Last year, visual novel developers Carrogath and XenobladeKat hosted Yuri Game Jam from September 1, 2015 to October 31, 2015. Their premise was simple enough: in two months, develop a game about two or more women in a relationship with one another. The jam was a major success, with over 40 entries submitted to the Yuri Game Jam itch.io page, featuring everything from dating sims to platformers to top-down beat ‘em ups about women and their girlfriends.
Yuri Game Jam struck a cord in the gaming community, and it was clear early on that there was a real hunger for games about queer relationships. It also showed that stories about queer women could come from any genre: be it slice-of-life or romance, science-fiction or fantasy—any and every setting is perfect for exploring queer relationships in gaming.
But Carrogath and XenobladeKat’s game jam wasn’t just popular with gamers, either. It was also popular with queer women.
You see, representation is important in the video game industry. As LGBTQIA+ players, we want to be able to log into Steam, PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, or the Nintendo eShop and know that there are games available that feature us as main characters. Being able to look in the mirror and see yourself is a very powerful thing, and video games lend themselves well to building representation. So it makes perfect sense that Yuri Game Jam was so successful among women who identify as LGBTQIA+. The jam gave us a voice in the gaming industry.
As queer gamers, we want to see ourselves in the games we play. So why not make a few games of our own? This is the basic premise behind FemHype’s upcoming game jam: Sugar, Sweets, & Jam.
The rules are simple enough, really. In three months, participants have to create a game that features two things: a queer relationship of some sort, and sweets. Whether it’s a pair of gumdrop girlfriends going out on an ice cream float date, or a curious case of a missing cookie platter among a group of four boyfriends, Sugar, Sweets, & Jam will be all about LGBTQIA+ characters spending time with one another and enjoying sugary foods. As long as it’s sweet, and as long as it’s queer, it belongs here!
Why sweets, you might ask? Well, queer life can be difficult. Sometimes, it can be downright scary or sad. It’s easy to focus on the hardships and struggles of everyday life when you’re LGBTQIA+, to the point where we only talk about the negatives. But sweets are a little different. They’re delicious, mouth-watering, delectable, and downright adorable. More importantly, they’re all about treating yourself, and enjoying life around you, too.
You see, we chose sweets because we wanted our developers and players to focus on something positive—not just in game development, but in everyday life. And there’s nothing to brighten a day like a warm cup of hot chocolate, a peppermint sundae, or a box of cupcakes. Queer life can have its sad moments, sure, but it’s also something to be proud of—so it’s important to celebrate it through something sweet!
So, are you interested in submitting to Sugar, Sweets, & Jam’s upcoming itch.io page? That’s excellent! There’s a few guidelines of course, but they’re simple enough:
Anyway, that’s all for now! The start of Sugar, Sweets, & Jam is rapidly approaching, and we can’t wait to see what you cook up in the coming months ahead. Keep an eye out on FemHype’s Tumblr and Twitter for more updates—there’s still more info to come in the weeks ahead—and if you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com or Jillian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Otherwise, here’s to the start of an exciting and productive game jam!