Have a question that isn’t answered here? Let us know.

When is a project considered to be a work-in-progress?

A work-in-progress game is not available to the public as a finished product but remains under development. Our definition includes prototypes, vertical slices, pre-alphas, alphas, betas, and Early Access titles.

If your game is publicly available as a purchase or a free download, you must clearly state that this is not a final product for the game to be considered work-in-progress (e.g. Early Access, Open Playtest, etc)

To be eligible for Indie Cup, your game must fall under this definition as of the last day of the submission period for the season you are applying to.

Who is considered to be an independent developer?

For our purposes, an independent developer is a person or a small team that is not owned by another company, does not have the backing of a large publisher, and can exercise total creative control over their project.

That said, the world of indie games is large, diverse, and often complicated. If you’re not sure you fit this description but still want to apply, please get in touch.

Is there a restriction on the size of the applying team?

Not a specific one. We can reject your application if the size of your team is much larger than that of other participants. Most projects participating in Indie Cup are made by teams smaller than 20 developers.

What’s with the region restrictions?

Each Indie Cup edition focuses on a country (or a group of countries), so we can organically maintain a limited number of projects at the festival. This way we can ensure that more games are reviewed and covered. This approach also gives us a chance to connect with local associations and partners.

We also don’t enforce the restriction that hard. For the project to be eligible, any person on your team must be a citizen or a permanent resident of the edition’s region.

We’re regularly revising the list of countries eligible for Indie Cup as we’re launching new seasons. If your country isn’t on the list and you feel like it should be, send us an email.

Do Indie Cup jurors play every game accepted for the festival?

No. The jurying is broken down into two rounds. In the first round, the jury evaluates only the submitted gameplay footage. In the second round, the jurors must play all games that were nominated during the first round.

That said, we always provide jurors with access to all submitted projects, so they can play and review any game they liked.

(BTW this is why submitting a good gameplay video is so important.)

What is required of the gameplay video?

Your gameplay video must showcase the actual gameplay of your project, captured directly from the game itself. The minimum length of the video is two minutes.

Your gameplay video may be accompanied by a developer voiceover explaining the features of the game. We also allow it to be slightly edited to better showcase the game (but please don’t turn it into a trailer).

The purpose of the gameplay video is to show the jurors what your game looks like in action, its core gameplay mechanics, and the state of development progress at the time of submission.

We do not accept footage recorded by content creators as your gameplay video. It might violate copyright laws and prevent our jurors from clearly assessing your project.

Is the gameplay video or build made public?

Not without your permission. You can allow sharing your gameplay footage, for example, if you want content creators on our jury panel to showcase your project.

Can we edit our application after it’s submitted?

Yup. We allow updating your application until the end of the season, so you can upload new builds or fix that typo you just noticed.

How are the categories assigned?

We automatically assign categories to submissions before the start of the first jurying round based on the criteria of each category. Your game will enter all categories where it is eligible.

Does everyone get written jury feedback?

No, sorry. Writing feedback for dozens of games would be a full-time job.

However, if your game qualifies as a season nominee, you are guaranteed to receive written feedback from the jurors in the corresponding category. We also provide an option for the jurors to give feedback on any other game on the list, but it is up to the jurors to do that.

Who gets to enter Indie Cup Celebration and other Indie Cup events?

Special events (like the Indie Cup Celebration sale on Steam) are open to projects that participated in Indie Cup. We select games based on jury ratings and our curation.

Do I have to pay to participate in Indie Cup events?

Nope. All Indie Cup events are 100% free for developers.

So how do you make money?

We earn money by working with sponsors & partners. Sponsors might get general data about Indie Cup participants. However, we do not share personal information with third parties.

(Also, good job for asking. It’s an important question!)