2020 Game Demos for Social Justice Contest

Lonely Cryptid Media is seeking submissions for our 2020 Game Demos for Social Justice Contest. Any game demo made or published in 2020 that relates to the mission of Lonely Cryptid Media and/or working towards a more socially just world is eligible.

A visual representation of the contest information.

Demos should be approximately 10 minutes of play time or fewer.

We are interested in demos which explicitly deal with issues of social justice, use metaphor in respectful and thoughtful ways, recognize and combat inequality, and/or showcase the everyday lives and experiences of historically marginalized peoples. Your demo does not have to be “about” social justice, but it should work to further a more socially just world.

Considered in judging:

  • Playability and mechanics
  • Story, character, and writing
  • Attention to issues of social justice
  • The “look”: sound design, art, and other visuals
  • Future potential of the project

Because these are demos you do not need to have a finished product. For example, if your demo has only placeholder art and sounds but otherwise is attentive to issues of social justice then you will not be penalized. At minimum your demo should be playable and thoughtful.

Fee: $10, USD

Prize: First place: $200; second place: $100; third place: $50. The top demos, and up to two runners up, will also receive an interview on our blog, have their game demos spotlighted to our readership, and receive permission to use the contest name when marketing the game or yourself/your development team.

Contest Winners: We will announce the winners by April 1st, 2021. Please check this page for updates.

Type: Games should be playable on PC without needing to install an emulator or additional hardware.

Restrictions: Demos must have been created or published entirely in 2020. We do not accept demos for games created before 2020. If you had the idea or started planning before 2020 that’s fine, but the bulk of the work should have been done this year.

You may submit more than one demo, however you must pay the fee for each new demo you submit.

You may submit demos for long-form games that have already been completed. However, we will only judge the game based on the demo.

We only accept self-submissions of demos. Do not submit demos you (or your team) did not create. If you wish to submit a demo on behalf of someone else in order to cover their submission fee it’s probably better to just give the developer money directly and tell them about the contest.

Rights: You retain all rights to your game and its demo. We are not buying any rights to, or making any claims of ownership over, any of the materials submitted to this contest.

How to submit: Submissions are due January 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. GMT-12. (This is the last time zone, which means the contest closes when January 15th is over no matter where you are in the world.)

Submit to our Duosuma submission portal here.

You will need to submit a link to where we can download your game demo for free without needing a password. We recommend putting your demo in a Google Drive folder or uploading your demo to a site like itch.io. Please note: if we experience substantial difficulty downloading your demo we may have to give up on it. We’ll do our best to download and play all demos, but you should test the download on a few computers, and make sure it is not password protected, before sending us the link. Make sure your link remains active for the entirety of the reading period from January 15th-April 1st.

Do not email us game demos. Please only submit to our Duosuma submission portal. Before you pay the fee, make sure you have the link to your game demo ready to go.

If you experience any problems, or have questions, please email April Autumn at lonelycryptidmedia@gmail.com, subject: Game Demo Contest.