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Anyone including newbies and professional game developers can participate, without any restrictions. Moreover, the game can be simple or complex, depending upon your preference.
The Game Off team recommends using open source game engines, libraries, and tools but you can make use of any technology you want, as long as it is reliable. Also, both team and solo participation are acceptable. In fact, you can also make multiple submissions.
The theme for the game off last year was “throwback”. There were over 200 games created including old-school LCD games, retro flight simulators, squirrel-infested platformers, etc. This year’s theme will be announced on Thursday, November 1st, at 13:37 pm.
Last year Game off’s overall winner and the one that was voted best gameplay was a game called Daemon vs. Demon. This game included a hero that was supposed to slay rogue demons to continue remaining in the world of the living. This game was built by a user named Securas from Japan, with the open source Godot game engine. There were other categories such as best audio, best theme interpretation, best graphics, etc, for which winners were picked.
To participate in Game Off, it is necessary for you to have a GitHub account. Then, you can join the Game Off challenge on itch.io. You don’t need to have a separate itch.io account, you can simply log in with your GitHub account.
Once you’re done with creating an itch.io account, all you need to do is create a new repository to store the source code and other related assets. Just make sure that you push your changes to the game before December 1st.
“As always, we’ll highlight some of our favorites games on the GitHub Blog, and the world will get to enjoy (and maybe even contribute to or learn from) your creations”, mentions the GitHub team.
For more information, check out the official Game off announcement.