Last updated: 14 April, 2024

I. General Eligibility

Participation in the Indie Cup events is free and open to any developer who meets the following general eligibility requirements:

Indie Cup is open to PC games. At this point, we do not accept mobile-only, console-only, VR-only and blockchain-based submissions.

Multiplayer projects can participate in the contest only if they have functioning online servers or allow playing against AI players (bots). Indie Cup organizers have no control over the jurors’ schedules, so organizing simultaneous co-op jurying sessions could be challenging.

Teams including residents of russia and/or Belarus, and teams mostly comprised of citizens of russia and/or Belarus, are barred from participation.

There is no limit on the number of editions a project can take part in, as long as it remains a work in progress as defined above.

II. Submissions

The Indie Cup submission window lasts for five weeks.

To apply, developers must create an account and fill out the 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 might reject an application if the form has been filled incorrectly (i.e. violating the general guidelines found here), if it contains false 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

Official Selection

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, if there are any. There is no limit to the number of categories applicants can simultaneously enter.

The criteria for participation in the Official Selection categories are as follows:

Early Consideration

The Early Consideration categories are open for projects in early development phases, including prototypes, pre-alphas, alphas and vertical slices that are early in development. The main indicator for determining eligibility for this category is the Development Progress field of the application.

Special Competition

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.

IV. Jurying

Preliminary Screening

After the submission window is closed, all accepted submissions go through preliminary screening conducted by the Indie Cup organizers, who prepare long lists for each category for the jurors’ vote. The games included in these long lists enter the competition.

Official Selection & Early Consideration

Each 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 participants.

Jurying in both Official Selection and Early Consideration categories is divided into two rounds.

During Round I, the jury evaluates longlisted entries by the submitted gameplay footage. If footage of a project catches a juror’s attention, they shortlist it.

At the end of Round I, organizers review jury shortlists, selecting the games that received the most jury votes. These entries become Indie Cup nominees and proceed to Round II.

During Round II, the 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 with 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.

Official Selection competitors can become winners in several categories at once.

Special Competition

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

Official Selection & Early Consideration

The Official Selection & Early Consideration awards include a digital badge that participants are free to feature on their Steam page and in other marketing materials. The organizers may also award special badges at their own discretion.

Official Selection & Early Consideration 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

Special Competition winners receive prizes from the companies running special categories and digital 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 voting results are announced.

VI. Feedback

Official Selection & Early Consideration

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 within a week after voting results are announced.

Special Competition

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:

Other provided information might be shared with the jury or Indie Cup sponsors. 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.

To learn more about our data policy, visit the Privacy Policy page.