New season is live!
We accept applications from indie developers whose game wasn't released prior to January 21, 2021.
You have until March 3 to submit your application — we will close submissions at 17:00 UTC.
⠀I. Submitting your game
⠀II. Choosing nominations
⠀III. Publishing your project
⠀⠀⠀- Builds & keys
⠀V. Awards and prizes
What's required to apply?
To begin with, a game in a playable state.
We don't accept projects at the idea stage. All participants must provide a working build of their game. It might not be lenghty or totally polished — but it is required.
Other than that we have three main requirements. If your game fit these criteria, you'll be able to join the competition.
Your game isn't released yet
We accept projects in pre-alpha, alpha or beta state, and early access or pre-launch stages — but not games released prior to the start of the season (public demos or prototypes are okay).
You are an independent studio or developer
Meaning that you own more than half of the company and 100% of the project’s intellectual property. Usage of licensed assets in development is allowed.
You're from Eastern Europe
Currently we accept entries from the following countries: Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Georgia, CIS countries. If your country isn't on the list, stay tuned for future announcements.
We don't restrict participation based on the genre of the game or its theme, and we don't require you to use a specific engine or hire a specific number of employees.
The competition jury loves games — they will be equally thrilled to evaluate an ambitious sci-fi shooter and a small melancholic platformer. The only important thing is whether you believe in the game you're making.
Ready to join the competition? We are waiting for your application!
I. Submitting your game
In order to send your application please fill out this form.
While filling out the form you'll be asked to describe your project and provide some key information — that's how so we select games for the competition.
You will need to fill in all fields marked as required. Please do not add shortened links in the form. For videos and file sharing, we ask you to use globally available services — YouTube, Google Drive, Dropbox.
We review applications within a few days after submission. You will receive an email when your application is reviewed.
What are the reasons my application might be declined?
We reject submissions for trivial reasons: if they violate the law or IP rights, or if you have incorrectly filled out the application form.
In some cases, submissions might be rejected due to the early development state — if we decide that the current state of your game doesn't allow the jury to fairly evaluate it along with other participants.
We reserve the right to decline applications without disclosing the reasons for the refusal.
II. Choosing nominations
It's up to Indie Cup participants themselves to choose the nominations in which they are going to participate.
Today, the competition features nine award categories: Best PC Game, Best Mobile Game, Critics’ Choice, Streamers’ Choice, Rising Star, Best Art, Best Audio, Best Unreal Engine Game, and Best Unity Game.
You can choose as many categories for your project as nomination requirements allow.
Are there any restrictions?
The Rising Star nomination is restricted to teams of size four or smaller that are yet to find a publisher.
Participating in the Best PC Game or Best Mobile Game categories requires you to provide your game for evaluation on the corresponding platform. To participate in the Best Unreal Engine Game or Best Unity Game nominations, your project must be developed using one of these engines.
Critics’ Choice, Streamers’ Choice, Best Art and Best Audio nominations are open to all participants.
Importantly, judges only evaluate projects submitted for their nomination. For example, if you decided not to apply for the Best Art nomination, the jury of this category simply won't see your project.
III. Publishing your project
After your application is accepted, you will get access to the participant dashboard — this is where you will be able to edit the profile page of your project. It will be seen by all visitors of the Indie Cup website.
In addition, you will need to provide the jury with access to your game.
We have several requirements and recommendations for how your profile should look like during the competition:
Fill out the Concept, Description, and About the team text sections in the profile.
These descriptions will be seen by everyone who visits your public profile, so try to describe your game in a way that will attract the player's attention.
The main requirement for text descriptions is to translate them into English. Competition entries attract the interest of games publishers and critics from all over the world, and a well-translated description will focus their attention on your project.
Every participant must add two videos to their profile — an introductory trailer and a gameplay video.
Please upload both videos to YouTube.
What should be in the video?
The introductory trailer can be whatever you want it to be — just remember that it's the one people will see when they visit your public profile.
However, make sure your gameplay overview trailer shows your game in detail. That's the one our jury will look at to evaluate entries.
Judges look at the gameplay videos in order to select games for their shortlists. That means if you're picking the Best Audio category, make sure judges will be able to hear your game's music and sound effects in the gameplay trailer, and so on.
Builds & keys
To participate you must provide members of the jury and event organizers with access to a playable version of your project. We're asking you not to remove it prior to the closing of the competition.
If you're planning to send the jury a WIP build of your game, please upload it to Google Drive or Dropbox.
Why those specific services?
Members of our jury have different citizenships and live in different countries, so we're asking participants to use services that are accessible worldwide.
If you already have a Steam page, you can provide the jury with Steam keys. In this case, sending us a build of your game is not necessary.
If your game is releasing on mobile platforms, you will need to provide the jury with a build or access to TestFlight and Google Play.
The WIP build of your game will be made accessible only to jury members and event organizers.
Our judges receive the list of season submissions several days after we close submissions. Members of the jury select entries for category shortlists and rate games during four weeks after they receive the list.
All shortlisted entries receive a numerical score and feedback from judges of the competition. We calculate the average rating in order to pick the category winner — this is how the selection process stays unbiased.
If several projects receive the same average score, we get in touch with the jury and ask them to select the best one.
Who receives the feedback?
If your game is shorlisted, it will receive a score and some feedback — it's mandatory. Judges can also volunteer to review other projects, if they have the time to do it.
Competition finalists and participants receive jury's feedback within several weeks after the official closing of the season.
V. Awards and prizes
Finalists are announced on a predetermined date. In some cases, we can postpone the announcement for several days due to technical issues (for example, to clarify scores with the jury).
Indie Cup finalists receive prizes from our partners. You will find the list of all available prizes in the Partners section.
We get in touch with the winners within two days after the announcement of the results of the competition for clarification.
If one of our partners has provieded a physical product as a prize, we ask the winner for their name, phone number, country and address.
If the finalist declines the prize, we send it to the team that took the second place during the voting period.
Why would somebody decline the prize?
It happens. For example, if our partner provides conference tickets as a prize, the winner can decline to receive them if they are busy during the dates of the event.
Our partners reserve the right to not select any games as finalists in the special awards programs, if none of the competititon entries meets the partner company's criteria.
The same project cannot participate in two back to back seasons of the competition.
If your game received an award during the competition, the corresponding category will be closed to you — although you will be able to submit the same game for other categories in the future.
How does it work?
If you were accepted for Indie Cup W’21, you won't be able to submit the same game for Indie Cup S’21.
If your project was selected as the winner in the Best Art category, you won't be able to select this category for the same project in the future.
A team can participate in two subsequent Indie Cup seasons if they are submitting different games.
By submitting your game to Indie Cup you confirm that you are familiar with and agree with the competition rules, and give your consent to the processing and storage of personal data.
Organizers reserve the right to share participants' names and emails with our partners. Other personal data is not shared with the jury, sponsors or other third parties.
Organizers reserve the right to change these terms and conditions at any time without prior notice.
Indie Cup organizer
GTP Media ® 2016 – 2021
FOP Ihor Pospishnyi
03057, Metalistiv St. 35/15, Kyiv, Ukraine