Introducing the Famicase and A Game By Its Cover jam

Famicase A Game By Its Cover

Famicase is an online art exhibition hosted by Super Meteor, with the purpose of creating cartridge labels for Famicom games that don’t exist.

More than 250 different cartridge labels were made for the 2023 edition, all coupled with a short paragraph that speaks about the non-existent game present in the designed cartridge.

The Famicase art project is hosted annually during Japan’s golden week, and has been running since 2005, also present in a physical venue in Japan where visitants can see physical versions of the cartridges.

You can check out the online exhibition here, and view the entries from past years by changing the number on the URL.

The project is extremely exciting, as it gives artists the chance to work with the niche art form of video game cartridge labels, but it goes get you thinking: don’t you wish all these games could actually exist?

Well, that’s where the A Game By Its Cover jam comes in, to rectify this injustice.

Starting out in 2015, A Game By Its Cover has been running parallel to Famicase, tasking independent game developers with turning the fake cartridge labels into actual games.

The A Game By Its Cover jam is inspired by Famicase, but happens to allow any video game-less art to be turned into a game, as they say, there are no rules, only guidelines.

Despite being a game jam, A Game By Its Cover does not incentivize crunch or unhealthy practices, and expects developers to maintain a healthy state of body and mind while working under the jam’s deadline.

You can read a little more below:

A Game By Its Cover is an annual game jam about turning the fictional cartridge art of the My Famicase Exhibition into the real thing.

How to make a game by its cover in a clown dimension broken world:

Step 0: Make sure your mental and physical needs are met to the best of your ability.
Step 1: Make whatever you feel like as long as it’s loosely inspired by fictional game (cover) art.
Step 2: That’s it.

The current jam has been running from June 30 to August 13, 2023, meaning that in a few days we will have a batch of very creative indie games to play around with.

The 2022 edition of A Game By Its Cover had 76 entries, and produced some fantastic titles; some of the highlights from 2022 are:

The A Game By Its Cover project is a fantastic way to make the Famicase exhibition so much more engaging, combining the work of talented artists with the work of talented developers to deliver amazing indie titles.

You can check out the 2023 edition of A Game By Its Cover here, and while it may be a tad too late to join, it is never too late to enjoy the fantastic titles that will come out of it.

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Fan of skeletons, plays too many video games, MMO addict, soul-like and character action enthusiast.

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