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Indie Game Maker Contest: Rules and Dates

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Iggy, Mistress of Ceremonies, here with head judge Nick Palmer! To thank you for Iggy’s new name ^w^, Iggy is going to tell you a little about the Contest this year! You have one month to make your game, between July 7th and August 7th, 2015, SO CLEAR YOUR CALENDARS, Iggy’s precious indie dev buddies. Now to hand it off to Nick for all the complicated stuff!

Thanks, Iggy! All entries will be judged based on 3 Criteria on a scale of 0-20:

Presentation
How your game presents itself from a non-mechanic perspective. Things included in this will include writing, art, story, music. This will focus mostly on things that the player does not directly interact with.

Iggy likes pretty art and music! Especially cute things like Iggy! But Iggy isn’t a judge, so non-cute things will work too >w>

Gameplay
How your game plays. This will include the mechanics of your game, and all other interactions the player can directly have with the game. This can include some aspects of story and plot, if the player has a way to control the way it progresses.

Challenging games are Iggy’s favorite. That way, Iggy can always be getting better!

Engagement
How well does your game grip the player. This will cover a lot of the intangibles of the game. How does it all fit together. How interested are we in continuing to the end. This could be from a fun factor, or just because the game is very engrossing in some other way.

Some games are like potato chips! Except they don’t make Iggy’s stomach hurt when Iggy eats too many! uwu

There will also be a few other ways your score can be affected:

Bugs/Glitches
Each minor glitch or bug that has no appreciable effect on the presentation or gameplay will not effect your score. A major glitch, which causes a noticeable negative effect on the game will result in a -5. If a game has a glitch or bug that results in the game being unplayable within the first 10 minutes of gameplay, the game will be disqualified completely. If it occurs after the 10 minute mark, the game will be judged based on what they played, with a -10 penalty to overall score.

Don’t let your game be marked down for simple mistakes, that would be a disaster! ;w;

The Twist!
The twist will not be announced until July 7th, 2015. Adherence to the twist can earn you between 0 and 10 bonus points to your total score.

These bonus points could make or break your game! Don’t ignore the twist! OwO

And on to the rules! Breaking these rules can result in penalties or disqualifications, at the discretion of our judging panel. Make sure to read them carefully! (Rules are not in final form. Rules may be altered at any time before July 7th, either to clarify or adjust the requirements)

Wow, so much to read, but make sure you get it all down!

  1. Games must be complete, started no earlier than July 7th, 2015 at 6:00PM UTC, and created by you (unless you have permission to post the game). No exceptions!
  2. Games Length: Judges will only be required to judge a game for 1 hour if it passes the screening stage. As such, any game over 1 hour will only be judged on its first hour of play.
  3. You must have the right to use all assets, tools, and anything else involved in the creation of the game, such as the engine/software, visual resources, music, and so forth. Pre-existing assets not created specifically for the contest entry are allowed as long as the actual game was not started before July 7th, 2015 at 12:00am UTC. Please note that some resource creators will consider your game to be commercial due to the inclusion of prizes, so make sure you ask permission if you are uncertain!
  4. Games must be finished and submitted by Aug 7th, 2015 11:59PM UTC. No extensions will be given. We recommend uploading a day in advance to avoid any unfortunate accidents or difficulties.
  5. There is no limit on team size; you can work alone, or with a large team. Teams will have to split the prizes between themselves as they see fit. The IGMC team will NOT be responsible for the splitting of prizes. We will award only to the person who submitted the game.
  6. Each person may be directly involved in up to two submissions. This allows you to, among other things, work on a team while making your own solo project. If a team uses your resources but you did not actually work on the development of a game, then it won’t count towards your two game limit. If you are ONLY doing commissions for a submission, you are not considered part of the team for these rules. Do remember that all commissions will be required to be made within the July 7th-August 7th timeline.
  7. All files required to play the game must be included in the download. This includes graphics, music files, read-mes, and so forth.
  8. No 18+ content: games with pornographic/extreme violence will be disqualified. These games should be playable by teenagers. If you are unsure if your content qualifies as adult-only, it’s best to leave it out or ask our support team.
  9. Plagiarism, copying the work of other contestants, and other forms of cheating are forbidden. Viruses, etc. will disqualify a game instantly. Let’s make this a clean and fair competition for everyone!
  10. Everyone involved in a project should be credited unless they consent otherwise. This includes the creators of resources (graphics, music, scripts, etc.)!
  11. The game must be made in an actual game engine, and not a map editor/mod of an existing game. Rom hacks and games that run on emulators are not allowed.
  12. Games must be submitted via this platform and have an active download available. If the game is browser-based, a link to the game must be provided. Games may NOT be updated once the deadline has been reached (Aug 7, 2015 11:59PM UTC).
  13. Games must be in English. You are welcome to have translations in any language you see fit, but the entry submitted to judges must be in English.
  14. Games must be playable on Windows (at least in compatibility mode for Windows XP, Vista, or 7).
  15. Winners who do not want their prize can request that it be given to the person/team with the next highest score.
  16. The judges and contest hosts reserve the right to disqualify or ban any game or person for reasons including but not limited to the violation of these rules. Judges’ decisions are final. Judges and contest runners reserve the right to add to these rules for clarification purposes.
  17. Restrictions on age and nationality are subject to the contestant’s local, state, and/or national laws. No purchase necessary. Must be at least 13 years of age or older to register and submit entries, subject to the submitter’s local laws.
  18. Prizes will be delivered electronically via the e-mail address associated with the user who submitted the game on this platform. Winners will be responsible for all taxes and fees associated with their prize package.

