IndieCade East
February 16 - 18
New York

IndieCade 2017 Submissions: Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about submitting your game? See below. For full Submissions info, click here.
If your questions are not answered below, please contact [email protected] for help or clarification.

General Festival Info Click to expand

What is IndieCade? (expand)
IndieCade supports independent game development and organizes a series of international events showcasing the future of independent games. It encourages, publicizes, and cultivates innovation and artistry in interactive media, helping to create a public perception of games as rich, diverse, artistic, and culturally significant.
IndieCade’s vibrant public festivals and showcases are dedicated to celebrating exciting and innovative work within independent games. Our annual series of events highlight innovative indie games, productive networking environments, spaces for important discussions, fun play events, workshops, screenings, and much more.
What are the IndieCade events and when will they be held? (expand)
For 2017 IndieCade will hold four primary events:

    IndieCade Showcase @ E3: June 2017 | Los Angeles Convention Center
    IndieCade East: Spring/Summer 2017 | Museum of the Moving Image, New York City
    IndieCade Festival: Fall 2017 | Los Angeles Area
    IndieCade Europe: Fall 2017 | Paris, France

Please see our website for additions to our schedule, specific dates, and updates on our latest events.

NOTE: There is only one submission form for all of IndieCade events, we do not accept separate submissions for each event. Within the submission form you may indicate which events you are available. Please refer to the Submission Guidelines to see specific dates and requirements for submission deadlines.
I need help from others to develop my idea - can you put me in touch with possible collaborators? (expand)
Attending an IndieCade event is a great way to meet future collaborators. Over the years we have seen successful, IndieCade Finalist and Award Winning games developed by teams that had met at a previous IndieCade event.
You can submit your work-in-progress idea, as long as it’s playable, to IndieCade. By doing so, you automatically become eligible for 2 free passes to IndieXchange, our pre-Festival developer summit in Los Angeles - a full day of game creation workshops, networking opportunities, pitch sessions, and much more. Please see the IndieXchange questions for more information.
You may also be interested in sharing your work with the IndieCade Blog, which features weekly highlights of work sent to us by our community. Lastly, keep an eye on our website for news about Indiecade-organized game jam events, they are the perfect place to collaborate and create with other game makers.

