of age or a current UNO student.

For game-jam newbies: As soon as the theme is live on October 1st, you have until the Halloween deadline to create any kind of game you want, so long as it can be uploaded to This is not a guided workshop, but a test of your new or existing design skills. The key challenge is to make a brand new game experience within the time limit and theme. Board games should make digital documentation and assets for downloadable print-and-play versions of their physical game. Video games should be compiled for download or playable online. Work alone or on a team of any size. Use discord to talk with other participants for team-building, help, or questions. Focus on making a small, complete gaming experience.


UNO Aksarben Campus

Peter Kiewit Institute (PKI) Room 158

Saturday October 28th

  • 9am – Room opens for load-in and setup
  • 9:30am – Team-building and Project Pitch Presentations
  • 9:30am to 9:00pm – Open development time

Sunday October 29th

  • 10am – Room opens for load-in
  • 10am to 3pm – Final development time
  • 3pm to 4pm – Presentation signup and prep
  • 4pm to 5pm – Game presentations and public play


2023 Updates:

Board/Analog Games: Any complete and functional print-and-play game with sufficient assets uploaded to their page can elect to be printed and built in physical format by the UNO Creative Production Lab. Games turned physical will be added to the Criss Library Games Collection for patron checkout. Designers will be contacted by organizers for additional information necessary for production.

Arcade Options: The UNO Creative Production Lab has TWO public-play arcades. Arcade 1 is a 2-player digital button deck. Arcade 2 is a large screen, 4-player unit utilizing Xbox Series X controllers for input. Both are running Windows 10 with discrete GPUs. If your digital game can be compiled to .exe, we’ll put it in rotation for public play. Additional information about the CPL Arcades can be found HERE.

Members of the UNO community are welcome to come into the CPL and utilize any computers or equipment on hand for development, including our Board Game Kit Bash Case. This rolling cart unit includes a plethora of supplies for getting your board game started and playable.

Schedule (US Central Standard - Chicago Timezone)

Sunday October 1st

12:00  P.M. -- Theme announced via Discord, YouTube Live, and here!

Sunday October 1st - Friday October 27th

Open development time.

Saturday October 28th - Sunday October 29th

9:00 A.M. Sat - 5:00  P.M. Sun -- In-Person Development event on-campus at UNO.

Tuesday October 31st

11:59  P.M. -- Online submission deadline. HALLOWEEN!

General Guidelines/Rules: 

The core idea for the game and bulk of the development work should be done during the jam timeline. Games created prior to the jam should not be submitted.  Devs are free to use existing media assets or code libraries to get things off the ground and completed on time. All game engines are allowed. Commercially purchased assets are allowed so long as you have the license to use them. The key challenge is to make a brand new experience within the time limit and theme.  

While the event is limited to participants ages 19+, Spoopy Jam is still considered a public-facing event co-hosted by a public university. We seek to maintain inclusivity and accessibility to all activities. As such, we ask that developers use discretion and not include the following elements in games made for this event:

  • Explicit sexual language and imagery
  • Explicit or realistic gore, dismemberment, suicide, or torture