Original Japanese text written by. Ryuki Ishii
Translated by. Nick Mosier
Kadokawa has announced they are holding a short story contest with RPG Maker developers Gotcha Gotcha Games and are seeking stories that can be used as an outline for a game. Stories will be accepted between August 10 and October 2 (JST) through the Japanese web novel site Kakuyomu, and the winner will have their story turned into a game using software from Gotcha Gotcha Games’ Maker series.
Stories will be selected based on how they pull in the reader with their plot, the setting, the characters, the unique ideas, and if it would make for an interesting game.
There are two different categories with the first one having no restrictions on genre or theme and the second having a theme of “escaping.” The contest page prompts entrants for this category by asking, “What are they escaping from?” “How are they escaping?” and says they are waiting for submissions with unique ideas based around this theme. The short story submissions must also be 10,000 Japanese characters or less.
Please note that the contest is only accepting original stories written in Japanese by individuals. The prize for the main category is 300,000 yen (roughly $2,160) and the prize for the “Escaping” category is 100,000 yen (roughly $720).
The Maker series is a game development tool that has over 1 million users worldwide. It allows users to make games with no programming knowledge, and since 1990’s Dante: RPG Construction Tool, has continued to be released across both PC and game consoles for many years. The latest release RPG Maker Unite is scheduled to launch this year.
And with the releases of Pixel Game Maker MV and Visual Novel Maker, the Maker series has grown to cover a wide variety of genres. Perhaps because of this, the contest description says Gotcha Gotcha Games will use the Maker series to develop the game rather than RPG Maker. Maybe they plan on considering the appropriate game genre to fit the winning story and potentially using a tool besides RPG Maker.
Keep in mind that 10,000 Japanese characters is very short for a story. For reference, the article this translation is based on is 1,080 characters, so the limit is around 9 times the length of this article. While the low character count makes the barrier for entry lower, skill will surely be required to come up with something unique and cram it into such a small character limit.