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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 2018 IndieCade will hold three primary events:
IndieCade Showcase @ E3: June 12-14, 2018 | Los Angeles Convention Center
The IndieXchange (pre-Festival developer summit): October 11, 2018 | Los Angeles Area
IndieCade Festival: October 12-13, 2018 | Los Angeles Area
IndieCade Europe: October 19-20, 2018 | Paris, France
Please see our website for additions to our schedule, specific dates, and updates on our latest events.
In the Submission Guidelines, you can see the specific dates and requirements for submission deadlines.
NOTE: There is only one submission form for all of IndieCade events, but you may choose
which event you are applying for within the submission form. This is a change from 2017’s form as applicant
feedback indicated that many European creators were uninterested/unable to attend U.S. events and vice versa.
There are separate fees for each event so that creators may choose which event(s) they would like to apply and
pay for. If you would like to be considered for multiple events, you must pay the associated combination fee.
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@example.com 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 permitted. 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. Submissions initially go through a documentation review phase. The documentation is extremely important component
to your application. It will be reviewed by multiple people and impacts the next phase. Think of it as if you would in applying for a
job - the documentation is your resume and you want to make sure to get an interview! After the initial documentation phase, then move
on to either community jurying or a committee jurying phase where they are played. Community jurying will also suggest games into the
committee jurying phase. Please note that we do not guarantee that all games will be played, however at the very least - all games will
be reviewed very carefully on their documentation and the next phase is based on that.
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:
- 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.
- 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 Diawi.com (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.
Please know that while we do accept TestFlight, it may lengthen the time needed to find a suitable juror for your entry as some jurors may not wish to
give up their email/anonymity in order to review your entry.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
If you have concerns about your eligibility, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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@example.com 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 much like many of our applicants. 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:
Note: *Additional admission to the IndieXchange can be provided pending team size and availability.
- Consideration as an Official Selection and/or Finalist to the IndieCade Festival, IndieCade Europe.
- 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, and meet one-on-one with major industry leaders and Platforms.
- Opportunity to sign up for the GameTasting/ show-and-tell at IndieCade and IndieCade Europe.
- Opportunity to submit a talk to the IndieCade and IndieCade Europe conference track.
Do we still get written feedback for our submissions? (expand)
- Due to the large increase in volume of submissions over the past years, we can no longer accommodate written feedback for
all submissions at the quality level we feel is ideal. Providing feedback is important to our organization and we are actively
looking at ways to create an opt in feature for feedback for next year. In the meantime, we have decreased the price for single
submissions with this change in mind.
Where does my money go? (expand)
- IndieCade is an independent organization and we rely on submission processing fees to support the following:
- 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.
- Server costs: Direct fees associated with maintaining secure servers.
- 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.
- 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 regular submissions is May 28th, 2018. The jurying process begins when 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 25th have been extended to July 1st, 2018.
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 you can input on the last page of the submission form and will discount
the submission fee. Discounts vary based off of individual circumstance. If you have applied to the financial
assistance program, we recommend that you finish filling out your submission but wait to hear back on your
financial assistance before paying and officially completing your submission.
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
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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Should you be chosen to showcase at any of our events, IndieCade does retain the right to use your submitted screenshots /
photos and / or photos of your work taken by our photographers at our events in our promotional materials as we see fit.
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 2018.
Rejection notices will be sent by September 2018.
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. (Please note that event-based entries are sometimes ONLY reviewed off of their documentation if we are unable to find
suitable jurors in the area.) 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:
- The entry does not meet the eligibility requirements listed in the Submission Guidelines.
- 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@example.com.
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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, entrants are informed of their entry’s
status just before the official announcement is made.
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 Europe 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 2018. Do I need to resubmit to be eligible for IndieCade Europe or other events? (expand)
- No, there is only one submission form for all events. HOWEVER, applicants may checkmark in the submission form which specific event
they are applying to (IndieCade Festival in Los Angeles, CA, United States or IndieCade Europe in Paris, France). You are automatically
considered for both events, however should you only be interested in one event you can indicate that and it will be reflected in your submission fee.
Regarding our IndieCade Showcase @ E3, this year’s Showcase will not be taking game submissions.
Can I submit my project to IndieCade Showcase @ E3? (expand)
- No. This year’s IndieCade Showcase @ E3 will not be taking game submissions.
Can I submit my project to IndieCade Europe only and not to IndieCade Festival? (expand)
- Yes, the same submission form is used for both IndieCade Europe and IndieCade Festival. In the form, you can checkmark which event you’d
like to be considered for. Submission fees are separate for IndieCade Europe and IndieCade Festival. If you mark that you only want to be considered
for IndieCade Europe (or IndieCade Festival), you will only pay the submission fee associated with that event. If you mark that you’d like to be
considered for both, you must pay the associated combination submission fees.
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 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. Please note that in some cases, such as event based or installation works,
your entry may be reviewed ONLY on the documentation in your submission form if we cannot find suitable jurors in the area.
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. Please note that in some cases, such as event based or installation works, your entry may be
reviewed ONLY on the documentation in your submission form if we cannot find suitable jurors in the area.