Submission Eligibility Click to expand

What do you mean by “game”? (expand)
We use the term “game” very broadly to mean interactive entertainment, art, non-digital games, all types of hybrid games, educational or documentary interactive works and more. These can be in established genres, or they can push the envelope of our traditional understanding and definition of the word “game.” It is the role of independent work to push the envelope. Interactive entertainment of all types, including virtual worlds, puzzles, augmented reality games, alternate reality games, big games, installations, interactive narratives, 2D, 3D, mobile, experimental, web-based games, and social games, are all acceptable. We also welcome such alternative content as serious games, documentary games, activist games, learning games, and other forms that fall outside the traditional categories of entertainment and traditional definitions of the term “game.”
I’m not sure if my work qualifies as an independent work. How can I know? (expand)
Simply put, independent projects are projects that come from the heart, that follow a creative vision, rather than a marketing bottom line. Independent developers are not owned by or beholden to outside forces. This means that they generally have smaller budgets than mainstream games or media, but they also have the freedom to innovate and to enlarge our conception of interactive media and its audiences. Indie developers can run the gamut from artists, to academic researchers, to students, to emerging development studios striving to make the next big indie hit, and to developers with strong AAA backgrounds. They can be one person or a large team. They may be internally funded, funded by crowdsourcing, funded by a studio that produces mainstream work, by an association with a university, school or non-profit institution, funded by grants or private investors, or not funded at all! The key is that they create interactive media based on their own unique vision. Please feel free to contact us via [email protected] If you have any questions, we will be happy to help you figure it out.
Does my project need to be finished for me to submit? (expand)
No. Understanding the challenges of independent development, works-in-progress are not only permitted, but encouraged. Submissions do need to be in a playable state however and as always we encourage you to put thought into your documentation for the reviewers to best understand your ultimate intent.
Does my work have to be a computer game? (expand)
No. All games and interactive media are not only welcome, but encouraged. We look forward to seeing all interactive media ideas and formats - including custom hardware, physical, tabletop, DIY, event-based, performative, role-playing games and much more.
What kind of submissions are you looking for? (expand)
We are open to all games and interactive media. IndieCade’s mission is to promote and highlight innovation in games and interactive media. We welcome games across all platforms, genres, and audiences. We celebrate high production value, but with IndieCade, innovation is the name of the game. If your work is highly derivative or only a minor variant on a well-established genre (even a well-produced one), you are welcome to submit it but innovation is a key factor in qualifying for IndieCade. Even unpolished works showing great innovation can be selected. One way to get a feel for the submissions that we show is to look at the Finalists and Official Selections from past years. This will give you a good picture of the kinds of atypical entries that IndieCade has featured in the past.
What if I have multiple short works? Can I submit them as one entry? (expand)
IndieCade has long accepted compilations of small works as a single submission from one artist. To ease the burden on our judges, and to clarify how we deal with such situations, we ask that submitters consider the following rules and information:
  1. Please only submit the work of a single individual or collective as a single submission. You will still only receive a total of two passes if accepted as a Finalist or Official Selection. Also, if selected, the specific portion of the compilation showcased at any event will be completely at the discretion of the Festival Chairs.
  2. To qualify, the individual pieces in your “set” must be short. The set must be of reasonable size in its entirety. Also, be aware that multiple works in a single entry may decrease your chances of success, since the Jury will base their reviews on the entirety of the media in the set - so if any of your works are weak, it may lessen your chance of getting accepted. The Jury will also evaluate the entry on how the entry works together as a whole.
Can I submit a game on a mobile device, old game system, linux, etc.? (expand)
Yes, you may submit games for operating systems, hardware devices, or mobile platforms that may not have a large install base. In some cases, supplying the hardware needed to play your game might be necessary. We also have a large jury pool who may have access to your game’s platform, so it is crucial that you are as specific as possible when filling out your submission form. Please review our Submission Guidelines for additional details about this process.
I have a mobile (iOS, Android, etc.) game? How do I submit it? (expand)
Please provide codes for use on the App Store, Google Play, etc. OR prepare provision builds downloadable via (a freemium service) or Google Drive. If your game is a provisional build, please review our Submission Guidelines about this process in the “How to Submit” section.
Note:These builds may be requested after the submission deadline but your submission form and documentation must be complete.
Can I submit a tabletop game? And if so how? (expand)
Yes. IndieCade is open to games of any platform or format and receives a large number of traditional board, card, and table games. Simply follow the “How to Submit” directions in the Submission Guidelines. In the submission form you will be asked to provide your address. Once your submission has been processed you will be asked to send a copy (or copies) of the game to a specific address. This may happen after the submission deadline, so please ensure that your submission form is completed along with the documentation. Information about mailing instructions, postmark and delivery will be included in the follow up communication as detailed within the Submission Guidelines. Make sure that your email is set to receive emails from IndieCade accounts and our mailchimp accounts so that you will receive information in a timely way.
Note: Your entry will only be returned to you if you provide return packaging and postage.
How do I submit a big game or a physical game? (expand)
IndieCade’s submission application caters to game creations of all types and our jury is prepared for this type of review. Since, in these cases, you often cannot actually provide the game, the form has provisions for you to provide documentation of your work, as well as identify where the work may have been played in the past or is currently available to play now or in the future. If possible, the jury will play the game first-hand. If there are any components needed to play the game, you may need to send those to us. Further details about submitting a physical game can be found in the “How to Submit” section of the Submission Guidelines.
Can I submit an existing project or must it be new? (expand)
So long as it doesn’t violate any of the rules listed in our Submission Guidelines, your project may be submitted regardless of whether it’s new or old.
Can I resubmit a project that has been rejected previously? (expand)
Yes. However, in order to improve your chances, here are some suggestions for resubmitting a previously rejected entry:
  1. The submission should be different than your prior submission. For example, make some changes based on juror feedback. This has proven effective for some entries in the past.
  2. Change the name of the entry OR, in some other concrete way, clearly indicate it is different from the previously submitted version of your entry (e.g. Entry Name 2.0). This avoids confusion in the event jurors have previously played the original submission through IndieCade or elsewhere.
  3. Make sure to select the checkbox in the system that says your entry is a revision of a previously submitted entry.
Can I resubmit a project that has been a Finalist or Official Selection in a previous IndieCade event? (expand)
Yes, you can re-submit a work that has been a Finalist or Official Selection, but only if it has not won an IndieCade Award. To improve your chances of success, please follow the suggestions above when resubmitting a previously exhibited project (See “Can I re-submit a project that has been rejected previously?”).
Are Festival Submissions open to professional game developers? (expand)
Yes, absolutely.
Are Festival Submissions open to non-professional game creators (hobbyists, enthusiasts, etc.)? (expand)
Yes, absolutely.
Are Festival Submissions open to studios that also create mainstream games for major publishers? (expand)
Yes, absolutely, provided the specific game you are submitting meets the qualifications listed in our Submission Guidelines.
Can I submit a mod an existing game? (expand)
Yes, but your entry must not violate any End User License Agreements (EULAs) for the software and you must have the right to submit and display the work. See our Submission Guidelines for more information.
If I entered another Festival, such as The Independent Games Festival, can I enter this one? (expand)
Yes, we have no requirements limiting the exposure of your game and are happy to have you included in IndieCade. We’re glad to consider works previously or currently entered at other events. We ask that you include any events where your game has been or will be shown in your submission; this can be helpful as we assign jurors to evaluate your entry during the jurying process.
If my work is part of a school project, thesis or otherwise, may I still submit my game? (expand)
Yes, so long as the rules of your school governing projects developed while at the school allow you to do so. IndieCade does not distinguish between student teams and other independent developers. Student teams are eligible for the same recognition. Regardless of how the game is submitted, be it by the students or by the school on behalf of its students, the applicant is required to include the contact information of the original development team. This is crucial for addressing technical issues and other questions that may arise about the entry.
I have a commercial relationship with an IndieCade juror, may I still submit my work? (expand)
Yes, you may still submit your entry. When these situations occur, we make sure the entry is not accidentally assigned to the juror by our automated jury assignment system - so be sure to enter any concerns you may have on your submission form in the Other Notes field, located on the Reviewing Information section. Regardless, jurors are required to immediately recuse themselves from any entry that they are assigned in which there may be a potential or existing conflict of interest.
If I am an IndieCade Juror, may I submit my work? (expand)
Yes, you will never be asked to jury your own project or any project you have worked on. While we work to automatically recuse any submission in which you may be affiliated with from your jury assignments, you must recuse yourself from any assigned entry if there is a pre-existing conflict of interest. Failure to do so will result in removal from the Jury.
How do I sign up to be an IndieCade Juror? (expand)
Participation in the IndieCade Jury is by invitation only, and our Jury is carefully curated to reflect a broad range of expertise and backgrounds. If you would like to volunteer to be a Juror, you may seek a referral from an associate who is already a Juror OR send an email to [email protected] with a brief description of your qualifications and 1-2 references from industry professionals.

