What is this contest about?

The Golden Cobra Challenge is a friendly contest open to anyone interested in writing and playing freeform larp. This is the second year. It runs from 5 to 30 October 2015.

Submissions close at the end of 30 October 2015.

What games were entered in 2015?

So many games! (Games in alpha order, with live links where permission was granted.) We salute all the Golden Cobra designers who have officially entered the Golden Cobra's Circle of Power!

Download the Golden Cobra 2015 Anthology of games. (Large file)

Who won awards in 2015?

These games were awarded Honorable Mentions and Judges Choice awards. (Will be announced 11am Friday, 6 November 2015, at the Golden Cobra panel at Metatopia, and the page will go live at noon.)

What is a golden cobra?

Only the baddest-ass snake in the jungle, which is something you should always aspire to be. Rules were announced on 5 October 2015.

The goal of the 2015 contest is to generate small, intense, personal games. Golden Cobras will be awarded in five categories:

What are the competition constraints?

In order to be considered for a Golden Cobra, your game must:
  1. Be playable from start to finish in two hours or less, by people who are not you.
  2. Playable by a fixed or variable but small number of participants, from zero to four.

What are the Rules for Entering?

  1. Be a new, unpublished freeform larp. It is neither a tabletop roleplaying game or a video game, although it may approach or incorporate either.
  2. Your name can only appear on one entry but teams are welcome.
  3. Submit your game by 30 October in .pdf format and in English to submissions@goldencobra.org. Parallel versions in other languages or other formats are encouraged.
  4. Present your game in a playable format. If it needs handouts, they must be included.
  5. Games playable in public will earn the warm regard of the judges but are not required.
  6. Games with zero players must abide by the contest rules.
  7. You retain all rights to your work but grant the judges permission to print out and play the game you submit, and for it to be included in a free anthology after the contest.

What is freeform?

What we call freeform larp occupies a middle space between tabletop and full-blown live action role playing. They come in all shapes and sizes, all along the spectrum and keep incorporating new things as they come along. As a rule of thumb if there are simple, clever game mechanics but you have to stand up and move around at some point, it's probably freeform larp! There's more discussion in the FAQ, but our definitions are pretty loose.

What happens next?

The judges will announce and run the winning games at Metatopia, 5-8 November 2015. The winners get bragging rights and everyone gets a new game they designed - and admission into the Golden Cobra’s Circle of Power!

So who won in 2014?

You can read about the winners and honorable mentions here.

Can I read any of the games?

Sure! Games from 2014 that the designers want to share with the public are here.

Download the Golden Cobra 2014 Anthology of games. (Large file)

Can I get some help?

Yes! If you would like to be put in touch with a more experienced designer or a peer for advice and mentorship, write to help@goldencobra.org. The judges will try to connect you with someone. If you would like to be a mentor, let us know! We'll probably ask you to even if you don't.

Can I spread the word?

Please do! Here's a .pdf flyer.

Who are the judges?

J Li, Whitney “Strix“ Beltrán, Jason Morningstar and Evan Torner. Assisted by Judge Emeritus Emily Care Boss and others.

I have more questions!

Check out the FAQ!