The worm… the spice… is there a connection?

So… uh… Microsoft is starting the next Dream Build Play competition a little early, and this time it’s sponsored by Old Spice, with a separate, larger grand prize if you make an advergame for Old Spice. Wacky. But it means they can double their prize money and prize categories, so I guess that’s good news for entrants.

Remember that, as usual, registering for the competition gets you a free 12 month XNA Creators Club trial membership, which will let you play freeware XNA games like Kenta Cho’s GearToyGear on your Xbox (but won’t let you playtest or peer review XNA games that are on their way to XBLIG).

a pimp’s casual game is different from that of a square

Jayisgames.com has just announced their fifth flash game design competition, with numerous delightful cash prizes, and the theme this time is “Upgrade”. If your brain is brimming with upgradey ideas, then get to work, because the deadline is March 3rd. Jay’s previous four contests have produced some great games, so I’m looking forward to the results of this one as well.

gamma gamma hey!

A Québécois group called the “Kokoromi Collective” are asking for simple game submissions for a party called gamma 256. No prizes, just the warm fuzzy of a whole party full of French-Canadian hipsters “ooh la la”-ing over your game. What makes this interesting to me is the restrictions; pick-up-and-play mechanics, no audio, playable with a 360 controller, resolution under 256×256, and the weirder the resolution, the better. The submission deadline is November 1st, and discussion is being hosted on TIGSource’s forums. Hopefully Squidi — from whose game concept “Tiny Crawl” I stole the image for this post — will enter something.

And speaking of TIGSource and game competitions, remember that there’s only one week left to make your B-game for their competition. It looks like I’m going to sit that one out; I’m still not quite back into the swing of things with game design, and nothing ever really came to mind, but hopefully I’ll get something made for gamma 256.

Hey! Somebody actually wants to hear your half-baked video game ideas!

Rejoice, all ye kiddies who have “this totally bitchin’ idea for a video game” but don’t have the impetus or means to actually make it! As long as your idea is vaguely horror, sci-fi, or suspense themed, you can enter it in the 2007 Eerie Horror Film Festival Game Competition! The competition’s categories range all the way from “complete game” to “game concept”, and although the prizes have yet to be announced, they’re sure to be better than the uncomfortable silence you get from most people who you tell about your game idea!

OK, I kid. Although the vast majority of “bitchin’ video game ideas” I’ve heard from people over the years have been incredibly stupid, I actually have heard a few that would make awesome video games. So if your game idea sounds totally awesome in your head, and especially if it ALSO sounds totally awesome to all of the friends you’ve told it to, then by all means enter the competition, and I wish you the best of luck. The “early entry discount” deadline is March 1st, and the absolute final deadline is September 1st.

In other game competition news, IndieCade 2008, which commendably hopes to be another showcase of independent video games, begins their call for submissions February 28th of this year, and the Experimental Gameplay Project just began a new two-week competition today. The theme is attraction, and the grand prize is an internship at EA. Although it’s not explicitly stated on the competition website, entries involving a gigantic corporation that attracts fresh-faced, naive young programmers, crushes their souls with 80-hour work weeks, chews them up and spits them out and thinks nothing of it because there’s an endless supply of those fresh-faced, naive young programmers, probably will not be regarded kindly.

Super-clever (by which I mean “lazy”) developers will make an attraction-themed horror game and submit it to all three competitions.

Second place GET!

The second Experimental Gameplay Competition is over, and although I fully expected the excellent and much discussed String Theory to get first place, I was pleasantly surprised to see my own entry come in second. Congratulations to everyone who entered, and tons of thanks to Red Octane and the Experimental Gameplay Project for fostering the development of experimental games!

So much for that “every month” thing

Oops. Well, it’s been 3 months since I said I was going to post monthly about any game design competitions I’d heard of. To my credit, though, I haven’t heard of any new game design competitions in those 3 months except for these two:

  • JayIsGames is holding a flash game design competition. The theme is “simple puzzle games”, along the lines of the puzzles in Myst or… uh… one of the 9 billion clones of Myst. It ends on August 25th, and a DS Lite and 2 copies of Flash 8 will be distributed among the winners.
  • The Experimental Gameplay Project is holding a second competition, and to their credit this one sounds a whole lot more experimental than the first one. The theme is to make a game that is not a dancing game but uses a DDR pad. To qualify for the first round, send in your game idea (you don’t have to have anything coded at this point) by August 11th. That’s this Friday, so get a move on!
  • An anonymous commenter also suggests Java Unlimited’s Super Mario Programming Contest, which gives entrants until October 1st to design a Super Mario Bros. fan game in Java. Prizes include copies of Tribal Trouble and Wurm Online, and an exciting green 1-Up hat! Hooray!

Also remember that the Slamdance and Armor Games competitions from my last competition post are still on as well. If you know of a current competition that I have missed please tell me about it in this post’s comments!

Good luck!