Submission and Selection Process Click to expand

Why do you charge a fee for submissions? What am I paying for? (expand)
IndieCade is an independent organization. We are probably as indie as you are. All fees are applied directly to the development of our submission and jurying software, hardware, server fees, maintenance, and processing costs. In return, we provide the following to all IndieCade submission applicants:
  1. Consideration as an Official Selection and/or Finalist to the IndieCade Festival, IndieCade Europe, and IndieCade East. Submissions before March 19th, 2017 will be considered for the IndieCade Showcase @ E3.
  2. A detailed evaluation of your entry by a hand-selected reviewer from the IndieCade Jury.
  3. A minimum of two passes for admission to IndieXchange.* IndieXchange is our pre-Festival developer summit. IXC attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for workshops, network, show-and-tell, and meet one-on-one with major industry leaders and Platforms.
  4. Opportunity to submit a talk to the IndieXchange and GameU.
  5. Expo level admission to IndieCade Festival for two team members and/or invitation to IndieCade Europe special event, with the ability to upgrade to other passes.
* Additional admission to the IndieXchange can be provided pending team size and availability.
Where does my money go? (expand)
IndieCade is an independent organization and we rely on submission processing fees to support the following:
  1. Software development of the jury system: Our jury system has been painstakingly and iteratively developed over the past ten years to create the best possible experience for developers and jurors, and to accommodate the widest range of innovative submissions. The bulk of our fees go directly to the software development team responsible for creating this system.
  2. Server costs: Direct fees associated with maintaining secure servers.
  3. Submission processing fees: Direct fees charged by our payment system, as well as occasional fees for expanding our resources to ensure all submitted games receive a fair review.
  4. Staff and special handling: A small portion of our submission fees assist in handling of incoming physical or special-format entries. For instance, in 2015 we received over 250 board game and special circumstances submissions. Each one of these must be physically logged and tracked at our offices by staff members and volunteers.
Why does the late submission fee cost more? (expand)
The entry deadline for standard submissions is April 30th, 2017. The jurying process begins as soon as games are received by our jurors, so it requires extra work and software for us to add entries after that date. Late submissions are accepted through June 15th, 2017. Note: There is absolutely no difference in how the entry is reviewed if it is entered late, it simply requires additional work and resources to review.
Will entering a late submission impact the way my entry is judged or anything else? (expand)
No. The late submission deadline simply is a grace period for people who cannot complete their submission in time for the regular submission deadline. Submitting in the late submission period does not impact anything about the way the entry is reviewed in any way.
Do you have financial assistance for the submission fee? (expand)
Yes, you may apply to our needs-based financial assistance program here. Staff will review your application and may decide to grant a coupon which will discount the submission fee. Discounts vary based off of individual circumstance.

