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:
- 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.
Note: *Additional admission to the IndieXchange can be provided pending team size and availability.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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 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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Yes, though only for a limited number of developers. With the aid of our partners, iThrive and Kickstarter, we will be able to provide travel assistance to more than a dozen developers / games for the 2018 Festival this October in Los Angeles.
Once selected, Nominated and Gaming for Everyone selected developers will be eligible to apply for this assistance. Specific priority for this fund is given to game creators of color, women, the disabled, gender variant, and all marginalized populations, culturally, ethnically, and socio-economically, as well this initiative also encompasses games themselves that deal with those issues.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.
Please note that we do not refund fees for games that are disqualified.
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.
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.
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.
The award will be given to the designated team/company/organization OR an individual from the team specified in the team’s application.
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.
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.
No. This year’s IndieCade Showcase @ E3 will not be taking game submissions.
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.
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.
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.
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.