StepMix 2 Contest

StepMix 2 Song Contest

  • Create original StepMania songs
  • Submit them to us
  • Promote your works and web site
  • Win your share of $600 cash + prizes

Latest changes:

  • Submission limit increased to 5
  • Creative Commons Non-commerical licensed music allowed

Discuss @ StepMania Message Boards

(feel free to add links to discussion threads on other message boards)

Have a question that's not answered by this document? Ask on the StepMix message boards.

The deadline for StepMix 2 has officially passed. No new submissions will be considered for this round of StepMix.



StepMix 2 entries will be grouped into two brackets for judging purposes:

Bracket Start Submission Deadline
Bracket 1 October 8th 2006 Sunday, December 3rd 2006
Bracket 2 December 4th 2006 Sunday, January 14th 2007

If you submitted an entry for Bracket 1, you cannot submit the same entry for Bracket 2.

About the StepMania Complete CD-ROM

Proceeds from the sales of the StepMania Complete CD-ROMs go entirely toward the cash prizes of the StepMix Contests. If at any time the proceeds are larger than the prize obligations of the current or upcoming StepMix Contest, we will halt sales of the StepMania Complete CD-ROM.

Music requirements

Any music can be used in your StepMix entry as long as we must be allowed to distribute the song on the StepMania web site and on the StepMania Complete CD-ROM. This means that either:


  • You must have permission (either written or in email) from the music copyright owner (usually the musician) to use their music for StepMix and present to them the following statement:

"I am requesting permission to use your song __________ in my entry to the StepMix Song Contest. I would like to create game dance steps for your song, allow it to be posted on the StepMania web site (, and allow it to be used on the non-profit StepMania Complete CD-ROM ( which raises prize money for the StepMix contest. Full details are available at"

Other licenses may be permitted. If you have any questions about a song or license, pleaes post the question to the StepMix questions forum. Be sure to include a link to the song, the artist web page, and the full text of that license (if available).

Entry requirements

In addition to the music requirements above, entries must also meet the following requirements:

  • Any samples used in the music must be available under a license that allows the resulting song to be released under one of the above licenses.
  • Your song must be reasonably sync'd so that the beats match the music file.
  • All songs must have at least Easy, Medium, and Hard difficulties for dance-single steps type. Beginner and Challenge difficulties are not required, but are encouraged. dance-double, pump-single, or pump-double steps are not required, but are also encouraged.
  • All submissions must include background and banner graphics, in PNG format.
  • Music files must be in Ogg Vorbis or MP3 format.
  • The music sample rate must be at least 44.1khz. Music that is sampled from a lower rate up to a required sample rate will not be accepted.
  • The music bit rate must be at least 96kbs (160kbps is preferred). If a submitted music file has higher bit rate, we reserve the right to resample it down. Music that is converted from a lower bit rate up to a required bit rate will not be accepted.
  • All songs must be between 80 and 180 seconds long.
  • All submissions must be 5MB or less in total size.
  • Backgrounds must be 640x480 in dimension.
  • Banners must be either 256x80 (DDR style) or 418x164 (ITG style) in dimension. Do not use "rotated banners", and do not use transparency.
  • Backgrounds and banners must include the song title and musician name.
  • No backgrounds movies are allowed, but background animations are allowed as long as they fit within the 5MB size limit.
  • Lyrics are not required, but are encouraged.
  • The steps file must be in either .sm or .dwi format. It is best to choose one file or the other - including both is discouraged, but allowed.
  • Do not submit any unnecessary files (like .sm.old files).
  • There is no need to include CDTitles. A single, consistent CDTitle will be used for the whole pack.
  • Optional, but highly encouraged: The submitter agrees that if their entry wins a prize they will take a digital picture of themself and submit it for use in the table of winning entries.

Submission instructions

  • Make sure you have read all of the #Entry Requirements.
  • Export a .smzip of your song (tutorial), or create a zip that includes all of the song files.
  • Fill out the StepMix Contest submission form to submit your file.

Q: How do I attach the e-mail approval from the music owner?

A: The best way would be to take a screenshot of the email (you can upload using ImageShack) and post it in the message board thread for your submission. If that's too much of a pain, you can copy and paste the permission text into the message board thread for your submission. The message board thread for your submission is created automatically when you complete the submission form.

