Submissions open from 2023-01-26 20:00:00 to 2023-01-29 20:00:00
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Marisa is doing her part to keep the local Yokai infestation down by preemptively smiting both Letty Whiterock and local Chicken.

Banner by Schmagons

The theme is: Winter Games

From snowboarding down Yokai Mountain or just bullying Lily White, the theme for this Jam is to embrace winter activities!

About the Jam:

Touhou project is a series of 2D Bullet hell (or "Danmaku") games from Japan that has become wildly beloved due predominately to  series creator, ZUN's, extremely permissive policy towards derivative works. Thanks to this, the fanbase has been able to create all sorts of interesting and high quality fanworks; games, songs, art, fiction, and much more! We celebrate this by regularly hosting a game jam for Touhou fans to come together in friendly competition and create their own games based on the series.

We've hosted this game jam over five times before, in addition to our other community events, you can check out our past events:  12345678, 9 - as well as our sideline jams, (9)-JamPrideJam2PrideJam3PrideJam4Touhou StationTouhou Station 2

If you'd like to participate (especially if you need a team), we recommend you join our Discord server: a Touhou-centric gamedev hub where you can discuss and show off Touhou fangames. The Discord has chat channels for the jam as well, including team-forming. You can also follow us on Twitter for more updates and to help spread the jam!

For those unfamiliar, a game jam is a contest where participants are given a "theme" to work off of and then given a brief period of time (usually a couple days) to create a game, from scratch, based around that theme. All skill levels and areas of expertise are welcome, and members can work either in teams or individually to submit a game by the deadline.

After the contest is done, anyone interested can play the submitted games and vote on what they think are the best entries. After a period of voting, a winner will be announced. Categories for voting are, Gameplay, Concept, Visuals, Audio, Story/Writing, Challenge, and Use of Theme.

Rules (READ THESE):

  • All created content must follow ZUN's guidelines on creating derivative content of Touhou. Most importantly this includes not using assets from the official Touhou games.
  • You may steal/modify assets from other sources only if you are allowed to use them non-commercially. (Or are otherwise explicitly licensed to do so)
  • You may use resources such as graphics, sounds and scripts that were made prior to the jam, as long as the bulk of your work takes place during and for this Jam.
  • Your entry must be based off the Touhou universe to some degree.
  • Your entry must be free to play at the time of submission.
  • Keep it SFW.
  • You can work in a team or as an individual.
  • If at a later date you want to expand upon your game and sell it, you do so at your own risk and should abide by ZUN's guidelines.
  • Feel free to contact us  on our Discord Server if you have any questions. Be Fabulous.

How to participate and submit a game:

  • To participate, simply create an itch.io account and hit the big Join button up top. You can do so at any point before or during the jam.
  • Once the jam starts, you can submit your game at any point before the deadline using the Submit button. The website will then walk you through the process of submitting your game.

FAQ

Q: What kind of game can I make? 

 Any kind you want! As long as it's a fan game of Touhou, the sky is the limit. You can make a game that's gameplay-oriented or story-oriented. You can go for simple art or complex visuals. Whatever floats your creative boat.

Q: Do I have to make the whole thing myself? 

 Nope! If you don't want to work alone you can form teams with anyone you please and take any job that suits your style. However, the game you submit must be made entirely by your team and within the jam period. I recommend picking a team with a similar timezone/sleep schedule so all of you are at least around at the same time.

Q: Can I join multiple teams/games? 

 I don't see why not. Voting will be on the game submissions and not the participants, so you'll technically increase your chance of being on a winning team if you offer your talents to multiple games. Just keep in mind that of course means extra work, and this is all just for fun anyway, so no need to overexert yourself.

Q: I'm new to this. What can I use to make my game?

 You have lots of options for how to make a game. Even if you're a total beginner, game engines can make it super easy to make something playable and fun. Some of them don't even need you to write a line of code! Some popular engines include:

  • Unity - Good all-purpose all-around game development engine. Has a vast array of features for both 2D and 3D games, as well as a large community with plenty of resources and tutorials. Also exports to all sorts of platforms and systems.
  • GameMaker - Popular with beginners or for simple 2D or pixel games. Offers a simpler programming language that's easy to grasp, and an even simpler drag-and-drop logic if you want to avoid writing code whatsoever.
  • Godot - A free and open source engine for 2D and 3D games. Includes a visual scripting system for beginner programmers, as well as a custom scripting language and C# Mono support for those who want to dive in.
  • RPG Maker - Simple to use and programming-lite engine to make RPG's or RPG-like games. Many different versions of it are available. Great if you want a game with movement and dialogue but don't want to get all technical with code and stuff. Popular choice for story-heavy games.
  • Ren'Py - Popular engine for creating visual novels. Uses easy-to-learn scripting so you can create interactive stories. Similar to RPG maker in ease-of-use, except this one creates visual novels. Another popular choice for story-heavy and art-heavy games.
  • Twine - A free tool for creating interactive, nonlinear stories, which are perfectly suitable for a jam like this! Great if you want to focus strongly on writing or player choices without having to worry about assets.
  • Touhou Danmakufu - Relatively easy-to-use danmaku game maker using a custom scripting language. Basically only used for creating games that play just like the main Touhou games.
  • Unreal Engine - Very powerful and graphically capable engine that offers a visual schematic-based programming method in addition to C++. Often used to make 3D and/or networked games that are good-looking.

If you want to use an engine such as these, I recommend you look up some tutorials and get some practice in with them before the jam starts. Just enough so that you know the basics, and once the jam starts you can jump right into it.

Does my game have to follow the theme? Your game doesn't exactly need to involve the theme to be eligible, but it's highly recommended for the sake of the sport. There will be a category during voting for best use of theme. Not only that, but the theme is often a diving board for brainstorming ideas at the start of the jam. Since there are so many ideas and so many things you can make in a game, it's nice to have an idea to start with. Restriction breeds creativity!

Just three days to make a game? Any advice on how to manage this? It may seem daunting, but if you manage your time and plans well enough you can make something super fun! Here's our take:

Our most important bit of advice is not to rely on making a giant, comprehensive game. For a game jam, you should focus on what the core mechanic/point is of what you're trying to make, and make that as good as you can, expanding upon it once you're satisfied with it.

Don't worry about perfecting every little thing either. If you spend half the jam time polishing a single aspect of your game, you'll likely end up not being able to reach the full potential you imagined before the deadline. Also don't be afraid to change things up midway through. You may find out one of your game mechanics is way more fun than you thought, so why not focus on that instead? Just make sure you have the time remaining to change things up.

Losing out on some sleep is common in game jams, but know that it comes at a price. If you pull an all-nighter the night before the deadline, you could very easily run out of energy before your game is ready to be submitted, so be careful. Also take breaks if you're feeling out of it. If you don't take care of yourself, you'll likely have trouble taking care of your game and delivering for your team.

And most importantly: experiment, learn things, take it easy, and have fun!