How To Submit Your CUDO Plays Game Jam Game

Once you have an account and have joined the game jam, adding a game submission is simple. Go to the game jam page ( and click on the big pink “Submit your project” button.

A pop-up will appear. If you have not added a game to your account before, you will be prompted to create a new project. Click on the “Upload game” button to continue.

This will bring you to the “Create new project” page. Fill out the different fields for your game. Most of them are pretty self-explanatory, but here’s some additional details.

Title : If your game doesn’t have a name yet, make one up and put it here!
Project URL: This will be the web address for your games page. Itch will recommend you one based on your title.
Short description or tagline: Something catchy about your game!
Classification: Select “Physical games”
Kind of project: Choose “Downloadable”
Cover image: Even if you’ve got no art skills, we hope you’ll create some kind of cover image for your game! Even a screenshot from Tabletop Simulator will do.

Release status: “Prototype” is probably the most correct selection for the games in this game jam.
Pricing: You’re free to charge for your game after the jam if you wish, but for now please set as “No payments” so that anyone will be able to download your rules and play your game!
Uploads: This is where you’ll upload your rules and optional board files.

Description: Write a description of your game! We recommend your description describe the primary mechanic and themes. What role the players take on in the game, and how many players can play. This section can include images as well!
Tags: Add any tags you’d like based on your own game.

Community: Set to include comments
Visibility & access: you can set your game to “public” after you’ve saved the page.

Go ahead and “Save & view page.” See how your game page looks and make changes as needed. Jump back in to edit your game page and set the “Visibility & access” to public. Save and return to the CUDO Plays Game Jam page. Now, when you click on the “Submit your project” button, it will give you the option to submit your saved game! Even after you submit, you can still edit and reupload your game files up until the end of the game jam on the night of Sept 27th.

CUDO Plays Game Jam Rules and FAQ

Game Jam Timeline

  • Start: August 25, 7:00pm CST (Components will be revealed at this time)
  • End: September 27, 11:59pm CST (submissions must be uploaded by this time)
  • Rating/feedback period ends October 01, 11:59pm CST

Rules For Game Jam Participants

  • Be respectful of other jam participants and playtesters
  • No hate speech, bigotry, harassment, or trolling in the game jam forum, the discord, or inside your game itself 
  • No spam (unless you’re planning to put it on rice and wrap it with seaweed). Self-promotion of your games is okay! But don’t ask people to buy sunglasses using your special referral code
  • Submitted games must be your own original creations
  • Members of the CUDO Plays Committee (organizers of the game jam) can create games, but are not eligible to win the raffle prize
  • Submissions that do not follow the constraints of the game jam will not be eligible to win the raffle prize

Accessing Virtual Components

Tabletop Simulator

Assuming that you have already installed Tabletop Simulator AND have not changed any of the defaults: Just drop this json file and this png file into the folder \Documents\My Games\Tabletop Simulator\Saves\ or /<Username>/Library/Tabletop Simulator/Saves/

If it’s going to overwrite a file… don’t do that. Just rename it the next thing sequentially.  

Run Tabletop Simulator. Select “create” at the start and “single player.” It should automatically open the Games menu and you should see “CUDO Plays Game Jam” under the Save and Load section.  

Upon opening the saved game it will ask you to import an image to the blank board. You may do that if you have an image ready, otherwise just click the X in the upper right of the import pop-up to skip past this and start using the components.


Tabletopia is free, but creating the jam components in it is somewhat more involved. Check this google doc for the walkthrough.

Frequently Asked Questions (General)

  • What is a game jam?
    • Game jams are design challenges where participants create games within a limited amount of time and under specific constraints. Some game jams give you only a few days or even hours to create a new game. For this jam participants will have a whole month to work, but are limited to a small selection of game components.
  • Can I participate if I live outside of Champaign-Urbana?
    • Yes! This is CUDO Plays’ first foray into digital design challenges and we’d love it if people take the opportunity to participate wherever they may be. However, physical component packs are only available for physical pickup in Champaign, and if you win the raffle and need the raffle prize shipped, you will have to pay for the shipping yourself.
  • I’ve never made a tabletop game before. Where do I start?
    • We can help on the CUDO Plays Discord, but also, you can take a look at the CUDO Plays Strategy Guide which walks through the board game design process, or if you need ideas, our Board Game Brainstorm is a fun exercise! Another good tip is to take a classic game you already like and start making big changes to it and see how those go. Before long you’ll have a whole new creation!
  • Can I make a game if I don’t make art?
    • Of course! In fact, because all of the games in this jam use the same components, this is a great event for people who don’t have the skills or time to devote to art. However, if you do want to create art, there’s plenty of space for it on the optional 8.5×11 inch board, or on the page you will create for your game submission. Also, you’re welcome to use art you find from other creators as long as you give them credit.
  • Can I form a team? Should I? How?
    • That’s a lot of questions! Yes, you can form a team if you’d like! Join our Discord ( to find team members, though you’re more than welcome to be a team of one if you choose.
  • Can I use game ideas I had before the jam started?
    • Sure! Provided you stay within the component parameters.
  • Can I submit multiple games to the game jam?
    • Sure! Though CUDO Plays always recommends that designers focus on one game, as it tends to turn out better. Also, submitting multiple games will not get you multiple chances to win the raffle pack.
  • Can my game have non-family-friendly themes?
    • Yes. However please do not create games solely for shock value.