In order to account for economic differences, we also have location discounts for Brazil, China, India, and Taiwan with more locations to be added. If the previously mentioned locations are selected as your “Creator Location” in the submission form, the location discount will automatically be applied at checkout. To be eligible for this location discount, a third (33%) of your team must be living in the aforementioned countries. If you abuse the location discount and less than a third (33%) of your team is living in the country, your entry will be disqualified.
May I submit anonymously? (expand)
Yes, you may submit anonymously. While IndieCade staff will still need to collect your name and contact information in order to update you on your submission, this information will not be released to the public should you be selected to showcase. You may state your desire to remain anonymous in the Credits section of the submission form.
The submission form states that team members will be put on a mailing list unless they select the opt out option in the form. What is this mailing list used for? (expand)
The mailing list is used only by IndieCade staff in order to update you on your submission as well as send a monthly newsletter to you. We do not give this mailing list out to any other organizations, companies, or individuals. Until you are notified of your festival decision and receive your feedback (around approximately October), we ask that you do not unsubscribe from this list as it is our primary way of contacting entrants.
May I update my application once submitted? (expand)
No, you can not edit your application form once it has been submitted. There is some leniency if your form has broken download links or expired coupon codes, and IndieCade staff will contact you if your entry has such. Additionally, should you be selected to showcase at any of our events, you are more than welcome to bring an updated build and provide new materials for media (screenshots, videos, copy, etc.).
Can I replace my entry with a newer and better version after I’ve submitted? (expand)
No, you cannot submit a newer build once you pay for your submission. Our evaluation system has jurors being assigned submissions the moment they arrive in our systems. If you want to submit a later version of your game to be evaluated, you must withdraw the original application and submit the new version as a brand-new IndieCade submission. In this event, you will need to pay a new submission fee. We cannot refund the original submission fee. Please email [email protected] for more information about this process.
My entry is marked as “Waiting Receipt” - what does that mean? (expand)
If an entry has a special format or requires special handling - such as event-based, installation, tabletop, or custom hardware games - its application will be automatically marked as “Waiting Receipt.” This is standard for all special-format submissions. Once we have confirmed access to a playable build of your entry (e.g. your entry is received at our office, at an event attended by jurors, etc.), your application will be marked as “Submitted” and authorized for jurying.

Please note that as long as you have completed the online submission form and paid for your submission by the deadline, we have received your entry and you have made it in time for the deadline. You may receive an email from staff after the deadline to clarify how to gain access to and review your entry.
Who reviews the IndieCade submissions? (expand)
IndieCade has a rigorous jury processed based on academic review process. Each IndieCade submissions is reviewed by several people from a jury committee. Each entry then is assigned a review/ super juror who provides a written review for each submission. Further, entries then go on to a larger pool of reviewers for quality assurance, additional information, and to insure that we provide the best recommendations.

