Hi again! This is my second blog post about marketing your game. In my first post, I talked about the two different types of events, casual gatherings and larger events, like showcases and expos. I also shared tips for how to make the most out of each kind of event.
In this post, I'll talk about the variety of industry competitions and prizes to help your game stand out. There are many competitions within the industry that can provide financial prizes, marketing related prizes, or the invaluable opportunity to show off your game to a larger audience. Winning and even taking part in these kinds of competitions can really draw attention to you game. At first, entering and applying in them can be daunting, but trust me, you can get through it and become a natural.
Here are a variety of competitions that you can enter or ways to get your game featured:
- Yearly events, like The Indie Prize, allow developers from all over the world to submit their game to a panel of judges. These judges will then pick the best games to showcase at a huge gaming event, with all expenses paid. The games that are chosen will benefit from exposure at the event, receive write-ups on influential websites, and even receive a spot on a Twitch Stream to showcase the game in action. Entering your game into this competition isn’t just about winning. If you do not place, you can still receive a bunch of valuable feedback on your game for you to consider in the future.
- If you don’t already have a finished game, or if you are trying to create one as a part of a competition, game jams are a great place to start. Game jams are competitions that challenge developers to create a game in a set amount of time, normally around a theme. There are loads of game jams happening at any moment, primarily online. Quite a few of these jams don’t offer physical prizes (though some with prizes do appear from time to time). However, creating a game for a game jam may earn you a bunch of coverage. Some game jams have YouTubers associated with the jam, who are looking to cover all the great games made during the time frame. You can always find all of the game jams going on in the world and online here. And, for more information and tips on game jams, download this free eBook.
- IndieGameLaunchpad goes above and beyond when it comes to featuring games that are put on their website. You are able to create a page for your game (though it’s not technically hosted there) and receive free promotion through their significant Twitter and Facebook community. This site also has a group of streamers, reviewers, and writers that could pick up your game to cover for their various media outlets.
- The Big Indie Pitch held by PocketGamer.Biz is a fast-pitching competition that happens at physical locations all over the world, multiple times throughout the year. I have had the honour of judging this event several times myself. It challenges developers to quickly pitch their games to tables of judges, moving from one table to another in a fashion similar to speed dating. The winner of the pitch is given some physical prizes and a set amount of credit to spend on marketing with Steel Media. This competition also places you directly in front of a load of industry experts, who may take an interest in your game or studio.
- Similarly, GamesForum’s Game Dev Showdown gives developers slightly more time to pitch to a panel of judges. This event doesn’t just judge your game and the quality of your pitch, it also touches on your business plan as a studio or developer. The winner receives some epic prizes, as well as useful feedback from the panel of judges.
- The Nordic Games Discovery Contest is a travelling competition occurring multiple times a year that selects a few games to be pitched on a stage in front of an audience and of course, a few judges. The winners of these different events then go head-to-head in the main Discovery Contest, to determine which pitch is the best of them all. This winner receives a slew of prizes including coverage from major websites, booth spaces at an event, a fancy ‘Game of the Year’ title, and more.
Perfecting your pitch
In-person gaming competitions seem to focus on hearing developers pitch their game. It certainly is a great way to put on a show for the audience and make an impression for the people watching. Pitching is a vital skill to have in the games industry, though it can be very intimidating at first. For some tips on pitching, read this blog post.
There are plenty of other gaming events and competitions happening both online and around the world. Once you start entering a few, you will likely find more being mentioned or advertised at the ones you are attending. Entering your game into these sorts of competitions is definitely daunting, but something that is seriously worth doing. The more you enter, the more faces can see your game.
Jupiter Hadley is an indie gamer, YouTuber, and writer. She records most of the indie games she loves on YouTube and even writes about them on Fireside and AlphaBetaGamer. Follow her on Twitter or visit her website.