And We’re Off! Time To Get Started On This Year’s Public Domain Game Jam


from the gaming-like-it’s-1928 dept

Join our public domain game jam, Gaming Like It’s 1928! »

Happy new year, everyone — and happy public domain day! That’s right: today’s the day that works from 1928 exit copyright protection and become public domain in the US, and that means it’s time for the latest edition of our annual public domain game jam, Gaming Like It’s 1928! We’re calling on designers of all stripes and all levels of experience to put this year’s newly public domain works to use in digital and analog games.

Of course, the big news this year is that Mickey Mouse (in his earliest incarnation) is finally entering the public domain. We wrote about that a couple weeks ago, and included some useful advice on what that means for using Mickey in your work. But it’s not just the mouse that’s free to use today — there are books by Virginia Woolf and Evelyn Waugh, movies by Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, and songs like Mack The Knife and the score of Animal Crackers, plus an untold number of obscure and forgotten things just waiting to be found and resurrected. Copyright Lately and Duke both offer lists to get you started.

As usual, the jam is open to games of all types, whether analog (card games, board games, tabletop RPGs, LARPs…) or digital (anything that can be played in the browser), with the only requirement being that they make use of works from 1928 that have entered the public domain this year. Entries are due by the end of January, and we’ll be giving away prizes in six categories: Best Analog Game, Best Digital Game, Best Adaptation, Best Remix, Best Visuals, and Best Deep Cut. Head on over to the game jam page on Itch to read the full rules and sign up for the jam.

Don’t let a lack of game design or development experience hold you back from participating! Entries can be as simple as a few short rules for a roleplaying exercise, or a short interactive fiction created with an easy-to-use tool like Twine. Randy Lubin, our game design partner and one of the game jam judges, has also created an easy game creation platform called Story Synth and written a short guide on how anyone can use it to make a game in an hour.

If you’re not sure what kind of game to make, check out our spotlight posts about the winners of past game jams to see what’s possible. A few pages of rules is all it took to convey a quirky and esoteric LARP like Jason Morningstar’s Best Deep Cut winners The Obstruction Method and The Pigeon Wager; combine that with a painting and you’ve got David Harris’s Best Analog Game winners The 24th Kandinsky and Fish Magic, or Nora Katz’s Nude On A Yellow Sofa. Tools like Twine can be used creatively to achieve compelling games like Chloe Spears’s Best Remix winner 192X, and there are other tools that make it easy to create RPGs like Alex Blechman’s Best Digital Game winner You Are The Rats In The Walls, or visual novels like Azzyfree’s Best Remix winner Lucia. Prizes have also gone to the deck-building card game Legends of Charlemagne, the minimalist storytelling/board game The Wall Across The River, the strange abstract puzzle game Not A Fish, and so many more.

With a growing public domain, the possibilities are endless.

Join our public domain game jam, Gaming Like It’s 1928! »

Filed Under: game jam, games, gaming like it’s 1928

Las Vegas News Magazine

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