Overall IndieCade has a pool of over 400 industry volunteers representing a wide range of expertise within and outside of games. Additional jurors are added as needed to give each entry a fair assessment. IndieCade jurors include past IndieCade Finalists, professional developers from both indie and mainstream game industries, fine artists, researchers and academics, curators, journalists, game writers, and students with an established game development and/or interactive media history. Based on detailed profiles, submissions are assigned to jurors who have the best possible qualifications and technological infrastructure to review each entry. For instance, if your entry is an art game or a fighting game, we will assign it to jurors with expertise in those area. We also work to avoid assigning entries to jurors with a potential conflict of interest; however, jurors also share the responsibility of recusing themselves from reviewing entries for which such a conflict exists.
What intellectual property rules pertain to IndieCade events? (expand)
IndieCade does not claim any ownership of your submission or any of its associated assets or intellectual property. IndieCade does retain the right to include the work of Finalists and Official Selections in its promotional materials. Entrants warrant that any IP submitted for IndieCade is solely owned by the developers and that any licensed content has been legally obtained. IndieCade reserves the right to deem ineligible any submission that violates the intellectual property rights of others.
Will I receive confirmation of my entry? (expand)
Applicants will receive confirmation within one week of receipt of submission. Finalists will be contacted by September 2017. Rejection notices will be sent by September 2017. Feedback will be sent out by the Festival in approximately October.
Will my entry materials be returned? (expand)
We can only return entry materials if you supply self-addressed, pre-paid postage and an appropriate box, envelope, or other necessary shipping package. Please also include shipping materials for padding if needed (i.e. bubble wrap and/or foam pellets), and a note requesting that your materials be returned.
If my entry is chosen as a Finalist or Official Selection, can I show a different version of the entry than was submitted? (expand)
Yes, if you are selected as a Finalist or Official Selection, you will have the opportunity to show the newest and the best version of your work at the IndieCade event you are selected for.
Can I enter more than one project? (expand)
Absolutely! You may enter as many as you like. Each work requires its own submission information in order to be juried as its own game. If you have a series of short games, you may submit those as one entry, but realize they will also be reviewed as single entry.
Must I have a working version of my (digital) project in order to submit? (expand)
Yes. You must provide access to a working version of your submission in order to avoid disqualification. Any submission, even if paid, which does not include access to a working version of the game, will be disqualified. Event-based entries can be played by asking jurors to attend an event where the entry is already being shown, or by asking jurors to attend a special developer-run jurying session. Board games and other physical special-format entries must be physically mailed or delivered to avoid disqualification. IndieCade staff will contact you after you have submitted your online application form with a mailing address and postmark deadline. Note: Refunds are not provided for entries which are disqualified.
What are grounds for disqualification? (expand)
A game may be disqualified if:
  1. The entry does not meet the eligibility requirements listed in the Submission Guidelines.
  2. For digital games: Jurors are unable to access a working version of the game. If our reviewers cannot play your submission for technical reasons, they will contact the person listed under the technical support contact. If we do not receive a response within 48 hours of a plan on how to get your submission reviewed, it risks disqualification. This is why it’s extremely important to include a reachable technical contact with your submission and to respond in a prompt fashion to inquiries from [email protected].
  3. For event-based or installation-based entries: If jurors cannot play the game at an existing event or by arrangement with developers via a special jurying session. Again, you must be available to show your entry as requested.
  4. For board games: If developers do not deliver a physical copy of the game to our offices by the postmark deadline. The postmark deadline may or may not be the same as the submission deadline and will be given to you in a follow up email to you by IndieCade staff after you submit your online application. This follow up email will contain an address to send your submission to as well as the postmark deadline. It may be sent after a submission deadline.
  5. You abuse the Creator Location discount. If you select a location that has an automatic discount but less than a third (33%) of your team is living in the discounted location, your entry will be disqualified.

Please note that we do not refund fees for games that are disqualified.
Can my entry be disqualified after I submit and send my game to IndieCade? (expand)
An entry may be disqualified after complete submission if:
  • A) The entry does not meet the eligibility requirements listed in the Submission Guidelines;
  • B) Developers are unable to provide a working version of the game despite staff and jurors contacting them. This is why it’s extremely important to include a reachable technical contact with your submission and to respond in a prompt fashion to inquiries from [email protected]
    Please note that we do not refund fees for games that are disqualified.
  • C) You abuse the Creator Location discount. If you select a location that has an automatic discount but less than a third (33%) of your team is living in the discounted location, your entry will be disqualified.
What will you do with selected and finalist submissions after the evaluation period is over? (expand)
We will post materials, photos, etc. related to all Finalists and Official Selections on our website for ongoing public exposure and inspiration. We are happy to host links to your entry’s website, sale pages, Kickstarters, etc.
Will I be notified of Finalist or Official Selection acceptance status before the accepted games are publicly announced? (expand)
If you are a Finalist or an Official Selection, you will be contacted before the official announcement so you can begin to make plans to attend the event. If your entry is accepted, we will also send you official IndieCade acceptance seals before the announcements are made so you can have them ready to post on your web site and other materials upon public announcement.

