Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 (opens in new tab) might well and truly be in development hell these days. But there's still plenty more stories to tell in the neck-biting setting—and IP owner World of Darkness hopes a month will be long enough for you to make a convincing pitch for the series' next game.
Announced today and kicking off Halloween (October 31), Vampire Jam (opens in new tab) is a month-long Itch.io game jam inviting developers to make their own games set in the V:TM universe. Since it's being run by a major publisher there are some strict rules laid out on the jam page (no monetization allowed, no use of existing characters or branding), but otherwise entries are free to use whatever engine they like. Paradox has even compiled a bank of free assets to get you started.
The top three games will each earn monetary prizes ($1,000 for first) and an entire library of 5th Edition V:TM books. But the neatest reward is that the first-place team will get to collaborate with the World of Darkness team to make their game more official, launching it for free on Steam alongside the rest of the franchise.
The winner being released for free is why I'd hesitate to call this spec work. Rather, it simply seems like a neat way for budding developers to play around in an IP they'd otherwise not have access to under World of Darkness' usual fan-work agreement (opens in new tab). Horror may be huge on Itch right now, but few games are specifically vampire-themed—it'll be fun to pore through the entries once the jam finishes on November 30.