From April 30 to June 30 this year, #OtomeJam returns. This indie developer project celebrates the wonderful world of Otome games and the people who create them. Started by Akua, the solo head of Demon’s Decoy, #OtomeJam is a two-month period where indie devs create fun and fresh new Otome games.
For those unaware, an Otome game is a visual novel with a female protagonist. Her main goal is to romance one or more male (and sometimes also nonbinary and female) love interests throughout the game. Some popular Otome games include Mystic Messenger, Hatoful Boyfriend, and Collar x Malice.
#OtomeJam takes obvious inspiration from other timed artistic challenges, such as NaNoWriMo — the “National Novel Writing Month” challenge for authors. However, Akua takes great care in making a point that indie developers can also submit demos, betas, and episodic entries. This is done to avoid creators burning themselves trying to create an entire game in such a short time span.
Over the past two years, more than 80 submissions have made their way to the #OtomeJam submissions. The project has helped inspire new artists, push creators through a slump, connect people with fellow Otome developers, and create a supportive community out of love for these video game romances.
As of the time of this writing, 277 people have joined #OtomeJam, more participants than ever. Indie developers and creators can still join until the end of June. When joining #OtomeJam, you can also participate in developer-friendly Discord communities linked to the project. #OtomeJam is all about encouraging people to connect and create. The project even hosted meet and greets in April to help people form teams for larger projects. Collaboration is welcome and encouraged.
Press Space to Jump Editorial Lead and friend of Game Sandwich, Kristi Jimenez, is also participating. She’s working on an #OtomeJam game called Candied Hearts with SummerOrigins, LegendEx Games, and Oona the Otome Fairy.
We’re excited to see what other beautiful, fun, and romantic games will come out of #OtomeJam this year.
If you prefer your visual novel romances without a female lead or male love interests, check out #OtomeJam’s sister project, Josei Jam.