Indie Game Challenge: judges, start your gaming!

by: Nathan -
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The winner of the Indie Game Challenge will receive more than $350,000 in prizes and have the chance to speak with "Industry Influencers" about bringing their game to the public. That is if their selected from among the 12 finalists. Judging is underway and the panel of judges is rather impressive:
  • Danny Bilson Executive Vice President of Core Games for THQ
  • Jenova Chen and Kelle Santiago co-founders of thatgamecompany
  • Kyle Gabler creative director of 2D Boy
  • Rod Ferguson Executive Producer for Epic Games
  • Alex Seropian Vice President of Creative Development at Disney Interactive
  • Roger Hector Senior Vice President of Product Development for Namco Bandai
  • Tina Kowalewski Director of External Development for Sony Computer Entertainment America
  • Also representatives from Microsoft, Capcom, Harmonix, Volition, Insomniac, id Software, Zipper Interactive and Vigil Games.
By the end of January these 40+ "Industry Influencers" will narrow down the list of entries to 12 finalists. On February 19 those finalists will attend the awards reception at Red Rock Resort & Casio in Las Vegas, Nevada to meet and greet, wheel and deal, and get their drink on as the prizes are dolled out. Good Luck to all the entrants.


More than 40 Industry Influencers to Judge Inaugural Game Development Contest; Winner to Receive More Than $350,000 in Prizes

DALLAS – (Jan. 14, 2010) – Judging is underway for the first Indie Game Challenge SM sponsored by The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University, the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) and GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME).  The 12 non-professional and professional finalists out of more than 250 submissions in this inaugural video game design competition are expected to be announced February 1, 2010.

The Indie Game Challenge offers more than $350,000 in prize monies and scholarships, as well as the tremendous opportunity for the finalists to present their game ideas in person to video game executives from top publishers such as Sony, Nintendo, Electronics Arts, Capcom, Microsoft, NAMCO/Bandai, THQ and Ubisoft at the D.I.C.E.™ (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit, an annual conference dedicated to exploring approaches to the creative process and artistic expression as they uniquely apply to the development of interactive entertainment, hosted by the AIAS. Five members from each of the 12 finalist teams will attend the awards reception Feb. 19, 2010, at the Red Rock Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. These meetings will allow competitors to receive valuable input and have the opportunity to explore commercial avenues for their games.

The volunteer judging panel is made up of gaming icons, veterans and up-and-coming professionals representing AIAS’s membership base, including such noteworthy individuals as:

•       Danny Bilson, executive vice president, Core Games, THQ, who has strong roots in the creative community as both a screenwriter and director for TV and film, and is responsible for THQ’s slate of games
•       Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago, co-founders, thatgamecompany, creators of the unique and ethereal games Flow and Flower ,who along with their small team, are changing people’s perceptions of what makes a great game
•       Kyle Gabler, co-founder and creative director of 2D Boy, and part of the team that co-created the wildly successful World of Goo
•       Rod Ferguson, executive producer, Epic Games, who is part of the team of game-making heavyweights responsible for the Gear of War franchise
•       Alex Seropian, vice president creative development, Disney Interactive, co-founder of Bungie Studios and one of the fathers of Halo
•       Roger Hector, senior vice president product development, Namco Bandai, automotive design guru, responsible for launching 100-plus titles in his career within the interactive industry
•       Tina Kowalewski, director of external development, Sony Computer Entertainment America, responsible for finding new talent and new games for Sony
•       Representatives also include publishers and developers from Microsoft, Capcom, Harmonix, Volition, Insomniac, id Software, Zipper Interactive and Vigil Games

“We’re in our second round of evaluations, so we’re seeing the cream of the crop,” said Matthew Lee Johnston, senior producer, PopCap.  “It’s amazing how polished some of the games are and the fun experiences they offer.  The hardest part has been finding the time to play them all as much as I’d personally want, but I’ll definitely rectify that on my own time after the competition is completed.”
“We had no trouble finding highly qualified gaming professionals willing to donate their time to this unique challenge,” said Joseph Olin, president, AIAS.  “Not only were we pleased with the total number of entries we received, the overall quality of the submissions far exceeded our expectations.  Judges are currently pouring over each and every entry, and I don’t envy the task they face in culling the list down to 12 finalists by the end of the month.”

 “We committed to each entrant that their game would be thoroughly evaluated and played by qualified judges from the world of gaming, and that’s what’s happening now,” said Mike Hogan, senior vice president of marketing, GameStop.  “The 12 finalist games will be representative of some of the most innovative and creative ideas in gaming today as judged by the best in the business.”

For more information on the competition, visit
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