Submit Your Game - How?

2015 IGF Main Competition

Who Is Eligible: Open to all independent game developers worldwide (see specific rules).
Competing For: Over $50,000 in prizes, in various categories, including the $30,000 Seamus McNally Grand Prize.
Entry Fee: $95
Submissions Due: October 22, 2014, submit here

The main 2015 IGF Competition, for which the entry deadline is October 22, 2014 at 11:59pm PDT, will give out seven major awards:

Seumas McNally Grand Prize ($30,000)
Excellence In Visual Art ($3,000)
Excellence In Audio ($3,000)
Excellence in Design ($3,000)
Excellence in Narrative ($3,000)
Nuovo Award ($5,000)
Audience Award ($3,000)

There will be six specifically named finalists for each award, except 8 finalists for the Nuovo Award, with finalists named in January 2015. All finalists will be given free show passes and invited to the IGF award ceremony at GDC 2015, showcasing their games on the IGF Pavilion at the show.

The IGF Audience Award will be voted via public Web-based poll from the finalists in all Main Competition categories.

The main IGF competition has a diverse set of judges which includes representatives from the mainstream game industry, notable previous IGF winners and finalists, other independent game developers, and indie-friendly game journalists.

The main 150-200 jury members recommend titles for individually named IGF juries for each prize, made up of context and discipline experts.

2015 IGF Student Showcase Competition

Who Is Eligible: Open to all student game developers worldwide, including student mod makers (see student-specific rules).
Competing For: 7 'Student Showcase' winners for top game ($1000 cash prize), and for the third year, an overall 'Best Student Game' ($3,000 cash prize).
Entry Fee: None.
Submissions Due: October 31, 2014, submit here

The IGF's Student Showcase, for which the entry deadline is October 31, 2014 at 11.59pm PDT, will highlight a total of eight games this year, which will receive:

IGF Student Showcase Winner ($1000)

In addition, there will be a prize for best overall IGF Student Game awarded as part of the IGF Awards, with the finalists comprising all of the Student Showcase winners:

Best Student Game ($3,000)

[Please note that both games using middleware engines and mods of existing games are eligible for the Student Showcase, but the judges will take whether the engine was coded from scratch into account when judging.]

Key IGF Dates

Here are specific submission deadlines for the 2015 event:

August 6, 2014 Submissions are Open
October 22, 2014 Submission Deadline, Main Competition
October 31, 2014 Submission Deadline, Student Competition
January 6, 2015 Finalists Announced, Main Competition
January 20, 2015 Finalists Announced, Student Competition
March 2 - March 6, 2015 Game Developers Conference 2015
March 2 - March 3, 2015 Indie Games Summit @ GDC
March 4 - March 6, 2015 IGF Pavilion @ GDC
March 4, 2015 IGF Awards Ceremony (Winners Announced!)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I live outside the United States. May I enter the IGF Main Competition and/or Student Showcase?

A: Yes.

Q: We are working on more than one game. Can more than one game be entered in the IGF Main Competition and/or Student Showcase, and even if we just have one game, can we enter that game in both IGF Main Competition and Student Showcase?

A: Yes and yes.

Q: If I'm invited to appear at the IGF Competition in March, do I have to bring my own computer or console/handheld too?

A: Yes. The Festival management will provide monitors (or TVs as needed), keyboards, and speakers and supply Internet connections (if required) for all finalists at the Independent Games Festival in San Francisco, but you will need to bring your own PC/console.

Q: My game is complicated. How can I make sure that judges understand and play it correctly?

A: One excellent way to do this is via video. We allow you to attach a video link (public on YouTube) to your submission. But you are also welcome to link private tutorial videos in your submission or even upload them alongside your submission. Also feel free to link to other background information.

Q: Can I submit a game that's already been released? Can I submit a demo?

A: The IGF does accept games that have already been released to the public, either by directly uploading a build of the game, or providing us with download codes for various services (Steam, App Store, etc). You may also submit an early/demo version of the game, but please note that the rules stipulate that it must be "substantially feature-complete", and that your game will be in competition with games nearly- or already-available. If you're unsure whether your game is "substantially feature-complete enough" by the deadline, you may wish to wait until the following year's festival!

Q: Can I update my game after entering the competition?

A: You can upload new builds of your game at any time. Please note that after the competition deadline, judges may look at your game at any time. You can continue giving us new versions, but we only absolutely guarantee that judges will see the version of your game uploaded at deadline time.

Q: What systems must a game run on?

A: The IGF Competition officially supports any platform - PC, console, web, mobile, etc. Many of our judges also have access to console development kits - please specify what is needed in your submission. We cannot guarantee that judges will have access to any special hardware required to play your game.

Q: It's been X days since the deadline for submissions has passed. Is it too late to enter our game into the festival?

A: If you don't make the cutoff date, we can't accept your game. Sorry -- it's in the interest of fairness to all the other entries, who had to cut their development cycle short to get their games in on time. You can always enter the Competition next year!

Q: How do I distribute an iOS game to you if it's not already on the App Store?

A: iOS developers can prepare pre-release ("ad-hoc") builds of their games and submit them to the IGF just like builds for any other platform. Check google or Apple's documentation for information on creating these builds, and we will provide further instructions on the iOS submission process very soon.

If you have further questions, please contact the IGF Content Directors.