The Golden Cobra Recoils and Strikes Again!

The infamous Golden Cobra Design challenge is upon us once again, and just like last year we are going to help you get your game ready for submission! All submitted games will be accepted into the collection – this is an ideal opportunity to break into analog game design! In case you don’t remember, many of the submissions from our community were from first-time game designers, and one of them took home a coveted Golden Cobra Award. You can do this!

First things first: The Golden Cobra Challenge is a friendly contest open to anyone interested in writing and playing freeform larp. The challenge runs from 5 September to 5 October 2016. The goal of the 2016 contest is to generate elegant, expansive, uplifting games. Golden Cobras will be awarded in X categories:


  • Best use of somatic elements
  • Most culturally responsible design
  • Best use of magical realism
  • Funniest
  • Most Convention Ready


And suggest the following optional ingredients:


  • dinosaurs
  • ghosts
  • parasites
  • stardust


Please

All Game Garden events in September are going to be focused on Golden Cobra entries, which means we are going to mix up the usual schedule a bit. We also have a series of deadlines to help keep everybody on track and break up the design process into manageable stages. Finally, we have staff who will be helping with writing and layout to give your game polish (if you desire assistance with those tasks). Submissions are required to fit on both sides of a single A4 page at point 8 font size and must be playable with zero or minimal prep. You can go solo or work in teams, but each participant can only be a part of one submission.

Here’s the schedule:

9/6: Seek Commitments

9/9: Online Brainstorming

We collect concepts for brainstorming on slack (

9/12: Event: Golden Cobra’s Clever Quiver

Brainstorming discussion groups and concept outlining!

TaborSpace, 6:30pm

919: Deadline: First Draft Due

This is when you can get feedback on the design of your game! Post to Slack.

9/26: Event: Golden Cobra’s Constructive Consortium

Playtesting – we can do hour long plays of these games!

TBD, 7pm

10/3: Deadline: Second Draft Due and…

         Event: Cobra Colocation Collective

Shared workspace – finish up those last details!

TBD, 7pm

10/5: Deadline: Submit!

In English, as a pdf, to

Draft submission and discussions will take place at Slack is easy to set-up and use on all kinds of devices!

These deadlines are here to help you: there are no consequences for missing a deadline (except the last one!). But, if you are going to miss a deadline, you tell us by giving us a drawing of a mongoose! Grab some scratch paper or fire up MS Paint and give us a mongoose to remember. We’ll make a collage of your beautiful mongooses once the contest is over!

Committing to this process means:

  • You are going to believe in yourself and in your game.
  • You are going to make your best effort to see your game through.
  • You are going to think critically and honestly about the themes of your game.
  • You are going to ask for help and say what you need.
  • You are going to share your brainpower with other participants so we all make better games.
  • You are going to draw awesome (if ugly) mongooses if you miss a deadline.

And in return you will get:

  • The collective brainpower of several creative people.
  • A whole bunch of people who believe in you and your creativity.
  • Assistance from others when you need it.
  • A finished game that will always be yours.
  • Proof that you can make an awesome game.
  • Contact with the wider game design community.
  • Recognition as a published game designer.

But it doesn’t mean:

  • That you can’t take a step back if that’s what you need.
  • That you aren’t awesome if you don’t finish.

Ready to get started? Got questions? Write We will send you an invite to Slack, so write from or include your preferred email address so you stay in the loop!

And let’s not forget that Games to Gather and IGDN are co-sponsoring a scholarship to send a member of the Games to Gather community to Metatopia! It could be you, and this could be your game! More on this very soon.

Last year we surprised the committee by submitting 8 games – more than double any other single design community. Let do it again this year – the Cobra is calling! Hssssssssss!

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