Creators retain all rights to their respective works. The contest runners (Degica) reserve the right to promote the game on the appropriate websites, blogs, social media, etc. as outlined in the prize packages.

The judges will do their best to enforce the rules, but bear no responsibility for any entries that violate the rules against their knowledge.

Any questions for Iggy or Nick? Any rules you don’t understand, or clarifications you would like made? Ask in the comments section below!

59 comments… add one

  • Geoff Moore June 10, 2015, 3:56 pm

    Question! As a composer, I may take commissions for IGMC entries. In the rules, it states each person can only be involved in two games – does this mean if I choose to enter I could only make music for one other entrant? I’m hoping that isn’t the case, but it’s worth clarifying – wouldn’t want anyone getting disqualified for commissioning resources.

    • Nicholas Palmer June 10, 2015, 3:59 pm

      If you are just doing commissions for a project, that doesn’t count as one of your entries. You can only be involved in two entries where you are considered part of the team proper. Keep in mind though that commissioned pieces will still have to be made within the July 7-Aug 7 deadlines. (Will clarify this in the rules now)

  • Jackus June 10, 2015, 3:58 pm

    “Games Length: Judges will only be required to judge a game for 1 hour if it passes the screening stage. As such, any game over 1 hour will only be judged on its first hour of play.”

    What if your game is less than 1 Hour (Say, 30-45 Minutes), will it be penalized because of that?

    Also, if a game is over 1 hour, will it be penalized because the story isn’t wrapped up properly?

    Thanks
    ~Jackus

    • Nicholas Palmer June 10, 2015, 4:00 pm

      Less than an hour is fine, as long as it fits the rest of the criteria of the contest.

      More than an hour, it will not be judged as incomplete, but we can only judge on what we see, so if the ending is the most satisfactory part, you might want to make sure we see it.

      • Thomas Lee July 22, 2015, 5:58 pm

        Is it alright if I include a non-spoiler walkthrough as well? For game acceleration purposes.

        • Nicholas Palmer July 24, 2015, 1:16 pm

          You can include one, but I won’t use it. I find that if you need it to get through the game, your game might be too obtuse.

  • jackus June 10, 2015, 4:41 pm

    Ok, few more questions (Just wanna make sure i’ve got it all right)

    “Presentation
    How your game presents itself from a non-mechanic perspective. Things included in this will include writing, art, story, music. This will focus mostly on things that the player does not directly interact with.”

    Will games that have Comissioned/Custom resources get more points, and will games get less points for using the RTP?


    “Bugs/Glitches
    Each minor glitch or bug that has no appreciable effect on the presentation or gameplay will not effect your score. ”

    Quick check – By this, you mean stuff like typos?

    Thanks
    ~Jackus

    • Nicholas Palmer June 10, 2015, 4:43 pm

      A few typos in a game would probably not be a big deal. But if the grammar, spelling, and letter configuration is repeatedly wrong throughout the game, that would be a mark down in presentation. A minor glitch that doesn’t effect much would be like a screen fading in and then a npc appearing out of nowhere when a location was loaded. Its an obvious thing that needs fixed, but it doesn’t hurt the game directly.

  • Tom hawk June 10, 2015, 4:43 pm

    Is there a blog or checkpoint for progress that we will be required to contribute to?
    The reason I ask is I can’t see how you can enforce devs to wait until July 7th before starting.
    Also, can I use Unity3D?

    • Nicholas Palmer June 10, 2015, 5:45 pm

      The Twist is to ensure people don’t start before a certain date. Yes, technically someone can still work around it, but in that case I think the twist would be less embedded into their game. We will do our best to monitor and be aware of egregious offenders, but it won’t be possible to be absolutely sure in ever case.

      • Tom Hawk June 11, 2015, 10:12 pm

        That’s great.

        I’m looking forward to having a go. I’m only a relative beginner with some skills I can transfer to this game dev malarkey, so good on you for making it fun for us!

