Indie Game Challenge Offers $300,000 In Prizes

By William Usher 2009-07-15 13:20:18 discussion comments
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Whether you’re a pro-designer, amateur designer or part of a team at a university aimed at becoming a game designer, here is your chance to hammer out a project and potentially win $100,000 for the effort.

Mike Hogan, senior vice president of marketing, GameStop Corp. (one of the affiliates hosting the competition) commented that…

“Our entire industry is dependent on the cultivation of new, cutting edge game developers who continue to stretch the boundaries and imaginations of gamers,” He said “By joining forces with The Guildhall at SMU and AIAS we hope to stimulate a new generation of game developers and reward them with cash awards and scholarships. Perhaps the most important aspect of the Challenge for competitors is the potentially life-changing opportunity to meet face-to-face with professionals who have helped make the gaming industry the success it is today.”


In association with The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University and the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, GameStop is hosting an indie game challenge that includes money prizes, scholarships and a few other goodies. Worth checking out? I’d say so.

Participants will need to submit game betas or pitch game design ideas with videos between July 14th and October 1st, 2009. It’s not a heck of a lot of time to iron out a game, but if you’re up for it the challenge could only prove to be beneficial for aspiring designers.

Come January 15th, up to 12 team finalists will be chosen and up to five members of each finalist team will be flown to an awards reception that will take place on February 19th, 2010, at the Red Rock Casino Resort Spa in Las Vegas following AIAS’s D.I.C.E. Summit. Finalists will even have the opportunity to pitch ideas to first-rate publishers, including Sony, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Activision and more. Seriously, if it sounds like the big-time it’s because it is the big-time.

According to Dr. Peter E. Raad, founder and executive director of The Guildhall at SMU, he stated that…

“The Indie Game Challenge furthers the university’s goal of continued collaboration with the video game industry to educate and train professionals for the present and leaders for the future,” said Dr. Raad. “Like the music and film industries before it, independent developers are an essential and driving part of the gaming industry. We’re excited about the potential of the Indie Game Challenge and look forward to working with both GameStop and AIAS to identify some of the great new ideas the competition is sure to create.”


All right, enough jabber. I believe it is time for those with the gusto to find out what they need to do to get involved with this dollar-acquiring contest. Wannabe (and already-are) developers can check out the rules of the contest below. For more information and registration be sure to visit the Official Indie Game Challenge Website. As always, make sure you stay tuned in with Blend Games for further news, info and updates.

Key Dates:

• Entry Period: July 14-Oct. 1, 2009
• Finalists Announcement: Jan. 15, 2010
• Awards Ceremony and Grand Prize Presentation: Feb. 19, 2010

Judging Criteria:

Entries will be judged on the following criteria:
• Originality – uniqueness of concept
• Creativity – implementation and innovation in mechanics
• Playability – ease of use, fun factor and replayability

Finalists and Prizes:

Separate $100,000 awards will be presented to the winners in the professional and non-professional categories. Additional prize monies will be awarded to finalists chosen through People’s Choice voting. Also, up to $60,000 in scholarships will be awarded, including a full scholarship to attend The Guildhall at SMU.

Finalists will also gain national exposure and have a chance at additional prize monies by having their pitch videos posted on GameStop.com and GameStop TV for People’s Choice Award voting.



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