For all events accept our IndieCade Showcase @ E3, all entrants are informed of their entry’s status just before the official announcement is made. For our IndieCade Showcase @ E3 event, only selected entries will be notified. If you are not notified by May 1st, 2017, we have had to pass on your entry for this year’s E3 event. You are still eligible for all other events, and inclusion in our IndieCade Showcase @ E3 does not help nor hinder acceptance in other IndieCade events.
What if I do not want my project or information about my project announced? (expand)
If your entry is selected as a Finalist or Official Selection and you have an embargo or any other information about your entry that you want withheld we can accommodate your requests. No information is released without your knowledge.
If a submission is entered under a team name and we win an IndieCade Award, how is it distributed? (expand)
The award will be given to the designated team/company/organization OR an individual from the team specified in the team’s application.
Do you have prizes? (expand)
Each IndieCade Award-winning game receives a handmade, one-of-a-kind trophy specifically designed for each awardee. IndieCade does not provide traditional prizes or cash for award winners. That said, accepted Finalists and Official Selections do receive a number of added benefits, including two VIP Passes to IndieCade Showcase @ E3 OR IndieCade Festival (depending on where they’re accepted), access to private IndieCade social events, features and promotions across our website and social media, passes to our IndieXchange pre-Festival developer summit, use of a display booth at the selected event, and inclusion in all press releases, publicity work, and more. Additionally IndieCade provides an in-house publicist and premiere opportunities for all of our events.
I've already submitted my project for Indiecade Festival 2017. Do I need to resubmit to be eligible for IndieCade Showcase @ E3 or other events? (expand)
No, every submission entered before our IndieCade Showcase @ E3 Submissions Deadline of March 19th, 2017 will automatically be considered for the IndieCade Showcase @ E3 event as well as all other events throughout the year. Note: Acceptance in the IndieCade Showcase @ E3 does not impact selection for IndieCade Festival.
If my entry is not selected for IndieCade Showcase @ E3, will it not be accepted to IndieCade Festival either? (expand)
No. Inclusion, or lack thereof, in IndieCade Showcase @ E3 does not affect your likelihood of selection for Indiecade Festival.
Can I submit my project to IndieCade Showcase @ E3 only and not to IndieCade Festival? (expand)
No, you must submit to IndieCade Festival to be eligible for IndieCade Showcase @ E3.
Can I submit my project to IndieCade Europe only and not to IndieCade Festival? (expand)
No, you must submit to IndieCade Festival to be eligible for IndieCade Europe. There is an opportunity to indicate on your submission form which events you are able to attend. Not all of the events require attendance.
Can I submit my project to IndieCade East? (expand)
No. IndieCade East does not take game submissions. Games shown at East are hand-curated selections of entries featured at past IndieCade events. Finalists and Official Selections of IndieCade Festival are often considered for these curations.
What should I do if my entry requires a complex technical setup, or multiple players? (expand)
Because IndieCade is all about innovation, the IndieCade jury system is designed to accommodate a wide range of genres, platforms, and contexts. Each juror fills out a detailed profile which includes technology to which they have access, proficiencies, as well as events they have attended or will attend in the future. We then work diligently to assign your entry to jurors who have both the qualifications and the technology to review your game. Additionally, we have special jurying sessions for multiplayer and special format entries. If your entry has special format considerations, such as a live installation-based game, we may contact you and ask you to give a demo presentation to jurors. In any case, we ask that you please respond quickly to inquiries from our jury team and make sure your spam folders are cleared for such inquiries. The most common cause for disqualification is failure to respond to requests to make a working version of your entry available to jurors. We need your help in order to avoid disqualification since it is our goal to play your entry.
What if my submission is installation, location, or event based? (expand)
Our evaluation system includes a feature that allows you to include events and venues where your submission has been or will be shown. This will enable us to match your entry with jurors who have attended, or will attend, these events or venues and have played it in its full form. We may also ask you to stage a session of your entry, bring your entry to one of our special jurying sessions, or provide instructions and/or materials for jurors to run a session themselves.

IndieXchange Click to expand

What is the IndieXchange? (expand)
IndieXchange (IXC) is a day-long, invitation-only, pre-Festival developer summit that takes place in the Los Angeles area and consists of opportunities to showcase games, network, and attend practical developer-focused workshops with fellow game creators. Additionally, one-on-one meetings are arranged between developers who have submitted their games to IndieCade and a variety of different indie studios and Platforms who are interested in establishing a relationship with developers. All entries submitted by developers to IndieCade, who indicate interest in IXC on their application, are eligible to be included in this event. Examples of workshops and panels from the past years include hands-on legal and public relations clinics, technology sessions, and meetings with representatives from IndieCade sponsors such as PlayStation, Nintendo of America, Microsoft, Google, and more - as well as non-profit organizations such as the BBC and the NEA (National Endowment of the Arts). For more information, refer to the IndieXchange section of the website closer to the IndieCade Festival.
When is the IndieXchange? (expand)
The IndieXchange is traditionally held on the day before IndieCade Festival begins. It serves as a pre-Festival summit with IndieCade Festival formally beginning the next day.
Can anyone get into IndieXchange? (expand)
All developers who submit to IndieCade and indicate interest in IXC are eligible to attend, however, reservations are required. This is ONLY open to developers who submit to IndieCade, no other developers are eligible. All funders and sponsors are invited by special arrangement with IndieCade.
Does the IndieXchange cost money? (expand)
Developers who have submitted to IndieCade are able to attend the event free of charge on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each applicant team receives at least two passes, with a potential for more if space is available.
What is the benefit of participating in IndieXchange? (expand)
The IndieXchange provides a unique opportunity for attendees to develop practical skills that will help them improve, showcase, and pitch their projects. It also allows developers to connect with key players in the industry and the arts while putting them face-to-face with Platform representatives, mentors, and advisors. Even if you aren't interested in the IXC for your current project, or already have secured a publishing deal, this is a prime opportunity for building long-term relationships that may benefit your future work.
I am not really a mainstream indie developer should I attend the IndieXchange? (expand)
The goal of the IndieXchange is to be relevant to the wide range of game developers who create independent work and submit to IndieCade. It is by drawing this diverse group together we actively work to create programming, networking, showcases, discussion groups, workshops, meetings, and resources that are helpful and meaningful. We are also open to input from the community.
How do I submit a talk to IndieCade? (expand)
IndieCade accepts talks from submitting developers. Talk submissions are primarily considered for our GameU and IndieXchange tracks at the Festival but will also be recommended to other events if they are a good fit. Talk submissions are due by June 30th. Should you wish to submit a talk for consideration, please do so at THIS FORM.

