Submissions Dates & Fees

When you submit, you choose which event (IndieCade Festival or IndieCade Europe) you would like to be considered for. Please note that each event has their own, associated submission fee and if you would like to be considered for both IndieCade Festival and IndieCade Europe, you must pay the associated combination fee.

We offer submission fee assistance to a limited number of developers and creators in need of financial assistance - click HERE to learn more. Please note that this scholarship is ONLY to help with the submission fee and is NOT a scholarship for travel assistance should you be chosen to be showcased.

Submission Deadlines:

  • March 15th, 2019 - 11:59 PM Pacific (GMT -7)
    Regular game submission deadline.
    IndieCade Festival OR IndieCade Europe Fee: $75 USD
    IndieCade Festival AND IndieCade Europe Fee: $100 USD
  • April 15th 25th 2018 -  11:59 PM Pacific (GMT -7)
    Late game submission deadline (now extended).
    IndieCade Festival OR IndieCade Europe Late Fee: $110 USD
    IndieCade Festival AND IndieCade Europe Late Fee: $140 USD

Notifications:

  • IndieCade Festival Finalists & Official Selections will be notified by August 1st, 2019.
  • IndieCade Europe Selections will be notified by September 2019.

IndieCade is an independent organization and our ultimate goal is to bring the eye of the industry & general public to your submission. All submission fees directly cover the costs associated with processing your submission and showcasing selected games.


What You Get For Submitting - All Games

All entries submitted to IndieCade by the listed deadlines receive the following benefits:

  1. Consideration as an Official Selection* and/or Finalist**. You may choose to be considered for all events (for example IndieCade Festival and IndieCade Europe) or for only one of the events (for example, Only IndieCade Europe). Please note that submission fees differ based on those selections. (IndieCade does not charge exhibitor booth fees for accepted nominees or official selections.)
  2. Considered for any additional potential 2019 IndieCade events.
  3. A minimum of two passes for admission to IndieXchange (IXC),*** 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 showcase your game at the GameTasting (show-and-tell). This is on a first-come first-serve basis.
  5. Opportunity to submit a talk to IndieCade Festival or IndieCade Europe.

Please note: 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.

Please also 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. To learn more about documentation, please go HERE.

* Official Selections: Entries curated by the Jury committee with input from our volunteer reviewers for showcases at IndieCade Festival. Official Selections are eligible for the IndieCade Festival and IndieCade Europe Audience, Media, Developer, & Jury Choice Awards.

** Finalists: Entries eligible, based on reviews by our Jury committee and volunteer reviewers, for our annual IndieCade Festival Red Carpet Awards, IndieCade Europe Awards, as well as the IndieCade Festival and Europe Audience, Media, Developer, & Jury Choice Awards.

*** IndieXchange: The IndieXchange takes place in Los Angeles the day prior to the main festival. There may be an IndieXchange styled event pending in Europe and if that event occurs, you will be invited. Additional admissions to the IndieXchange can be provided pending team size and availability.


What You Get For Submitting - Accepted Games

In addition to the general benefits for submitting a game LISTED ABOVE, if you are accepted as either an Official Selection or a Finalist you will also receive:

  1. Two VIP Passes to the IndieCade event(s) for which you are accepted (Festival and/or Europe) as well ass invitations to all related social events.
  2. Invitations to related IndieCade social events for the applicant team.
  3. Features and promotions of your entry and team via the IndieCade website, social media channels, press releases, and more. This includes our onsite publicists.
  4. Opportunity for a preview or media event (must be organized prior to the event in coordination with IndieCade staff and support).
  5. Use of basic furniture. IndieCade does NOT charge for booth space at IndieCade Festival or IndieCade Europe. However, please note that you must bring your own equipment for showcasing your work. If you are unable to do so, we will assist if possible. In particular, developers of mobile games should plan to bring their own devices. Developers of custom installation, pervasive, performance, or other alternative genres should also plan on bringing their own specialized equipment and furniture. Board game developers are expected to provide a playable copy of their game. (IndieCade does charge a small exhibitor fee for booth rentals at the convention center for our IndieCade Showcase @ E3 event.)
  6. Award Eligibility: All games accepted (Official Selections and Finalists) to IndieCade Festival and IndieCade Europe are eligible for the “choice” awards - which in the past have included Audience Choice Award, Developer Choice Award, Media Choice Award, and Jury Choice Award. The Choice Awards are decided onsite at the event by various attendee groups. In additional, Finalists also are eligible for our juried awards such as Grand Jury Award, Visual Design Award, Audio Design Award, etc. All Official Selections and Finalist games are invited to the Red Carpet Award Events.

Note: For large teams there is potential complimentary access for additional members of the applicant team to any showcase where their entry is on display or awards for which their game might be nominated. This is not guaranteed and depends entirely on space and capacity.


Submission Eligibility

IndieCade welcomes work from across all genres and mediums, be they digital, tabletop, big and/or physical, performative, competitive, cooperative, experimental, experiential, or hybrids thereof. From works-in-progress to fully completed and/or released works on traditional platforms, on new platforms or on something from beyond our expectations - IndieCade welcomes innovation of all forms.

