A new Tokyo Game Show 2008 project .
Call for participation in the SENSE OF WONDER NIGHT 2008 event

“Tonight, games that offer a brand new experience will be born!”

Now inviting the general public to submit games that are packed with completely new ideas
Developers whose games pass screening will give game presentations in front of game-related people
from both Japan and overseas

July 7, 2008
Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association
Nikkei Business Publications, Inc.

The Tokyo Game Show 2008 [Show period: Thursday, October 9 to Sunday, October 12, 2008; Location: Makuhari Messe (Mihama-ku, Chiba City)], an event organized by the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (CESA, Chairman: Yoichi Wada; Location: Nishi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo) in cooperation with Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. (President: Yasuo Hirata, Location: Shirokane, Minato-ku, Tokyo), will hold a new contest called SENSE OF WONDER NIGHT 2008 (“SOWN 2008”), in cooperation with the International Game Developers Association, Japan Chapter (IGDA Japan, Representative: Kiyoshi Shin). SOWN 2008 will invite games with unique ideas and offer an opportunity for presentation to the games selected through screening.

SOWN 2008, a new project to be held for the first time this year at the Tokyo Game Show, is a contest to discover people seeking for new and broader possibilities of games and let them introduce the games that they create widely to the general public. The qualification requirements are mainly as follows.
1,Games with a game design and/or idea that is experimental and creative, and that cannot be described as conventional or traditional.
2,Games that can give people a “sense of wonder” – a feeling that something will change in their world - and make them gasp at the moment they lay eyes on the games or hear the game concepts.
3,Games that are novel only in the setting or characters or games consisting merely of a combination of existing genres are not eligible for this contest.

The SOWN 2008 office began accepting entries on June 23. The deadline for entries is August 31 (Sunday). The contest is open to everyone, regardless of professional or amateur status, nationality, and whether the entry is submitted by an individual or a corporate body. All the entries received will be judged impartially, whether it is a commercial work or a doujin (fan-made) game.

Developers of the games that have passed the screening will each have an opportunity to make a presentation of his or her game in front of the game industry-related people from both Japan and overseas at the International Party held on the second day of the Tokyo Game Show. The party will not only give the developers an opportunity to introduce their games to a wider range of people but also serve as an occasion for matching.

Please refer to the attachment and to the SOWN 2008 official website for further details.

Event Outline

Organizers Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (CESA)/ Nikkei Business Publications, Inc.
In cooperation with International Game Developers Association, Japan Chapter (IGDA Japan)
Supported by Related corporations (planned)
  • ・To introduce games with a game design and ideas that are experimental and creative, and that cannot be called conventional or traditional
  • ・To heighten awareness of the importance of creating a game that astonishes people the moment they see it or hear the game concept, and that gives people a “sense of wonder,” a sense that something will change in their world, and to revitalize the game industry with the selected games.
  • ・To offer people creating experimental games opportunities for the future
  • ・To create new domains in game design
Contest entry period June 23 (Monday) to August 31 (Sunday), 2008

Both dates are Japan time

How to enter Submit your entry through the SOWN 2008 official website
Entry qualifications The contest is open to anyone, regardless of nationality, age or occupation (students and game creators can enter, too)
Selection Up to ten game ideas will be selected by the screening committee for presentation
Screening committee members:
Keita Takahashi (NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc.)
Kenji Sugiuchi (Enterbrain, Inc.)
Takashi Katayama (VerX, Inc.)
Kiyoshi Shin (IGDA Japan)

As of June 23; listed in no particular order

Announcement of results September 16, 2008 (Tuesday) (planned)
Contestants passing the screening will be notified directly.
Selection benefits 1,Complimentary Tokyo Game Show 2008 Business Day ticket and TGS Forum ticket

The transportation costs to and from the Tokyo Game Show venue, accommodation costs and so forth are to be borne by the contestant.

2,Presentation of the game to game industry-related people from both Japan and overseas
・Length of presentation: 15 minutes
・Consecutive interpretation into Japanese and English
・Video clips of each presentation will be uploaded to the official website
Entry enquiries
Contest entry particulars required
  1. Name of the contest entrant (in the case of a team, the team name the representative’s name) and affiliation (company name, name of the group, etc.) and nationality
  2. Contact email address and telephone number
  3. Name of the submitted game
  4. Three screen shots of the game
  5. The current degree of completion and the estimated degree of completion when the Tokyo Game Show 2008 opens
  6. Description of the game
    • Game content (within 400 words in English)
    • The element that creates a new game experience (Within 30 words in English)
    • The innovativeness of the game experience = what is new (no restriction on description length)
  7. Game-related URLs
    • The URL of the website on which information related to the game is publicized
    • The URL of the website to which game clips, teasers etc. have been uploaded for public viewing
    • The URL of the download site
  8. Equipment required for the presentation
    • Please note
    • There may be cases where we will not be able to provide a computer that meets the contestant’s desired specifications.
    • We will not be able to provide equipment for developing game consoles or other similar equipment.
    • Contestant wishing to bring in his / her own equipment are asked to provide the following information: the name of the manufacturer, the product name, the model number, the OS and the name of the application software.
Target games Any genre, platform, language, degree of completion and game announcement/release status (already announced/not yet announced, pre-release/already released)
However, the following conditions apply.
  • ・If the submitted demonstration images or game content contain forms of expression that are prohibited by the code of ethics established by the Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO), that game will not be considered for selection.
  • ・A proper license (or licenses) must have been obtained for the music and images used in the submitted demonstration images and game content.
  • ・The game must fall into one of the criteria 1-5 described below.
  1. game realizing an innovative user interface
    • A game that employs features such as natural language processing, image recognition or gesture control to present a new kind of experience
  2. A game that is created through an automatic generation process
    • A game that creates a world where the game play or the environment in which the users are playing is changed dramatically according to selections made by the players
  3. A game with an interactive story-telling concept
    • A game that presents a story experience in a new way and that has the potential of developing into a tool to create a totally new story
  4. A game that has emerging elements
    • A game that creates a new form of game play by skillfully incorporating the physical system into the game play elements and by combining the AIs
  5. A “terrific!” game, even though the reasons are not immediately clear
    • A game that at any rate gives a strong impression that “this is terrific” as soon as you see it
<Types of games that will not meet the selection criteria>
  1. Games where only the peripheral elements are interesting. A game whose appeal lies in only one of the elements comprising the game (such as the game’s world view, background setting, situation, character design, graphics, story and audio).
  2. A new genre created by the rehashing and combination of already existing genres. However, a genre that creates a truly new game experience will be considered for selection.
  3. Games whose appeal lies in targeting a specific demographic.
  4. Games whose appeal lies in a purely technological innovation, experimental business model or distribution mechanism that has no effect on game play itself. Such games will not be completely excluded from the screening process, but the game must clearly show that it is capable of directly and definitely changing the game experience.

The above criteria are somewhat vague and not complete and show only rough guidelines. We are looking forward to receiving entries of games that go beyond the scope of these criteria.