I have a half-finished article about ways in which I think the video game industry could benefit from being more like the movie industry, which I’ll post when it’s finished. In the mean time, the item at the top of the list is “lots of little game festivals”, similar to all the tiny college film festivals that exist all over the world. A steady trickle of tiny cash prizes from various tiny festivals for his short film Bed Head bought Robert Rodriguez many a dinner while he was working on El Mariachi.
To that end, here’s a short list of game programming competitions and festivals that I’m currently aware of. I’m going to try to put together one of these lists every month of all the game competitions and festivals currently going on. If you know of something that’s not in this list, please tell me about it in the comments.
- After the success of their “Horizontal Shooter With Boss” competition, Shmup-Dev has announced their second competition, which is dragon-themed, and ends on July 1st, 2006.
- The Slamdance Guerilla Gamemaker Competition ends September 30th, 2006. It has a $25k maximum budget limit on games, and a $45 entry fee. There doesn’t appear to be any starting-time limit, so you can polish off older projects that are gathering dust and submit those. This is the closest thing to the “many little game festivals” ideal I’m aiming for.
- Armor Games has just started their 4th Flash Game Contest, which also ends September 31st. As one would suspect from the title, it’s limited to Flash games. Scoring in the competition is based on how well the game does on New Grounds. They have some very impressive prizes, and bonuses for using Stick Figures and for 4th of July themed games.
- Funny Junk is also running a Flash Game Competition, which ends May 20th. They allow 5 submissions per person, and the submissions do not have to be new material. The first prize is an iPod Nano, and the second and third prizes are iPod Shuffles.