Frequently Asked Questions (Components and Submissions)

  • Can I make an RPG?
    • Yup! We’d love to play an RPG using the components from this game jam. One word of caution though, our playtest events are only going to be 2-3 hours long, so for best results we recommend your RPG submission be catered towards shorter sessions and one-shots instead of campaigns.
  • Can my game include character sheets or score sheets?
    • Although you cannot add additional components to the game, each player can have their own physical or digital copy of the rules and can take notes there. There are other options for character stats tracking as well such as using cards or the single 8.5×11 paper. Get creative!
  • How long should my game play and how many players should it support?
    • There are no rules about game length or number of players. You can make a solo game or one that requires 18 people. You can make a game that takes 5 minutes or 5 days. However, it’s important to remember that player count and play time will affect how many playtests you’re able to secure. If your game is on the shorter side and is able to accept a wide range of player counts, you’re more likely to get more tests completed and get more meaningful feedback. Also important to note that the official CUDO Plays playtest nights only last 3 hours, so if your game is longer than that you might need to arrange more of your playtests yourself.
  • Can my game include a timer of some kind?
    • No, you cannot add a timer component as it is not part of the component pack. However, that doesn’t mean your game cannot have timed elements with players keeping time by counting or through some other means.
  • Can I cut or fold the 8.5×11 sheet of paper?
    • No, you can’t alter the sheet except by adding an image to one side of it. This is to ensure that both physical and digital players can easily play each game.
  • Can I change the colors of the components when playing in Tabletop Simulator or another virtual platform?
    • Yes, you can change colors of the cubes, tiles, and dice to fit your game’s theme, provided anyone with a physical game component pack would still be able to play your game. For instance, you could make all your tiles yellow in Tabletop Simulator, but you couldn’t change 2 tiles to yellow and 2 to red and make them different mechanically because everyone with a physical game pack has 3 tiles of one color and 1 of a different color. 
  • Can my players draw on the 8.5×11 paper board?
    • It’s reasonable to assume your players will have a writing utensil. It would be okay to write or draw on the board or in the rulebook as part of the game, but not on the cards or other components. It would not be reasonable to assume a player would have specific or multiple colors of writing utensil, so avoid writing rules including these.

Announcing the CUDO Plays Virtual Game Jam

CUDO Plays is happy to announce the first CUDO Plays Game Jam, beginning Tuesday August 25 to Sunday September 27! Full details will be announced during the CUDO Plays Virtual Kickoff , Tuesday August 25 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm!

What is a Game Jam? Game jams are competitions where participants create games within a limited amount of time and under specific constraints. The CUDO Plays Game Jam will be a virtual tabletop game jam – participants will create board games playable physically or virtually! Entries to the CUDO Plays Game Jam are limited to a predefined set of standard game components. CUDO Plays will supply entrants with virtual component templates, as well as packs of physical components for local participants to use in their designs. 

The CUDO Plays Game Jam will be hosted on, an open marketplace for independent creators! The Game Jam page can be found here.

CUDO Plays is partnering with Playful By Design – participants will have the chance to join a design chat at the Playful By Design Symposium right after the end of the Game Jam! Newcomers to CUDO Plays are welcome – no past involvement necessary. Be a part of CUDO Plays’ first foray into the world of digital board game jams!

CUDO Plays is a board game design competition founded in Champaign-Urbana, IL. You can sign up for information about future events at our website. And check out our parent organization CUDO, the Champaign Urbana Design Organization.

CUDO Plays Season 7 Award Winners

CUDO Plays, your local Board Game Design Competition, is excited to announce the award winners of its 7th season!

CUDO Plays brings together local gamers, designers, and makers to build unique, homemade tabletop games over the course of just six months. 12 new and original board games have been submitted for this season of the competition. One of the mottos of CUDO Plays is “finishing is winning” and we are proud of all of our teams this season for creating amazing games from scratch! At the end of each season, CUDO Plays gives out awards to highlight the games that truly excel in the following eight categories:

Indie Game Alliance Marketability Award

The Indie Game Alliance is a guild of independent tabletop game developers that have joined together to promote the latest and greatest indie games across the country! With their network of volunteers, the IGA offers a vast array of promotional assistance for game designers, from playtesting services to warehousing and sales. The Marketability award recognizes which game is most ready to make it to store shelves and generate broad appeal.

Runners Up: Hero High,, TOP TIP$

Winner: Biozone: Wild Planet

CU Adventures in Time and Space Visual Design Award

CU Adventures in Time and Space is the largest escape room facility in central Illinois, bringing you into immersive worlds filled with amazing levels of detail and intricate design! CATS brings their players into spooky cabins, cyberpunk alleys, and other settings highlighted with rich visual appeal.The Visual Design award recognizes the game whose appearance best enhances gameplay and storytelling.

