3 weeks to make an awesome Minetest game from scratch based on a theme. What will you make?

Theme: "Unexpected"
Target Minetest version: 5.8.0


Date Event
December 1, 2023 @ 00:00 UTC Theme announcement, development begins
December 21, 2023 @ 23:59 UTC Development ends, rating begins
December 30, 2023 @ 23:59 UTC Rating ends
January, 2024 Results tallied and announced


  • Submit games to ContentDB using the Jam / Game 2023 tag (must comply with ContentDB policies)
  • All gameplay and code must be created during the development timeframe, aside from libraries
  • Freely-licensed media from third-parties or AI is allowed if documented properly
  • Existing games may not be used as a base (properly-attributed code/media may be borrowed, of course)
  • Groups/teams may participate (all member usernames must be included in the Maintainers ContentDB field)
  • Participants may have multiple submissions
  • Games must be able to run on the latest version of Minetest (5.8.0, if released in November)
  • Game mods should use the gamename_modname convention (excluding third-party libraries, which must follow the Right to a Name policy)


This year, scoring is entirely community-driven! Using an interface on this website, anyone with a ContentDB account may log in to participate. This will allow everyone to have a chance to make a game and cast their vote.


Each reviewer will be presented with a randomly sorted list of all submissions to sort (from favorite to least-favorite). The average rank of each package (after automatic penalties) determines its final score.

Rankings from members who have received 10 or more total "helpful review" points on ContentDB (or have the Editor rank or higher) will have an added 10% weight. These are sort of like "mini-judges".

Things to Consider

Gameplay How intuitive and enjoyable is the gameplay? Is it a fulfilling experience? Is there a clear goal?
Innovation What makes the game unique? Does it have emergent mechanics or clever gameplay?
Content Is the game well-polished or packed with stuff to do? Is the art and sound consistent and cohesive?
Theme How well does the game utilize the theme(s)? Did it apply the theme(s) in a clever way?


Penalties Reduces final score by 20% (additive)
Complex Installation tag Game should not require external libraries or mod trust.
No git repository Game should use proper source control.
Non-free media or license Game should use completely free assets and licenses.

For more details, please review the planning document.


$150 (1st), $100 (2nd), and $50 (3rd)

Distributed via PayPal*. Teams will recieve an even split of their prize per-member.

3 months (1st), 2 months (2nd), and 1 month (3rd) of free Minetest hosting from Pine Hosting

Winners will recieve a code which they can choose to use or pass to someone else.

Promotion on the front page of ContentDB


*By participating and/or contributing, you understand and accept that all involved funds will be aggregated and distributed by a private third-party (GreenXenith) through a proprietary third-party service (PayPal) to you (the contestant) or the recipient of your choice (e.g. a charity or foundation) at the complete discretion of the private handler (GreenXenith).