What is this contest about?
The Golden Cobra Challenge is a friendly contest open to anyone interested in writing and playing freeform larp. See our FAQ
and read more
about the challenge
Golden Cobra Challenge 2020
Announcement: Awards were at 1:00pm EST, 1 November 2020, online at Metatopia 2020.
Find the games submitted in 2020 here and at the archives.
Find games receiving awards and honorable mention in 2020 here and at the archives.
Find games receiving awards and honorable mention in 2019 here and at the archives.
Wishing the best to all who may take part. Welcome to the Golden Cobra Circle of power and good luck with your game!
What is a golden cobra?
Only the baddest-ass snake in the jungle, which is something you should always aspire to be. Rules will be announced on Friday, 28 August 2020. All submissions are due by Sunday, 4 October 2020 at 11:59PM PS. Winners and Honorable mentions will be announced on 1 November 2020 at 1:00pm EST, during the online Metatopia 2020.
This year’s Golden Cobra asked ONLY for games suitable for playing in pandemic conditions! (online, epistolary, solo, etc). No (solely) multiplayer in-person games will be accepted regardless of distance or barriers involved.
In 2020, Golden Cobras was awarded in seven categories (plus honorable mentions):
- The Kieron Gillen Special Judges Choice Award
- Best Game that Transcends Distance / Brings Us Closer
- Games should make us feel connected - and that's more important now than ever. Awarded to the game that makes the players feel most connected despite the physical distance between them.
- Best Mechanic / Rules
- The most polished and innovative game through its mechanics and rules. The game that makes us rethink something about how LARPs work and that we can't wait to start hacking up for pieces
- Best Roles
- The game that most makes us feel excited based on player roles. These might be intricately designed interwoven character stories, or just an amazingly insightful way of making characters on the fly.
- Best first weird larp for people who have only played D&D so far
- We’re always surprised and excited to see how Golden Cobra games stretch our definitions of what a role-playing game can be about, or how you can play one. We’ve had games where you play as struggling K-pop performers, literal rocks, or a giant mess of larpers who are themselves pretending to be vampires. Weird stuff, right? But in a good way. We also recognize that many gamers, for one reason or another, have only gotten to play Dungeons & Dragons so far in their time in the hobby, though they might be curious what other kinds of games are out there. So this award category honors a game which makes someone who’s only experienced D&D so far (love it or hate it) feel welcome in this new context of weird fun stuff.
- Best use of Physical Mail
- Create a game that makes use of letters, postcards, packages, mixtapes, or anything else you can send via mail.
- Best New Tool
An added category inspired by a submission with new platform created for it.
Media Inspirations suggested by our Judges as optional ingredients:
What were the competition constraints?
In order to be considered for a Golden Cobra 2020, your game must adhere to the following:
- While there a=were no length requirements, judges only read the first four pages of submissions (four total sides of 8.5x11 or A4 paper).
- If your game comes in a form that doesn't involve pages, we will engage with it for at least fifteen minutes.
- The game must be playable with zero to minimal prep.
- The game must be safely playable in pandemic conditions (online, epistolary, solo, etc). No multiplayer in-person games will be accepted regardless of distance or barriers involved.
What were the Rules for Entering?
- Be a new, unpublished freeform larp. It is neither a board game or a video game. See the FAQ for more discussion about freeform larp.
- Present your game in a readable, playable format in a single file (pdf preferred).
- Submit only one game. Your name could appear on one entry but teams were welcome.
- You retain all rights to your work and ancillary material related to submissions, like play aids or commentary. These will by default be published under the name it was submitted under in the yearly free Golden Cobra Anthology (if one is created) and linked from this Website for the world to enjoy.
- The deadline for submission is 4 October 2020 at 11:59PM PST. To submit: fill out this form and email your game to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So who won in past years?
You can read about the winners and Honorable Mentions and Judges Choice Awards here
. Games from 2019 are posted here
What happened this year?
Judges read the games during September and October 2020. Award were announced in early November, and some may be run online. The winners got bragging rights and everyone got a new game they designed - and all get admission into the Golden Cobra’s Circle of Power!
Can I spread the word?
Please do! Find us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/goldencobra17
and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Golden-Cobra-Challenge-241492113182306/
Who were the judges?
Judges for 2020 are Andy Morales Coto, Anahita Dalmia, Clio Yun-su Davis, James Mendez Hodes, Jonaya Kemper, J Li, Hakan Seyalıoğlu, Jeeyon Shim and Kyra Sims. With special guest judge Kieron Gillen.
Who else did stuff?
The Golden Cobra working committee this year is Emily Care Boss, Banana Chan, Clio Yun-su Davis, James Mendez Hodes, J Li, Jason Morningstar, Hakan Seyalıoğlu, Evan Torner and Sara Williamson.
How did the Special Judges Choice Award Work?
The judges selected several finalist games for overall prize eligibility.
Our Special Judge, Kieron Gillen, reviewed the finalists and pick his favorite(s) from among them, then share a writeup of his selections.
I have more questions!
Check out the FAQ!
or email email@example.com.