How The IndieCade Jurying Process Works Click to expand

Overview (expand)
Your entry will pass through several reviewers whose input is taken into consideration when determining whether or not your entry should be accepted into an IndieCade showcase. While the input of some jurors is weighted more, any juror can contest the decision of another, in which case your entry will be further evaluated by others. This evaluation process happens on a rolling basis but a final decision for the Festival is not delivered until later in the year in order to give late submissions an equal chance of acceptance. Please make sure your spam filters do not filter out emails from [email protected] or [email protected] as we use these addresses with Mailchimp to deliver updates, feedback, and festival acceptance notifications.
Part 1: Evaluating Your Game (expand)
The jury evaluation period for entries occurs on a rolling basis from March to September. Jurors are assigned entries based on the technical platforms they have available for evaluations and their proficiencies. Jurors are asked to abstain from reviewing entries with which they have a conflict of interest. When a juror abstains or cancels their participation, the entry is assigned to a new juror. All entries are evaluated by the jury committee. Documentation of your submission (gameplay videos, artistic statement, screenshots, etc.) is now more important than ever as it is vital for the jury committee to understand your submission.
For some Special Format entries one of the following may occur:
  • The entry may be assigned to one of our Jury Hubs; these are locations where jurors come together to test local multiplayer, special-format, or tabletop entries and staff will reach out to you with the address of the Hub if you need to mail materials in. If we do not receive a physical or digital copy of your entry to provide to a Jury Hub (if applicable), you risk disqualification.
  • If you have listed events in which your entry has been or will be exhibited, we may assign jurors attending these events to your entry.
  • If your entry is site-specific or performative, we may contact jurors and ask them to visit the installation or performance - or we may contact you with a request to provide a demo of your entry to local jurors.
  • If your entry can be mailed in, IndieCade staff will contact you after you have submitted your online entry form. We will provide you with an address to mail your entry to as well as a date your entry must be postmarked by (risking disqualification otherwise). We may contact you after a submission deadline.
  • If we are unable to do any of the above, we will contact individuals (with your assistance) who have already played your entry and are able to provide a non-biased review of it.
If your entry is, in any way, unusual or unique (which we strongly encourage), we will work with you to assure it is properly juried. In order to do this, we need your help and cooperation by being responsive to email & phone communications from our Jury team.
Due to the scale and complexity of this process, we occasionally have significant challenges getting a game properly juried. If at any time you have concerns about the jurying of your submission, please contact us immediately via [email protected]
Part 2: Finalist Selection Process (expand)
At the close of the jurying cycle, the IndieCade Jury Committee - which includes our Jury Chairs, Festival Director, and Festival Chair - analyzes an entry’s submission materials and considers reviewers’ input in order to select our Finalists. Each entrant into the festival is hand selected after multiple rounds of curation. A total of 36 Finalists are selected each year from the pool of submissions. Up to an additional 100 are selected as Official Selections.
Please note: Due to the highly competitive nature of our submissions process and the many wonderful applications we receive, it is possible to receive high praise from the jurors recommending inclusion in the Festival, and still not be selected as a Finalist. This is because we receive more juror recommendations than we can accommodate. Entries that are reviewed highly might be considered as Official Selections. Additionally, if a future iteration of an entry has a stronger chance of being award-worthy, it might also be considered as an Official Selection - giving developers the opportunity to resubmit a further-completed version for awards consideration at a later date.
Part 3: Official Selection Process (expand)
The Jury Committee makes the final decision on IndieCade Official Selections. Recommendations can be made based on high juror review scores, positive reviewer feedback or entries that strike the Jury Committee as interesting or noteworthy, or works-in-progress just shy of qualifying as Finalists. Additionally, Official Selections may exhibit entries that were not submitted to IndieCade, or entries that were previously shown at an IndieCade event and have subsequently been published or further developed.
Part 4: E3 Official Selection Process (expand)
Entries submitted prior to March 19th, 2017 are eligible for Official Selection status at the IndieCade Showcase @ E3, taking place in June in Los Angeles, California. If an entry is selected for this showcase, the applicants will be contacted no later than May 1st. Unlike Festival notifications, applicants do not receive an email notification if they were not selected. If you do not hear back by the previously mentioned date, we have had to pass on your submission for our IndieCade Showcase @ E3 this year. Acceptance into the IndieCade Showcase @ E3 does not help nor hinder acceptance into the Festival.
Please note: Attendance is required for inclusion in the IndieCade Showcase @ E3. Be aware that, if chosen, you, or a designated representative of your entry, should be available and able to travel to E3 in order to participate in the showcase. If however, you are unable to attend because of travel or visa issues entering the United States please contact us and we will work out a solution.
Part 5: Awards (expand)
IndieCade Red Carpet Awards
The IndieCade Red Carpet Awards presents nine innovation-based awards each year at the IndieCade Festival. All Finalist games are eligible for awards in any category. To determine award recipients, all Finalist submissions are played by each member of the Jury Committee who discuss and consider the scores and comments provided by jurors and reviewers. They then determine which Finalist entries should be nominated for each award category. As with regular jurors, the Jury Committee must recuse themselves from discussing any entries to which they may have a relationship (e.g. financial stake, friendship, co-worker, student).
This process takes place over a month-long period via a series of remote meetings in which each Finalist entry is discussed in-depth. During this process, the Jury Committee crafts short statements that detail the reasons each entry is selected as a nominee in a given category, as well as notes on why each of the award-selected games will receive their award.

