Rules for Participation

Main Entries

Previously accepted submissions do not always reflect the current submission policies.

Main entries are songs entered into the month's competition, which will be ranked at the end of the competition based on the voting results.

  1. Main entries must be a cover, arrangement, or other reworking of one or more songs from any video game(s).
    • Unless specified in a particular month's conditions, you can't cover songs that were used in video games but written for other media (e.g. the iconic Star Wars theme, or the original Michael Jackson songs in Moonwalker).
      • Exception: Tetris, whose soundtrack uses Russian folk music, is much more widely recognizable as video game music. Main entries may be reworkings of Tetris songs.
  2. Each month has a theme; all songs must fit that theme.
  3. The main instrument of each song must be "played live", meaning that it must be a real guitar, real keyboard, real trombone, or other real instrument that you're actually playing.
    • Multiple takes that are edited together into an entry are allowed, as long as the edits do not drastically alter the recorded performance.
    • An instrument that is sequenced in a software synthesizer is only eligible if a MIDI controller keyboard is played live, and the output is not quantized or altered, in agreement with the bullet point above.
  4. Main entries must be submitted in mp3 format, and have a duration of at least two minutes in length.
    • Silence at the beginning or end of a track, or extended silence in the middle of a track, will not count toward reaching the length requirement.
  5. Main entries will be presented anonymously at the end of the month and tagged as "Anonymous DoD Contestant". Please do not compromise your anonymity in any way, and only submit songs that you've never released to the public.
  6. All songs must either be submitted by the artist or by someone who has permission from the artist. Please include the following information with your submission:
    • Artist(s): The name that the artist wishes to be identified by.
    • Game(s): The games that the entry is covering songs from.
    • Title: The title of the arrangement.
      • Note: Anything in particularly bad taste (such as racial slurs) will be altered.
  7. Optionally, you may also include the following information:
    • Text of the song's lyrics, if the song has them.
    • Names of the songs from the game's soundtrack.
    • Locations, stages, or scenarios in the game where the songs are used.
    • Which instruments in the song were played live and which were programmed/sequenced.
  8. Songs are due on the due date and time listed on the Main Page in the "Submission Deadline" section.
  9. You may not be the primary arranger and performer on more than one main entry per month.
    • You may, however, contribute to one main entry by other person, in addition to your own song. ("Contribute" meaning play an instrument on someone else's song, mix it, do a cameo solo, etc.)
  10. Use of generative A.I. vocals or voice filters that attempt to impersonate someone are not allowed on main entries.

Alternate Entries

Alternate entries are released at the same time as main entries, but are not included in the competition entries, voting, or results. Alternate entries are subject to the same rules as Main Entries, with the following alterations:

  1. Unlike main entries, alternate entries may be songs that were written for other media but used in video games.
    • Exceptions:
    • Licensed soundtracks for music and rhythm games such as Rock Band, Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero, etc.
    • Licensed soundtracks for games such as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Need For Speed, Madden '19, etc.
    • You may not use any of the above songs.
  2. Alternate entries have a minimum duration of thirty seconds in length.
  3. Alternate entries may be presented anonymously or with the artist name attached. If you do not express a preference, the song will be presented anonymously.
    • While they do not have to be anonymous, your alternate entries should still be previously unreleased.
  4. You may submit up to five alternate entries, whether you're submitting any main entries.
  5. If a song is submitted as a main entry but only qualifies to be an alternate entry, it will be presented as an alternate entry.


The winner is determined by the highest score calculated from the submitted votes.

  1. Voting is open to everyone.
  2. Voting is automated throughour voting app, which is accessible when the current duel's entries are presented.Simply score each song from "Incredible" to "Terrible" using the sliders.
    • The app produces a vote based on the placement of the slider; for example, if you place the slider between "Average" and "Above Average", it may say that you gave the song "Average +0.38." The combination of the word score and the numerical adjustment is how the votes are tallied and averaged to produce the results.
    • If you submitted a song as a main entry, please check the box labeled "My Song" next to your entry when voting. Failure to follow this rule may result in rejection of your votes from the final results.
  3. After scoring each song, copy the text in the text field below the voting app and mail it to
  4. Votes are due by the time listed on the Voting Deadline section of the main page.

Contact Info for Submission, Voting, and All Other Concerns

To submit a song or vote:

  1. Email
    • Songs may be included as an attachment or as a link in the body of the email. If you do not have a web host, please use a free service such as Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.

Listening Parties

Listening parties take place on our Twitch channel allowing artists and fans to listen and discuss the songs in real time.

  1. All entries are played live on stream.
  2. Listening parties start with the release of the month's songs unless otherwise noted.
  3. The listening parties are generally casual and often go off-topic, but anything disruptive (like "spamming", entering too much text too fast) might result in you being removed from the stream chat. Repeated offenses may result in you being barred from entry.
  4. For continued discussion of Dwelling of Duels when listening parties are not taking place, please join our Discord server.

General Disclaimer

Any activity which disrupts the contest, website, forums / discussions, IRC channel, or any other aspect of Dwelling of Duels may result in disqualification of your entry, rejection of future entries, rejection of votes, or other measures. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Compromising someone else's anonymity by revealing that they created an entry when this information is not available publicly.
  • "Ballot Stuffing" by asking another person or using multiple email addresses to vote unfairly in your favor.