The Golden Cobra Challenge: Calling On LARP Game Writers And Designers


For its second year, the Golden Cobra Challenge is once again opening a call once for submissions for live action role-playing (LARP) games.

LARP games are popular at conventions, but they are difficult to run because they typically feature long formats that require more than a handful of players. It's hard to gather so many players given how busy cons can get so the Golden Cobra Challenge was born, with the aim of generating playable games at large conventions where space and time are in short supply and will call for just between two and eight players.

For this year, however, a few changes were introduced to the Golden Cobra Challenge, including limiting players to zero to four. Specifically, the goal of the 2015 challenge is to come up with "small, intense, personal games." Golden Cobras will also be given out to games in five categories: Most Polished and Ready-to-Play; Game We're Most Excited About; Best Incorporation of Touch; Best Incorporation of Perspective of Unheard or Marginalized People or Groups; and Best Use of Themes/Techniques for Evoking Empathy.


Aside from being playable within two hours, all entries must be new and unpublished freeform LARP. Freeform is the middle ground between full-blown and tabletop LARPing. It means that it can come in all shapes and sizes, but at some point will have to feature mechanics that will require some amount of standing up and moving around.

The Golden Cobra Challenge is open to anyone. It will run until the end of the month, with submissions due on Oct. 30. Entries will be judged by game designers Evan Torner, Whitney "Strix" Beltran and Jason Morningstar. They will be assisted by Emily Care Boss and others.

Those looking for help to develop their games can get in touch with challenge organizers so they can be connected with a more experienced peer or designer for mentorship and advice. Those interested in becoming mentors are welcome and encouraged as well to contact the organizers, although it is likely that mentor-candidates have been contacted already.

Aside from bragging rights, winners will have their games played at Metatopia 2015, which will be held in November, and will gain admission to the Golden Cobra's Circle of Power.

Kam Abbott | Flickr

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