        I look forward to the reveal of the twist and the opening of the competition.

  • Kyuukon June 10, 2015, 5:04 pm

    I’m the only one curious about the prizes xD? I want numbers!

    • Nicholas Palmer June 10, 2015, 5:43 pm

      As soon as we have it all nailed down, you will know. It is very likely to end up being larger than last year though.

  • Razelle June 10, 2015, 8:14 pm

    Are you guys going to rate music choice poorly if it sounds like it came from the 20s-40s? I have an idea on a setting I want to emulate, and some good lo-fi gothic music would be perfect, but some people might mistake the sound as a loss in sound quality. I really don’t want to use generic fantasy tunes if I can help it.

    • Nicholas Palmer June 10, 2015, 8:20 pm

      I’m a huge fan of making choices for thematic reasons like that myself. I think as long as it makes sense in the context, go for it!

      • Razelle June 10, 2015, 11:30 pm

        Awesome! Now here’s to hoping I can accommodate the twist in my monster movie-esque game idea.

  • Spoken June 11, 2015, 8:35 am

    Prizes?

  • Adorna June 11, 2015, 10:32 am

    Will the twist be something that will affect the genre or story strongly? Becsaue I do have a game idea I really want to make for this – and now I’m biting my nails trying to figure out if I have to scrap that idea or can go along with it..

    • Nicholas Palmer June 11, 2015, 12:46 pm

      I can’t go too much into the twist, because that would give some people an unfair advantage. The most I’m able to say though is that it will be possible to integrate it into the story, the gameplay, or even both, depending on how you interpret it.

      • Adorna June 11, 2015, 1:31 pm

        Thank you, that actually pretty helpful :)

  • Cait June 18, 2015, 7:42 pm

    I see extreme violence, but what about sexual abuse (not shown, but mentioned) or abuse, in general. You see, I am thinking of using a story line that I have, but it mentions molestation in past tense.

    • Rob Glidden June 29, 2015, 2:33 pm

      Alluding to something like that is fine as long as there are no explicit depictions of that kind of stuff.

  • abeperk June 19, 2015, 11:23 pm

    “Pre-existing assets not created specifically for the contest entry are allowed…”

    Does this mean we can not start on assets for the contest now so we can focus more on the game aspect? How is this monitored?

  • Jusper June 22, 2015, 9:37 am

    “Games must be complete, started no earlier than July 7th, 2015 at 12:00am UTC, and created by you (unless you have permission to post the game). No exceptions!”

    Can I participate, if I have half-working prototype?

  • Aweena June 25, 2015, 4:59 pm

    Can we use a pre-existing plot for the game?
    I have one that I would like to use….

  • Tris Ghost June 28, 2015, 12:11 pm

    So…. this is one person one game?
    Or may I publish another game?

    • Rob Glidden June 29, 2015, 2:31 pm

      Here’s the part of the rules relevant to your question:

      “Each person may be directly involved in up to two submissions. This allows you to, among other things, work on a team while making your own solo project. If a team uses your resources but you did not actually work on the development of a game, then it won’t count towards your two game limit. If you are ONLY doing commissions for a submission, you are not considered part of the team for these rules.”

      If I can add a bit, you’re going to have your hands full with ONE game, I don’t know how practical it is to think about more.

  • Z- July 1, 2015, 2:08 am

    The game should only participate in this contest, or can join other?

  • Artificer July 2, 2015, 12:03 pm

    There is a limitation or specification over the file size and if it can have versions?

    • Rob Glidden July 6, 2015, 8:00 pm

      I don’t believe there’s a limitation on file size, although try to keep that under control for the judges’ sake if nothing else.

      The version of the game that you submit at the end of the contest will be the version that gets judged. We definitely encourage you to keep working on it afterwards, though!

  • Jack July 3, 2015, 7:23 pm

    I have found a repository of untextured, unanimated models I made like 5 years ago for a project I never finished. I plan on editing these models anyway, but since these weren’t made for the contest, could I use these assets?

  • Rich Smith July 4, 2015, 11:34 am

    Do we have to register somewhere?

    • Nicholas Palmer July 5, 2015, 7:42 pm

      We will be announcing on the Game Dev Fort facebook and twitter the moment the site is live. You don’t have to “sign up” until you submit your game though. The site will be up on July 7th.

  • Marquise* July 5, 2015, 3:32 am

    If in rule 3 you typed that pre-existing assets -I guess pre-contest ones- were all right to be used in the July7 to August7 contest period, how comes you typed Geoff More that commissioned pieces have to be made within -I guess inside the contest delay- of the July7 to August7? I mean… We have to all rebuy our assets? Or had them rebuilds? Or ask Beethoven to return from the grave for the contest?