Submission limits

One individual may submit at most five (5) entries including both brackets. However, any submitter is allowed at most one winning entry. When ranking the winners, we will throw out all winning rankings except for the submitters' top ranking entry. If an entry is thrown out, all entries below are bumped up.

Disqualified entries count as a submission. Make sure that your song meets all requirements before submitting, or you'll be wasting one of your submissions.


1st place (grand prize): $200 cash + copy of ITG PC/Mac signed by the development team + an award certificate
2nd place: $100 cash + an award certificate
3rd place: $100 cash + an award certificate
4th place: $50 cash + an award certificate
5th place: $50 cash + an award certificate
6th place: $50 cash + an award certificate
7th place: $50 cash + an award certificate

  • The submitter will be awarded all prizes for an entry. If multiple people contributed to the entry, it is up to the submitter to distribute the prizes among all contributors.
  • Prize money will be awarded via only PayPal and using the submitter's email address. There will be no exceptions. Setting up PayPal may be tricky in some countries.

How we'll use your submission

All submissions will be made available on and made available on a StepMania Complete CD-ROM sometime in the future. Even non-winning submissions will be used.

You, the creator(s) of the submission, retain full ownership of your work and are free to host it on your own web site, submit it to other contests, or do whatever you want with it.


Winners are chosen at the sole discretion of the StepMania development team.

If it is discovered that the submission is not completely the original work of the submitter and the submitter has not obtained permission from the appropriate rights holders, the entry will be disqualified.

Song: 40%

  • Interesting samples, rhythms, melodies: 15%
  • High quality samples and production: 15%
  • Quality of game-size (~1:30) edit: 5%
  • Appropriateness and creativity of song selection: 5%

Steps: 40%

  • Criteria for all steps: rhythms fit the song, interesting step placement, appropriate challenge for rated meter, steps are fun
  • Single easy: 10%
  • Single medium: 10%
  • Single hard: 20%

Graphics: 10%

  • Criteria for all graphics: aesthetic appeal, layout appropriate for graphic shape
  • Banner: 5%
  • Background: 5%

Additional Content: 10%

  • Any extra steps (beginner, challenge, double steps)
  • background animations

If you have any questions about the judging criteria, please e-mail us.

More details about the judging process can be found here: StepMix 2 Judging


  • Make sure that the music is high quality. If you're a musician, ask your friends for feedback and improve the production quality of your work. If you're a step artist, try to seek out music from friends or Creative Commons musicians.
  • Have high quality banner and background graphics. Don't just copy/paste the background to make the banner.
  • Have high quality steps. Steps should either be very technically sound or display creativity (like rhythms or patterns never seen before).
  • If you do include extra steps beyond the required steps, please do make sure they're high quality too. We won't be impressed if you copy/paste steps from other difficulty then throw on some transforms.
  • Music over 120 seconds is strongly discouraged. 100-110 seconds is a good target.


Rules, prizes, instructions and any other information related to this contest are subject to change. It is inevitable that we will make mistakes. We apologize in advance.

We are not responsible for lost entries or mistakes in entries, but we'll try our best to not let such things happen.

If something goes wrong or you don't win, please don't worry. You'll have another chance in a future contest.


How do I create a song?

Create Your Own Songs
Export and Share a Song

Are hands, mines, and rolls allowed?

Yes. They're allowed and you're encouraged to use them if it's appropriate for the song and difficulty.

Do you prefer DDR-style or ITG-style (hands and mines) steps?

Use whatever style you think is most appropriate for the song and difficulty. Just be sure that the steps are high quality across all difficulties.

Can a simfile previously released to another web site or entered into another online tournament still be entered into StepMix?


Are you judging music quality?

Absolutely. If you're a musician, spend a lot of time polishing your music. If you're a step maker, spend a lot of time looking for a good musician who will allow you to use their music for this contest.

If I use Creative Commons music, do I need to obtain permission from the author?

If the song is under one of the Creative Commons licenses listed above, the author has already given permission to create derivative works (such as edits and step files), and you don't need to ask again.

Not all Creative Commons licenses are permitted.

  • The "No Derivs" license variations are not allowed because they do not allow the creation of step files or game-length edits.
  • The "Non Commercial" variations are allowed, but you must select the exact license from the drop-down box on the submission form. Songs with a Non Commercial license cannot be included on the StepMix CD-ROM.


  • Thanks to Buzzert for the awesome StepMix logos.

Thanks to (donated web hosting)