August 12, 2005

“Make Your Play” at Slamdance 2006

by Andrew Stern · , 1:32 pm

Calling all indie gamemakers: entries for the 2nd Annual Independent Games Competition at Slamdance are due October 24 for a modest $40 fee, or submit by Sept 30 to save $10. The competition, held in January in Park City, Utah alongside the Slamdance and Sundance film festivals, includes a category for student work. Check out last year’s finalists and winners.

In the past at other festivals there’s been some contention over what “indie” means; here are Slamdance’s rules this year:

Developer(s) cannot have sponsorship money exceeding $25,000.

Games published or distributed for profit before the final deadline of October 24, 2005 are ineligible.

Innovative and unusual formats, such as interactive fiction and drama, are encouraged to apply. Games must display interactivity, and be in an electronic format to be considered for the competition.

That last paragraph… hmm…

Here’s the full press release.

Press Release

Independent Gamemakers Urged to “Make Their Play” at 2006 Slamdance
Independent Game Competition.

Second Annual Gaming Competition Offers Additional Award Categories for
2006, Plus Exposure and Industry Contacts.

Los Angeles, CA ­ July 27, 2005: Aspiring video game developers across the
globe are advised to submit their work to the 2006 Slamdance Independent
Game Competition ­ one of the premiere competitions focused on the
independent game developer. Slamdance is calling for independently designed
and programmed games from the American and International game design
community.

Now entering its second year, the Slamdance Independent Game Competition
exists to recognize and reward the innovative and exciting work being done
by independent game designers, programmers, and artists. Benefits of
participation include gaining recognition, making industry contacts, and
finding potential distribution.

Finalists will be announced in December and will be shown at the Games Venue
during the Slamdance Film Festival, which occurs in Park City, Utah, January
19 – 27, 2006. Developers of all varieties of interactive electronic
storytelling and play are encouraged to submit. In addition to last year’s
Jury Grand Prize, featuring an award worth $5000 in cash and prizes, new
award categories for 2006 include Best Story, Best Audio Design, and two
Student Awards. All awards offer an exceptional prize packages and

participation in the award ceremony on the last day of the Games Festival.

The two Student Awards in this year’s competition celebrate both mechanical
and aesthetic design. The Physics Award judges engine, tool, and A.I.
programming, implementation, and game play. The Philosophy Award judges
story, character design, sound design, and visual effects. These awards
expose the work of student game designers and artists to established
independent designers, larger game design studios, publishers and
distributors.

Revolved, the Jury Grand Prize winner of last year’s Slamdance Independent
Game Competition (presented by BAWLS Guarana) was picked up after the
festival by Game Trust and is now being distributed. “Having the ability to
observe the audience while playing and getting feedback from industry
leaders was above and beyond the most rewarding aspect of the competition,”
said James Gagnon of Alter Ego Games Studio, developer of Revolved.

Game submissions have an early-postmarked deadline of September 30, 2005 and
a final postmarked deadline of October 24, 2005. The entrance fee is $30 for
games that meet the early deadline, and $40 for others. Students receive a
discount. Entrants must submit 3 copies of their game on CD-ROM and provide
a URL for the game site. Entry forms and application information are
available through the Slamdance website at www.slamdance.com.

About Slamdance

Slamdance is a year-round organization dedicated to new artists from around
the world. Started in 1995 by a group of upstart filmmakers, Slamdance Film
Festival is a year-round organization dedicated to emerging artists and
their vision. Slamdance has established a unique reputation for premiering
independent films by first-time directors working with limited budgets. At
the same time, the Festival has stayed true to its roots by being organized
and programmed by active filmmakers. Slamdance films have been picked up
for distribution, invited to festivals around the world, won Independent
Spirit Awards, the Palme d’Or and an Academy Award, among many other
accolades. Slamdance Film Festival alumni include “Memento” director
Christopher Nolan (festival award winner “Following”), the Emmy Award
winning Russo Brothers (“Pieces”), and “Monster’s Ball” director Marc
Forster (festival audience award winner “Loungers”). The 2005 Slamdance
opening night film “Mad Hot Ballroom” was acquired by Paramount Classics.

Slamdance has successfully established year-round ventures including the
Screenplay Competition, Best Of Screenings in the U.S., Festival events in
China and Poland, the Anarchy Online Film competition, the Dirty Dozen DVD
Series (currently in its 7th volume), and short film productions dubbed $99
Specials. In 2004, Slamdance launched a teleplay competition in conjunction
with fox21, a Games Competition, and the Slamdance Media Group; a company
comprised of distribution and talent-management units.