    • Nicholas Palmer July 5, 2015, 7:41 pm

      Commission means you hired someone SPECIFICALLY to make a unique asset for your contest game. Assets that are made public by others on the internet or that were part of packs you bought, or anything like that is fine.

  • Princess Cadance July 6, 2015, 12:48 am

    I got a short question about that too. Is there any topic we need to use for our games, or are we free to do what we like to do?
    Are licensed stuff like, things from Slipknot, Hasbro or whatever allowed too?

    • Rob Glidden July 6, 2015, 8:02 pm

      If you’re talking about Slipknot music, definitely not. Licensed music is against the rules. If you’re referencing Slipknot in a game for the sake of a joke or whatever, that’s no problem. I’m not sure what Hasbro would entail? Transformers characters? Again, you can reference them in the game but don’t use any Hasbro-content that you don’t have the rights to distribute.

      • Princess Balance July 7, 2015, 1:11 am

        Thank you for answering that question, even I allready thought so, but I want to be sure first. :D
        But is there any specific topic the game need to have? (\s/)

        • Nicholas Palmer July 7, 2015, 1:54 am

          There will be a twist that will need to be incorporated in some way. The twist will be announced on the official contest site that will launch tomorrow at 11am PDT when the contest starts. Thank you for your patience.

  • Dekita July 6, 2015, 7:37 pm

    With regards to rule 11 – “The game must be made in an actual game engine, and not a map editor/mod of an existing game. Rom hacks and games that run on emulators are not allowed.”

    What if I where to use, for example, the Ruby code language and the various gems that are publicly available to aid in the creation of games. Essentially, not quite a game engine, but only due to the lack of a friendly gui for users.

    • Wulf July 7, 2015, 4:37 pm

      Pretty sure you can use that. As far as I know, it’s no different from using the Unreal Engine or Unity, both of which lack the user friendly UI that Rpg Maker has. fairly certain it’s to block out entries that are made with map editors of existing games or roms like the post said.

  • Bouden Cook July 7, 2015, 12:18 am

    I need to ask, how do we register or submit our project when it’s ready?

    • Nicholas Palmer July 7, 2015, 1:53 am

      We’ll have a site up for you to do that all with. It will be announced at 11am PDT tomorrow when the contest is officially launched.

      • Bouden Cook July 7, 2015, 3:46 pm

        Thanks a ton. This will be my first time competing so I don’t want to make a silly mistake like can’t find the website. Thanks again.

  • Hajami July 7, 2015, 10:16 am

    Where is the Twist? Cant find it. And where to see which Prizes to Win this Year?

    Did i read right? I can sent in 2Games? Means i could sent in some Game like Flappy Bird and another one with more Work in it?

    • Hajami July 7, 2015, 10:19 am

      Ups forgot about Summertime difference.
      Its 12.18PM at my Place and in the Forum it is 10.18AM
      I thought 1 Hour difference, but its 2 actualy. :)

  • Dave July 8, 2015, 3:16 am

    I have a question,

    So, you say using ready-made assets is fine as long as you start the project on the 7th. What if I have an unfinished project I started before then? Would that project be fair game as long as I could re-create project from scratch within the time frame? Or, does it have to be a completely new project?

    • Nicholas Palmer July 14, 2015, 10:51 pm

      Needs to be a new project though you can salvage your old project for assets.

  • Chris Oates July 8, 2015, 9:51 pm

    Is there any requirement to support certain input types? For example, if my game required the use of a gamepad, or Windows 8 multitouch screen, would it be okay, or do I need to support mouse & keyboard?

    • Nicholas Palmer July 14, 2015, 10:51 pm

      Needs to be able to use mouse/keyboard. Outside of that, other options are appreciated but not necessary.

  • Daniel Wu July 9, 2015, 2:42 pm

    Can we only enter our game for this contest or can we use it for other contests too?

    • Nicholas Palmer July 14, 2015, 10:50 pm

      If its made within the time frame listed here and qualifies, you can enter it here. If that doesn’t restrict you from entering a different competition, go for it.

  • PD July 9, 2015, 3:07 pm

    So, it’s July 9th, but the Twist hasn’t been published yet…

  • Rob Glidden July 14, 2015, 2:10 pm

    For everyone wondering about the twist, the details are here: http://contest.gamedevfort.com/page/guidelines

    The theme is GROWTH.

  • Dan July 27, 2015, 10:38 pm

    My daughter cannot submit her game, when she clicks on the submit button the next screen just says whoops an error has ocurred

  • Bob August 4, 2015, 3:16 pm

    RPGMAKER VX ACE does not encrypt the audio files for me.
    I want to use music from the humble bundle – do I need to find a way to encrypt the audio files – or is RPGVX ACE’s encryption (or the lack of) acceptable for this contest?

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