How to Upload and Submit a Game Jam Entry
So, you’ve finished making a game! You playtested it (…right?) and you think it’s good to go! Now it’s time to submit your game to the game jam—oh, wait, I have to make an itch.io account? Crap, there’s only 5 minutes left! I don’t have time for this! AHHHH! Don’t get caught unprepared—know what you need to do now!
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be an exact walkthrough of using the itch.io site, so unless a significant website design change happens at any point in the future, some steps in this article might look slightly different in reality than how they are described here. Please reference itch.io’s own help articles if you need to.
Literally right after you read this page, go create your itch.io account (if you don’t have one already). Play around with the site—practice clicking on the “submit” button for a game jam (whether or not it’s the latest Extra Credits one) and see what happens. Find out what your creator/project dashboard looks like and what information “upload new project” asks for. Maybe go play some other people’s games, or bookmark interesting ones you find in a collection for later. Customize your profile page. Do whatever you want! But, if a platform like Steam started running game jams, you probably wouldn’t wait to create an account until the last possible moment, right? So take a few minutes now to get acquainted with the itch.io marketplace (yes, people sell games for real money on here too!) if this is your first time using the website.
Navigate to the Extra Credits game jam page and click on the “join” button if you haven’t already. Joining just lets you get emails/notifications about the jam. You can always “un-join” a jam just as easily. Nobody’s going to come to your village and burninate you for not submitting a game.
Once the jam starts, you CAN submit a game as long as the timer is active. However, bear in mind that when you submit your game, has absolutely no bearing on how cool or interesting your game is. Unless you’re on a personal deadline to finish earlier than the actual deadline (due to your own personal schedule), don’t feel pressured to submit your game as early as possible. Take your time.
Use that “upload new project” button in your profile menu to test out uploading your finished game to the site. You can keep it in an unpublished state as long as you’d like, so you can test out what it’s like to download it and/or run it in your own web browser. (Often, jammers find that not all web browsers handle their game the exact same way. Even if you don’t have time to fix a browser compatibility issue, you can at least make a note of it on your game’s page by testing it in advance.)
When you are ready to submit the game to An Actual Game Jam:
Make sure you have uploaded the correct, final file you want to use. *NOTE: It is possible to submit a project to a jam, that does not have any attached or embedded files.
Set your project page to Released.
Go to the URL for the game jam you want to enter. Hit the “submit” button, which will appear only if you already hit the “join jam” button.
Select your project page from the drop-down menu that appears.
Fill out the short form that appears. This form is a little different for every Extra Credits game jam, but it generally just asks for things like: how did you interpret the theme? Do you have any content in your game that might not be appropriate for all ages? It might take you a few minutes at most to fill this out.
Submit the form, and you’re done!
What if you need to make changes?
You can always un-submit one of your projects from a game jam at any time, during and afterwards.
If the jam countdown timer is still ticking, you can make changes to the uploaded file(s) on your project page. We strongly recommend not making any changes to your file if there are less than 5 minutes left on the timer. Don’t risk deleting your file and not being able to upload a new one in time!
At any time during and after the jam timer has finished, you can make changes to your project page such as your written description, uploaded screenshots, genre tags, the colors and fonts on your page, etc.
After the jam timer has finished, you cannot make changes to your uploaded files until the “locked” period is over. We have a locked period on each of our jams that lasts for 2-3 weeks, so that enterprising scheming folks can’t attempt to “cheat” by working on their game continuously and publishing updates after the fact. Everyone gets the same amount of time to work on their game!
After the jam ends AND after the “locked” period ends: you are free to make edits and fixes and improvements as desired, but please upload it to the same project page as a secondary file clearly labeled differently than the version you made during just the game jam.
Other questions? Check out the Rules & FAQ page.