Indie Cup is a biannual indie games developers online competition.
Each season we ask an independent jury board to select the best participating games whose creators receive awards and prizes from our partners.
Participation in the Indie Cup is free. Participants have full access to the event, regardless of publisher relationship, budget, or team size.
I. Main requirements
II. Application period
III. Registration and account creation
IV. Choosing nominations
V. Filling your participant card
VI. Jurying and feedback
VII. Awards and prizes
VIII. Data policy
Before submitting a game to the contest, please make sure it meets our criteria — we have four main requirements.
You are an independent developer
Meaning that you own more than 50% of your company and 100% of the project’s intellectual property. Usage of licensed assets during development is allowed.
You are able to provide game's build or demo
We accept projects in pre-alpha, alpha or beta stage, in Early Access or at preliminary launch.
Your game isn't released
We don't accept games that are released before the end of the submission period. Finished games available for free are considered to be released.
You work from Eastern Europe
Indie Cup is open to participants who work in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan. If your country isn't on this list, stay tuned for future announcements.
To enter Indie Cup participants must send us an application.
We announce the start of the application period simultaneously with the start of a new season.
Application period is four weeks.
Applicants are asked to fill out a form. We ask all applicants to show the game they are planning to submit and answer some general questions.
An application might be rejected if the form was submitted with errors, the applying game breaks the law or IP rights, or if the game is too early in its development cycle, which prevents jury member from fairly assessing it.
Participants receive an email if their application is approved.
We reserve the right to decline applications without disclosing the reasons for the refusal.
Submitting multiple projects
At Indie Cup there are no restrictions based on the number of projects a participant can submit during each season. If you're planning to submit several games, please send us several applications.
Registration and account creation
After their application is approved, applicants must create an account on our website.
Once they create a new account, the contestants get access to the participant dashboard. This is where participants can add new submissions and fill out the project card — a detailed form where contestants share information about their project and select the nominations they want to participate in.
Accounts should be created only once. Once they are signed up, contestants can submit games directly from their account.
Same projects are restricted from being submitted to two Indie Cup seasons in a row. In addition, if your game is a competition winner, the corresponding award category will be closed to you in the future.
Команды могут принимать участие в двух сезонах подряд, если подают разные проекты.
Participants are allowed to pick the nominations they want to submit their game for. You can select as many categories as is allowed under category criteria.
- To submit for Best PC Game and Best Mobile Game it is required to provide access to the game on the corresponding platform.
- Submissions in the Best Unreal Engine Game or Best Unity Game must use the corresponding game engine.
- The Rising Star category is open to teams of up to four people who don't have a publisher representing them.
- The Critics’ Choice, Streamers’ Choice, Best Art and Best Audio nominations are open to all contestants.
The Players’ Choice nomination requirements are announced separately after the start of the season.
Crucially, judges won't see games that are not submitted to the category they are representing.
Special prizes & nominations
All participating games are automatically entered into the sponsored awards if the company sponsoring the award doesn't state any additional criteria.
Please refer to the partner pages on our website to learn more about special prizes rules and requirements.
Filling your participant card
You must add all required information when filling out the participant card.
Contest organizers review all submitted cards before they are published on the website, and reserve the right to edit the submitted information if there are any mistakes in the card.
Participants are asked to submit the following resources:
- Description of the game and team
- Cover image with the game's logo
- Gameplay video
- Access to the playable version of the game
Contestants must create a new card for each projects they are submitting. Cards are tied to seasons — if you plan to submit a game you already submitted in the past, you will have to create a new card for it.
Forms in the card are divided into information available publicly and information available only to jury members and competition organizers.
Provided public information is used to generate the profile of the participating game (example).
Participants have an additional week after the application period is closed to submit their project cards and select nominations.
Providing access to the game
Contestants can choose how they want to share their games with the jury members:
• Upload the build to Google Drive or Dropbox
• Provide Steam keys (min 70 keys)
• Add a link to a demo on Steam, Itch or participant's own website
• Provide access through TestFlight or Google Play Store
Jurying and feedback
The jury receive the full list of participating projects a week after the application period is closed.
Finalist selection during Indie Cup is divided into two stages. During the first round, the jury selects entries from the overall pool of participants for their personal shortlist. Judges are selecting games based on gameplay videos and are not asked to play the games before selection. Shortlisting period takes two weeks.
After the first round is over we generate the final list of nominees in each category.
At the second stage of selection, judges evaluate projects nominated in their category. The jury is asked to play all nominated projects, rate them on a 10-point scale, and send feedback to the developers.
We calculate the mean rating after the voting period is over, which ensures that the choice of the winners stays impartial.
Who receives the feedback
Finalists and contestants receive jury feedback several weeks after the season is officially closed.
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.
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).
Contest winners receive prizes from our partners.
If the finalist declines the prize, we send it to the team that took the second place during the voting period.
We get in touch with the winners within two days after the announcement of the results of the competition for clarification.
Special prizes awarding
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.
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 third parties.
Organizers reserve the right to change these terms and conditions at any time without prior notice.
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