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Best indie contest?

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Sorry if this seems like a bit of a crass question, but I'm not really familiar with the indie scene.

I'm wondering what is the 'best' contest to enter, as far as possibly getting recognition/distribution and prize money. Please understand that I'm not so egotistical to think that I would walk away with grand prize on my first attempt; my concern is that some contests may have exclusivity clauses, and I'd eventually like to submit my game to the one that - even if it means tougher competition - could eventually result in the best outcome for someone struggling to make a living as an indie.

Is there a ranking of the contests, or a place where all the known contests are enumerated and explained?

It would also be great to hear some war stories from contest veterans. I'd love to know what people have experienced in the process.

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I can only tell that I sent my game prototype to the IGF this year, Student Competition. I did my prototype mostly all by myself, programming and graphics, but unfortunately I have to compete with 284 other games, some of them done by large teams. (They have a participants record this year. Again.) :|

I just think they should create some more categories.

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My advice would be not to enter for money or distribution contracts, because the more money's at stake (thousands of dollars), the more competition you'll have -- and the more talented the competition will be.

This has a two-fold effect:
- Your investment in the competition will have to be huge (months of work)
- The amount of exposure you get will be minimal if your entry doesn't make it to the podium ; most people won't even bother checking the slew of non-winning entries

The investment to exposure ratio is just not that interesting for a one-man team.

Remember, you don't have to win a competition to make it big. You "just" need to get people to check you out, play your games, and want to buy them.

Competitions can help you earn respect in the community, build an interesting portfolio, and drive traffic to your website. If that's something you think you'll benefit from, participating in competitions can work in your favor, regardless of whether you win or not.

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Go either for Intel`s yearly contest (high entry bareer) or DBP (very low entry bareer).


Even being just in the Top Ten finalists (without winning) gives you great bonus points during job interviews (talking from my own experience).


Just don`t forget it`s basically a lottery (no matter how you look at it) - e.g. it doesn`t matter how good your game looks or plays, since it`s all way too subjective (judges are common people with preferred game tastes, just like everyone else).

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Quote:
Original post by kiwibonga
Remember, you don't have to win a competition to make it big. You "just" need to get people to check you out, play your games, and want to buy them.

Competitions can help you earn respect in the community, build an interesting portfolio, and drive traffic to your website. If that's something you think you'll benefit from, participating in competitions can work in your favor, regardless of whether you win or not.


With that in mind, give Ludum Dare a shot. In a Ludum Dare competition (held three times a year with mini compos each month), you are given 48 hours to make a game almost from scratch. Check out the rules for all the details, but they make it more than doable.

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