Tobacco City. Time Machine!

three-day urban game festival promoted by Plovdiv 2019 - European Capital of Culture

After the first successful edition last year of the Urban Games Festival – Tobacco City. Inception, Plovdiv will be once again changed into an engaging playground! This year the urban games festival will take place under the motive Time Machine from 16th till 18th November 2018 in and around the Tobacco City area, as part of the social programme of Plovdiv2019 European Capital of Culture and as a continuation of the partnership with Matera 2019 Foundation thus enriching the urban games approach as a powerful strategy to improve, make alive and take back abandoned city areas. We want to continue the stared boost of developing a community of creative people that would explore this topic in the next years and to make it an important cornerstone of the 2019 cultural programme and the legacy of the European Capital of Culture initiative. With the success of last year's festival, Plovdiv 2019 Foundation has decided to open a call to European game designers that are interested in show-casing their games during the Festival. We will curate one game from Bulgaria, one from Italy and two open to all European designers. Games should use the theme "Time Machine" as creative input. The application deadline is Thursday 18th October at 12 (noon) CET.

The application is online at the following link - please read the full regulations before applying.

The full text of the OPEN CALL you can download HERE


During the festival, we will showcase 4 games from 16th - 18th November 2018: Friday evening, Saturday during the day, Saturday at night and Sunday during the day. The games should consider the theme "Time Machine". We would like you to think about transformation, (re)perception and appropriation of public spaces, when submitting your game. Please specify the size and type of playing area your game needs, the duration, the min and maximum number of participant, the needed explicit equipment or materials, which will not be provided by you.

The Area

The space where we will play will be the Tobacco City, an area of abandoned warehouses in the city center of Plovdiv.  The Tobacco warehouses in Plovdiv preserve a special history and potential. Although most of the warehouses are now abandoned, the buildings are not forgotten and the area still fascinates with its unique architecture. We will use the public space between the warehouses, and if necessary, some indoor spaces (in case of bad weather). There is also the possibility to use the festival base which is indoor - LINK. However we would like you to consider primarily public spaces. In case your game needs a larger playing area, please specify. Here is the link to the official website of the Tobacco City project: Images and maps of the area are available on the website and under request. The project “The Tobacco City” is part of the Cluster “Urban Dreams” in the project platform Transform of the programme of “Plovdiv 2019”. Transform means the re-thinking and re-cycling of forgotten and unused urban spaces, as well as new ways of perceiving them - LINK. We want to invite you to think about this when submitting your game!


As public we are expecting mostly families and young people. The proposed games should have room for this public and be able to make them play all in the time-span suggested.  We will try and curate a wide range of games and concepts in different scales and time frames, uses of technology, etc.

Designers’ Team Fee

The fee for the designers’ team is 700€ including game’s material (travel and accommodation are excluded). We can accommodate up to 2 people per team.

Travel Dates

15th/16th November - 19th November 2018. Flight to Sofia and Plovdiv airport and transfer to/from Plovdiv.

Application Deadline

Open call deadline: Thursday 18th October at 12 (noon). The Application Proposals should be submitted only in English language or if you prefer to do it in Bulgarian it should obligatory have an English translation appendix.  Announcement of results: 23rd October.


Games already play-tested (also in different cultural contexts) will be preferred. We will select one game from a designer with Bulgarian background, one from a designer of Italian background and two games are open to all applicants from all European backgrounds. Travel and accommodation will be covered by Plovdiv 2019 Foundation, meals are excluded. The selected designer must be able to produce an invoice based on the contract that will follow the selection, payment will be due in maximum 30 days after the end of the Festival (19 December 2018).

Selection Process

Plovdiv 2019 Foundation appoints general selector Philipp Ehmann with whom to evaluate the proposals based on the eligibility criteria and then select 4 games.


For more info, please write to

Application form link

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