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What do you mean by “game”?

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?

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 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?

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?

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.

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Are you an IndieCade Alumnus? We want to know! If you've been a speaker, organizer, juror, or presented your game at IndieCade or any IndieCade-related showcase (ex. IndieCade @ E3, IndieCade @ SIGGRAPH, etc. - doesn't need to have been a finalist) we'd like to be in touch.