Independent Games, as defined by IndieCade, are works that receive funding via their own developers, private investors, crowdsourcing, grants, internal studio funding, or association with a university, school, or nonprofit institution. Submissions may be published or unpublished, but their development may not be fully funded by a publisher. Partial funding, marketing help, etc. are valid ways to have a relationship with a publisher while still being eligible for IndieCade. If you need assistance in determining your project's eligibility status, please email games@indiecade.com - we will be happy to help you figure it out.

Previous submissions to, or inclusion in, other festivals does not prevent eligibility in any way. Works which were previously submitted to IndieCade may be re-submitted provided they:

  1. Were not IndieCade Award winners in a previous IndieCade Festival
  2. Have undergone significant changes since last submitted
  3. While not required, we recommend that you provide a different name that clearly indicates a new version (e.g. Project Name 2.0 or Project Name 20XX version). This avoids confusion in the event jurors have previously played the original submission through IndieCade or elsewhere.

Disqualified games are eligible for resubmission provided all other submission requirements, including the above, have been met.

IndieCade has an inclusive submissions policy and invites entries of all game styles and genres to apply - including PC, console, browser-based, casual, puzzle, mobile, alternate-reality, big / physical games, installation-based games, mods (provided they conform to game engine licensing agreements), serious games, documentary games, activist games, art games, virtual worlds, "sandbox" games, and more!

We welcome submissions developed by individuals, small teams, large teams, artists, students, universities and schools, non-profit organizations and beyond. We also strongly encourage submissions from diverse creators of any nationality, ethnicity, culture, gender, orientation, age, or experience range. Diversity is encouraged. Innovation is celebrated. In order to help with this, we have a needs-based financial assistance you can apply to HERE. Staff will review your application and may decide to grant a coupon which you can use 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. This assistance is ONLY for the submission fee and NOT travel assistance should you be selected to showcase at an event.

Works-in-progress are permitted and encouraged, but make sure that you do not have any bugs that would prevent reviewers from assessing the work or progressing through your submission.

All game content and copyrighted material must be fully owned by the designers / developers of the entry; if outside material is used, legal permission must be secured or your game will be disqualified.

If you plan to submit a work that is on a non-standard game operating system (e.g. Atari, custom hardware), please plan to submit review hardware or host a scheduled evaluation of your entry. If your non-standard entry is chosen as an Official Selection or Finalist, also plan to have a representative on-site during your designated event to be responsible for installation, or to supply hardware with the game fully installed. If your submission can not be reviewed or displayed, it will be DISQUALIFIED.


How To Submit

Step 1 - Complete the Online Entry Form

Complete the online entry form and be sure to include the following information:

  • Contact information (please ensure the email & phone contacts entered are accurate, active, and frequently monitored as to not miss communications from our Jury team. We often communicate via a mailing list so make sure jury@indiecade.com and games@indiecade.com do not go to your Spam folder).
  • Technical contact who is available to respond to troubleshooting and support requests via email within 24 hours.
  • Agree to our TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

Step 2 - Submit the Online Entry Form and Pay for Your Entry Processing

At the end of the submission form, you will be able to submit your completed online application and pay the submission processing fee. If you are interested in the IndieCade Submission Fee Assistance program, you must apply and wait for your your acceptance notice before you submit your entry. More information about the Submission Fee Assistance can be found HERE.

IMPORTANT: Only completed, paid submissions will be considered. Be sure to complete and pay for your application prior to your submission period deadline. Unpaid submissions will not be marked as complete and will not be eligible for review or inclusion at any IndieCade events.

Unlike prior years, please note that you will not be able to edit your submission application once you have pressed the submit button and paid your fees. There is some leniency in the case of broken links or expired download codes, and IndieCade staff will contact you if your submission form has such. If you are selected to showcase, you will have the opportunity to update information that will appear on the website and promotional materials, as well as show your latest work or build.

Step 3 - How We Review Your Work

The most important part of your submission is your DOCUMENTATION and not necessarily the build of your game. Documentation is important in deciding how your entry is reviewed. All entries must provide a working build of their game along with their online application. How one does so depends on the type of submission.


Disqualification

IndieCade reserves the right to disqualify entries if any of the submission requirements are not met. Disqualified entries will not receive a submission refund. Grounds for disqualification are:

  • The entry does not meet the eligibility requirements listed HERE.
  • 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 games@indiecade.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.

Please note, although we cannot guarantee that a submission is played in the first round of jurying, it is often true that the juror will do their utmost to play the game as well as review documentation and so access to this is important. It is almost always true that jurors play the submissions in subsequent rounds of review.

Please also note that we do not refund fees for games that are disqualified.


Fee Assistance

IndieCade is a small, independently-run organization which relies on submission fees to maintain and administer our jurying process. However, we do provide full and reduced submission fee assistance to developers who would not otherwise be able to afford our submission fees. We are also delighted to receive contributions to this scholarship fund. Learn more about the program and how to apply HERE. Please note that the scholarships are only for the submissions processing fee and not for any related travel or expenses.


What Submission Fees Are Used For

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.

Travel Assistance

With the aid of our partner, Kickstarter, we will be able to provide travel assistance to more than a dozen developers / games for the 2019 Festival this October in Los Angeles.

Nominated and Gaming for Everyone selected developers will be eligible to apply for whatever assistance may be available. Priority for this fund is given to developers in need of assistance and is is based on a variety of factors including financial need.


IndieCade Newsletter

Subscribe

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from IndieCade:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.