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.”

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 games@indiecade.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?

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.


What kind of submissions are you looking for?

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?

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.?

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.


I have a mobile (iOS, Android, etc.) game. How do I submit it?

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 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?

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 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. 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?

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.


Can I re-submit an existing project that has been previously submitted to IndieCade?

Yes you may re-submit an existing project. However, in order to improve your chances, here are some suggestions for re-submitting a previously rejected entry:

  1. The submission should be different than your prior submission. For example, make some changes based on any feedback you have received from collaborators or improvements you have made over the year. 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 re-submit a project that has been a Finalist or Official Selection at a previous IndieCade event?

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 for re-submitting above.


Are Festival Submissions open to professional game developers?

Yes, absolutely.


Are Festival Submissions open to non-professional game creators (hobbyists, enthusiasts, etc.)?

Yes, absolutely.


Are Festival Submissions open to studios that also create mainstream games for major publishers?

Yes, absolutely. If you have concerns about your eligibility, please contact games@indiecade.com.


Can I submit a mod an existing game?

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.


If I entered another Festival, such as The Independent Games Festival, can I enter this one?

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?

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?

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?

Yes, you will never be asked to review 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?

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 jury@indiecade.com with a brief description of your qualifications and 1-2 references from industry professionals.


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