Runners Up: FlipFrogs, Hero High

Winner: Upon A Hillside

The Game Crafter Craft Award

The Game Crafter is the world’s first print on demand game publishing service! With an easy-to-use system, TGC offers templates, instructions, videos, and proofing tools to help designers create a quality product. The Craft award is given to the game whose physical components show the highest quality and add to the game.

Runner Up: FlipFrogs, Railroaded

Winner: Upon A Hillside

Titan Games Innovation Award

Titan Games is a local game store that isn’t afraid to change things up and explore new ways to game! The owners work hard to keep up with the gaming industry and provide something fresh for everyone who visits. The Innovation award is given to the game that shows the most creative use of mechanics to create a new experience for the players.

Runners Up: FlipFrogs, Vehicular Arrangers

Winner: Upon A Hillside

Gopher Mafia Games Accessibility Award

Gopher Mafia Games is a local game store that understands gaming is for everyone, and strives to be a space for all gamers. They pride themselves on community outreach and their ability to bring new people into the gaming hobby. The Accessibility award is for the game that can be played by the widest audience and provide an engaging time for everyone who plays.

Runner Up:Hero High, TOP TIP$

Winner: Biozone: Wild Planet

Live Action Games Replay Value Award

Live Action Games is a home to all the games and toys that are a blast from the past, because they believe that fun never goes out of style.  From Gundam models to vintage Castle Greyskull to resold video games, Live Action Games is the place to go when you want to make your 10 year old self jealous. The Replay Value award is presented to the game that can provide a great experience even after many plays.

Runner Up: Biozone: Wild Planet, Hero High

Winner: Upon A Hillside

Dr. G’s BrainWorks Enrichment Award

Dr. G’s BrainWorks knows that gaming strengthens your brain and improves your health.  For everything from puzzles to science kits to high strategy board games, Dr. G’s is ready to help you give brains of all ages a workout. The Enrichment award is given to the game which best promotes thought about educational topics or real world issues.

Runner Up:, TOP TIP$

Winner:  Biozone

Elf Creek Games Theme Award

Elf Creek Games is a local game publisher that recognizes that when a game tells a strong enough story, everything falls into place.  Elf Creek Games has successfully published games like End of the Trail, Atlantis Rising, and Honey Buzz. The Theme award highlights a game whose narrative is told through every facet: rules, components, and overall play experience.

Runner Up: TOP TIP$, Upon A Hillside

Winner: The Glorious Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of San Martinez

CUDO Plays is brought to you each year with the support of local businesses! We will be inviting the public to play all 12 games from Season 7 when we kick off our eighth season in fall 2020!

For more information about CUDO Plays, please visit, or our facebook page

Also, check out to learn about our parent organization CUDO, the Champaign Urbana Design Organization.

Weekly Rollup: Mar 1st – Mar 7th

No events to recap this week, but lots coming up in March!


Upcoming Events

Marketing Workshop – Saturday, March 7th

Pixo Cafe @ 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Congratulations! You’ve designed a board game, it’s ready for the Final Exhibition and you can already taste the sweet victory of winning our categories. However, there is more in store for you and your board game! We’re going to walk you through a number of strategies to bring your beautiful creation to the masses. You’ll learn about how to deal with publishers, how to make sure the right people are hearing about your game and what to do if you want to take your game on to the national stage! Local marketing experts will run you through the do’s and don’ts of a successful marketing campaign, in preparation for giving your board game the absolute best chance of commercial success.  Facebook event


Beer & Board Games – Saturday, March 14th

Cafeteria & Company, Urbana @ 5:00pm – 8:00pm

CUDO Plays has joined forces with Cafeteria & Company to help them run their bi-monthly game nights. Come out to Cafe & Co. every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month to chill with some games, snacks, and beer/wine/coffee. Don’t miss the fun!  Facebook event


CUDO Plays January Game Night: Lucky Games – Monday, March 16th

Hyatt Place Champaign @ 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Take a break from your busy schedule and get to know your fellow game enthusiasts! CUDO Plays Game Night is open to everyone! For St. Patrick’s, our theme is “luck o’ the Irish.” Bring your luck-based games whether they’ve got dice, cards or some other randomizer, bring your games of chance and let’s see who comes out on top.


Grand Exhibition – Sunday, March 31st

Broadway Food Hall @ Noon – 7:00pm

The big event! All submitted board games will be showcased for the community to come and play. The award ceremony will also take place during the Grand Exhibition, where exceptional games will be recognized in eight different categories. This is an event to celebrate creativity and imagination in Champaign-Urbana; feel free to bring anyone you’d like, there’ll be games for all ages, tastes, and skill levels.  Facebook event


CUDO Plays Recommends

This week CUDO Plays recommends 5-Minute Dungeon.

This is a chaotic, co-­operative, real-­time card game in which players have only five minutes to escape the randomized dungeon. Communication and teamwork are critical to survival because there’s no time to form a carefully considered plan — and no predicting what dangers lie ahead.