An indie devs dream?

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by rhansson, Nov 1, 2010.


Do you want a casual game contest?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  1. rhansson

    rhansson Well-Known Member

    We are planning on developing and hosting a contest where developers and teams all around the world can participate and compete to build the next generation best casual iPhone games.

    The goals of the contest:
    - Promote successful casual iPhone games
    - Promote Innovation & Talent
    - Provide the financial means, help, guidance that indie teams require to execute casual top-seller games.
    - Provide better and more accessible tools for indie developers.
    - Give the developers access to an extensive network where they can gauge the potential of their ideas.

    If you like this idea and think you would participate, I would love to hear some feedback on:

    - How large should the cash prize be in order for you to participate?
    - We have to set a time limit on the development. What is a good time? We thought 1-4 weeks from concept to gold master. What do you think?
  2. gammabeam

    gammabeam Well-Known Member

    Wow, that is a nice initiative!
    Count me in! :)

    As for prize money, I really don't know. But I guess if the contest had enough visibility - game forums, indie game websites, facebook promotion, etc. - that would already be a good start!

    And about time limit, it depends on how you want it to work out. I'd say a month is good but the game will probably need some polishing for its release. If you are talking about a demo or a fully-featured prototype, then 2 weeks seems good enough.

    Being a game designer, I am not proficient in ObjC, so I tend to prototype my games on these game maker programs or using Flash.
  3. Doolwind

    Doolwind Member

    Oct 20, 2010
    I'll answer this first as it feeds into the first question. For the project to be worth while I would want at least two weeks to work on the game. Perhaps one week to develop the game and one week to polish/test and get feedback from the community (and possibly the judges). Anything less and there is little point to making the game. Four weeks would be pushing it as that becomes a large time sink.

    For a two week project a few thousand dollars would be reasonable for first place. One way to encourage people would be to have a largish prize pool with a fairly even split between say the top 3-5 games. This will encourage people to enter rather than just putting there game up for sale and hoping for the best. So maybe one thousand dollars each for the top five.
  4. rhansson

    rhansson Well-Known Member

    I think 2 weeks sound like a good option (if we can make sure to bring enough publicity during this time.) But with a longer application period we should be able to do fine.

    I am thinking about a total prize of $50,000 + other goodies, probably spread out over a few winners.
  5. Doolwind

    Doolwind Member

    Oct 20, 2010
    Wow, $50k would certainly make a lot of developers stand up and take notice. With that kind of money it's probably worth giving an extra week or two as it would likely be worth the investment for a number of developers.

    What's as important as money to us is exposure at this stage. The more exposure generated the more inclined we'd be to enter the competition.
  6. rhansson

    rhansson Well-Known Member

    You're right, exposure is the key and it's the main goal of the contest to promote dev teams in a way that's never been seen before.

    Maybe a large cash prize like that isn't exactly the best incentive. Maybe better to focus on the promotion benefits for the team and their game?
  7. dee99

    dee99 Well-Known Member

    Mar 9, 2010
    Im definitely in,

    Try one contest for like 5 k.. If that works than do a new one for the 50 k
  8. Doolwind

    Doolwind Member

    Oct 20, 2010
    It would depend on the game being created. If developers could enter their existing games then advertising would be a priority. However if there was a requirement to create a new game from scratch then a cash incentive would be preferable.

    For our game, we'd be happy to forgo any cash prizes if it meant more exposure. From what I've seen of friends releasing their games success seems to be almost entirely based on getting the word out.
  9. rhansson

    rhansson Well-Known Member

    You got a good point Doolwind. There needs to be a good prize in order to participate if the requirements were to build a new game from scratch (which is the idea).
  10. EssentialParadox

    EssentialParadox Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2009
    UK / Toronto
    Just curious, does Dogtown studios end up owning rights to all submissions?
  11. rhansson

    rhansson Well-Known Member

    #11 rhansson, Nov 2, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010
    Our interest is to turn you and your teams into stars. Help you guys create and promote the future top-sellers on the AppStore. We are looking to maximize the exposure and sales of your products so we are investigating various approaches.

    In the end, it is a decision we have to make, in collaboration with you, and the rest of the dev community of course. I do not currently see any reason why we would own the property you work to create. We want to help you reach full potential.

    So please, let me know your thoughts and ideas.
  12. minyx

    minyx Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2010
    As with most contests: probably yes.
  13. Gravity Jim

    Gravity Jim Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2009
    Commercial music producer
    Santa Rosa, CA
    I think there already is such a contest:

    It's called The App Store. Everyone submits their best shot, the winners sell millions of copies and make money, and the losers sell dozens of copies and fade.
  14. EssentialParadox

    EssentialParadox Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2009
    UK / Toronto
    Haha. :p
  15. Lonan

    Lonan Well-Known Member

    Dec 9, 2009
    I think it can work. As the others said if the promotion is good enough then the cash prize can be smaller. It is also a good idea to spread out the prize money for a few of the top entries.

    Just out of curiosity, how will Dogtown Studios recoup their investment with this competion? Ads? Profit sharing?

    P.S. Will the comp be U.S. only?
  16. TinyTechnician

    TinyTechnician Well-Known Member

    Apr 21, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I agree with this. It would be nice if the top 2 or 3 entries could benefit. Even if the top entry takes most of the promotion/money, spreading the wealth to the 2nd or 3rd place entries, even just a little, might help out those developers more than you think.

    I'm also curious about the second part. What is Dogtown Studios looking to benefit after all this?
  17. rhansson

    rhansson Well-Known Member

    If we develop and execute the contest, the goal has to be to create an internationally known challenge where the content is so unique it will spur interest from many others than gamers and developers.

    To answer the comment about the AppStore. Yes that's one way to look at it, but I'm sure you agree that the market is somewhat saturated and that many titles do not get the attention they deserve due to lack of promotion and exposure.

    Our mission will be to promote your games so that you only have to focus on game design rather than promotion.
  18. blacksmith games

    blacksmith games Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2009
    "Our mission will be to promote your games so that you only have to focus on game design rather than promotion."

    What is promotion for you? I guess only if your name is Chillingo or EA you will benefit from their promotion. Everything else developers can make themselves (make a good game, press releases, facebook, twitter, contests, other crazy ideas). The only thing here would could attract the developers is the cash prize.

    If you like the spirit of indie contests go to . Their contest is featured by touchArcade.

    Nevertheless I think there will be some developers who will be interested, I wish you good luck with it :)
  19. rhansson

    rhansson Well-Known Member

    #19 rhansson, Nov 5, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
    Promotion to me is, for example:

    - Getting a great Touch Arcade review or exclusive.
    - Getting banner space on iTunes
    - Having influencers contact us because they wish to cover our story and games.

    Pretty much, getting the word out, letting the world know.

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