Last updated: Nov 9, 2023
I. General Eligibility
Participation in the Indie Cup events is free and open to any developer who meets the following general eligibility requirements:
- At least one member of the core development team must be a permanent resident or a citizen of the country or countries where the event is taking place; alternatively, eligible titles must be operated through a legal entity registered in that country;
- Applying developers must be independent, i.e. not owned by another company, have no dominant external stakeholder, and be able to exercise total control over the direction of their project and its IP;
- Applying developers must be able to submit a playable build of their project and at least 2 minutes of gameplay footage representing the current state of their game;
- Eligible games must not be released as a finished product as of the last day of an edition they are submitted to.
Indie Cup is open to PC and mobile games. At this point, we do not accept console-only, VR-exclusive and blockchain-based submissions.
Indie Cup submission window lasts for 28 days.
To apply, developers must create an account and submit an application form. The form contains questions regarding basic information about the game and the team (or the person) behind it.
Applicants can track the status of their submission on the Indie Cup website. Organizers finish reviewing the received applications no longer than two days after submissions are closed.
Organizers might reject an application if the form contains incorrect information, if the project violates the law of the country or countries where the event is taking place, or if the state of the game does not allow the jury to review it (e.g. if the submitted build has too many bugs). In addition, organizers reserve the right to refuse any submission at their discretion.
III. Category Eligibility
Unless stated otherwise, Official Selection award categories are open to all applicants whose projects satisfy general eligibility requirements.
Applicants automatically enter any Official Selection category when their project satisfies its requirements. There is no limit to the number of categories applicants can simultaneously enter.
Indie Cup sponsors establish eligibility criteria for the Special Competition categories they run.
Applicants automatically enter any Special Competition category when their project satisfies the requirements established by the Indie Cup sponsor. There is no limit to the number of categories applicants can simultaneously enter.
After the submission window is closed, all accepted submissions enter the Official Selection.
Each Official Selection category has a separate jury panel. A single juror can sit on several jury panels.
Developers chosen for the Indie Cup jury forfeit the right to apply for the category they are jurying in as a participant.
Official Selection jurying is divided into two rounds.
During Round I, the jury evaluates accepted entries by the submitted gameplay footage. If the footage catches the juror’s attention, they shortlist it.
At the end of Round I, organizers review jury shortlists, selecting the games that received the most number of jury votes. These entries become Indie Cup nominees and proceed to Round II.
During Round II, jurors play the games submitted by the finalists. Each entry is assigned a score from 1 (Very Bad) to 10 (Perfect). At the end of the round, organizers calculate the mean score of each entry. The game that received the best overall score becomes the winner in the category.
In the event of a tie, an additional voting round between the two tying games is held, which can last up to three days.
Applicants can become winners in several categories at once.
Indie Cup partners establish jurying regulations for the Special Competition categories they run.
Special Competition winners are announced simultaneously with the Official Selection results.
V. Awards & Prizes
The Official Selection awards include a digital badge that participants are free to feature on their Steam page and in other marketing materials.
Official Selection winners might receive prizes from our partners. If one of the winners refuses the prize, we send it to the team that took second place in this category at the end of Round II.
Organizers get in touch with the winners within a week after announcing the results of an edition.
Special Competition winners receive prizes from the companies running special categories and badges to feature in their marketing materials.
Our partners reserve the right to terminate the selection process if none of the submissions satisfy the partner’s criteria.
Organizers get in touch with the winners on behalf of the Indie Cup sponsors within a week after announcing an edition’s results.
Organizers require each juror to submit written feedback for all games that became nominees in their category. In addition, the jury can voluntarily submit feedback for any other entry in their category.
Participants receive jury feedback after organizers announce the results of an edition.
The Special Competition jurors are not obliged to submit feedback for the games participating in their award category.
VII. Data Policy
Organizers can publicly share the following information from the developer’s application:
- Game title
- Studio title
- Game & team descriptions
- Gameplay video (if allowed by participant)
- Additional assets submitted by developers: screenshots, links, a public demo, and more.
Other provided information might be shared with the jury or Indie Cup sponsors. Applicants can see who will access each type of data they provide when filling out the application form. All submitted information is always available to the organizers of the event.
Participants retain the ability to edit the information relevant to their Profile page until the end of an edition.
Indie Cup never shares the email address used when registering for an Indie Cup account, and other submitted personal information with third parties.