IndieCade Choice Awards
All Finalists and Official Selections are also eligible for the four IndieCade Choice Awards - a series of awards determined via public votes from Festival attendees, media, the IndieCade Jury, and fellow developers of Finalist and Official Selection entries. These votes are collected throughout IndieCade Festival and IndieCade Europe. Votes are carefully monitored and only one vote per person is allowed. The winners of the IndieCade Choice Awards are announced at the end of the event. The Choice Awards exist in both the Festival and IndieCade Europe.
Part 6: Rejection & Acceptance Notices (expand)
Acceptance and rejection notices to all IndieCade events are typically sent out in September. At this point, one of the following will occur:
  • Rejections: Applicants will receive a rejection notice that includes a detailed juror review and an invitation to register for the IndieXchange, our pre-Festival developer and artist summits at IndieCade Festival. Every applicant is eligible to receive at least two tickets for their team to IXC and one Expo level (or equivalent) pass to the rest of the Festival.
  • Finalist or Official Selection Acceptances: If an applicant is accepted as either a Finalist or an Official Selection, they will receive an email from our jury system which will initiate communications with our Games Manager. They will assist applicants with all the logistics regarding preparing your entry and team for their IndieCade event. Acceptance includes two VIP Passes, including IndieXchange invitations for the applicant team. IndieCade does not charge for booth space and some equipment may be provided with priority given to international developers traveling from afar. Additional passes may be obtained via special request, based on availability. Accepted applicants may also receive a speaking invitation from our IndieCade Festival Conference Committee.
    If an entry is accepted, either as a Finalist or Official Selection, we ask that applicants have one team member available to attend the IndieCade event they are chosen for. If a team member is not available to attend the event, we ask that a representative be sent. Our experience has shown that an entry’s exhibition experience is greatly enhanced by the presence of one of its creators or a representative. However, we understand travel arrangements could be difficult to secure and we would be happy to work with applicants who may not be able to find someone to represent their work and field attending media.
Part 7: Inclusion in IndieCade East (expand)
IndieCade East takes place in New York City. There is no separate submission process for inclusion of games at IndieCade East and games are curated specifically for the annual theme. In addition to the showcase, we do welcome everyone to apply to the event’s Show & Tell, an open demo space where attendees can sign up (first come, first serve) to show their game in two-hour timeslots - information about Show & Tell signups will be announced alongside IndieCade East ticket sale announcements on - keep an eye out for updates. If the IndieCade East Committee determines they would like to include a game in an IndieCade East showcase, the creators will be contacted.