Submissions Documentation Click to expand
What is submissions documentation? (expand)
- Submissions Documentation includes all of the materials in your submission that help us to understand your work before playing the game. Examples of documentation are your artistic statement, your team description, your game screen shots and video of a play through of the game. Because we do not have the resources to play each and every game submitted to our events (this is especially true of special format games), we rely heavily on documentation for the first phases of juror evaluation. Much like applying for an arts residency, documentation serves as the first impression of your work and a way for our jurors to get an understanding of the piece of art under consideration.
What is an artistic statement and how important is it? (expand)
- Your artistic statement communicates the inspiration and meaning in the work you have created. It is very important to our jurors as it conveys a good deal about the game under consideration, in terms of its creation and intended purpose in the world. This is not to say that all games (or works of art for that matter) must have a serious/social/political purpose (a game can be made simply for the sake of fun or beauty), but what matters most is simply that you clearly communicate the thought and meaning that has gone into your work. The strength of this statement helps separate our the games that move into the next phase of jurying.
What kids of video documentation are useful in the jurying process? (expand)
- First and foremost, we would like to stress the kind of videos that are NOT useful here. Please do NOT use Let’s Play Youtube style video documentation in your submission. It is too hard for the jurors to decipher what is going on and they cannot get a clear sense of your game from this kind of documentation. We also do NOT encourage a video taped reading of the rules for a game (such as the text of instructions for a table game . Video documentation that IS valuable includes:
- A (silent) video recording play-through of your game. (Do not set to music, other than the music that may be a part of the game. If composition accompanies the game, that may of course be included)
- You (the developer) talking through the design process (as a voice over), while we watch a direct (not a let’s play-style) video of your game being played (a run through). This is especially useful for special format games such as a table game or a Big Game. We watch the game being played in a timed manner with a voice over of the design process and steps we observe.
What are the steps for jurying with regards to documentation? (expand)
- A sub committee of jurors will initially look at the entire documentation package for each and every submitted game for that year. Approximately a quarter of the games will be chosen from this initial round to go on to more rigorous assessment, which includes playing the game.
I am new at this and not used to documenting my work. Where can I find help? (expand)
- There are many online resources that show how to write an artistic statement, and you can find good silent play-throughs of games on Youtube.
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 Oculus, PlayStation, Nintendo of America, Microsoft, Google, and more. 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, this year it will be held October 11th. 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 with this form HERE.
How The IndieCade Jurying Process Works Click to 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@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org as we use these addresses with Mailchimp to deliver updates and festival acceptance notifications.
- Due to the large increase in volume of submissions over the past years, we can no longer accommodate written feedback for all submissions
at the quality level we feel is ideal. Providing feedback is important to our organization and we are actively looking at ways to create an opt-in
feature for feedback for next year. In the meantime, we have decreased the price for single submissions with this change in mind.
Part 1: Evaluating Your Game (expand)
- The jury evaluation period for entries occurs on a rolling basis from the opening of submissions 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.
Please read the documentation section for tips about submitting your game since the documentation is a crucial element to the success of your
submission. All entries are reviewed first by their documentation and then move on to either community jurying or a committee jurying phase
where they are played. Community jurying will also suggest games into the committee jurying phase. All entries are reviewed first through
documentation and then possibly move on to a more in depth phase where they are played. Please note that we do not guarantee that all games will
be played, however all games will be reviewed on their documentation at least.
To learn more about documentation, please go HERE.
- 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 we are unable to do any of the above, we will review the entry purely based off of documentation.
- 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@example.com
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: 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 reviewed 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 5: 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 and the form to RSVP to 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.
- Finalist or Official Selection Acceptances: If an applicant is accepted as either a Finalist or an Official Selection,
they will receive an email from the IndieCade staff 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. We ask that developers bring their own equipment, but will make every effort to provide equipment if
a team is unable to, 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.
IndieCade Europe Click to expand
What is IndieCade Europe? (expand)
- IndieCade Europe is an annual IndieCade conference and Expo, originated in Paris, France and providing the European and international community a broader access to IndieCade as an event and celebration. IndieCade Europe has provided IndieCade with the ability to showcase a greater selection of international developers annually and bring together independent developers on site as one community on a new continent.
When and where is IndieCade Europe? (expand)
- IndieCade Europe will be held this year (2018) in Paris, France on October 19th and 20th.
Can I Submit my game to IndieCade Europe? (expand)
- Yes. This year IndieCade has made it an option to submit for the Los Angeles Festival or IndieCade Europe separately, or together as a holistic package. For more on submissions, follow the link HERE.
What kind of events will there be at IndieCade Europe? (expand)
- IndieCade Europe will have an independent games expo, with nominees and selected games curated through IndieCade, workshops for developers, a keynote track, an awards ceremony and social events such as Night Games.
How can I buy tickets to IndieCade Europe? (expand)
- Once tickets are available, they will be announced to our community via our newsletter and social media channels,
and made available through the IndieCade Europe WEBSITE. To keep up on ticket sales and other news, subscribe to our newsletter.
How long has IndieCade Europe been running? (expand)
- This will be the third IndieCade Europe in Paris. The first was in November of 2015.