Entries for the New Zealand Game Developer’s Association startup programme for interactive games businesses – the KiwiGameStarter – are now open, with business plans and playable prototypes due on 15 August by 5pm.
One promising games business will receive $10,000 funding, in addition to software, marketing, legal and business mentoring support. A runner up will receive a second place prize of $5,000 plus mentoring.
The competition aims to help early-stage games businesses to develop prototypes ready for investment or crowdfunding.
The winning team will receive:
- $5,000 when they hit their next development milestone,
- Marketing advice from IndieDevKit worth $2,000,
- license agreement and legal advice from Hudson Gavin Martin lawyers worth $4,000,
- music tracks from The Sound Room,
- 3 months free rent for up to 3 people in The Arcade Auckland,
- mentoring from some of New Zealand’s most successful game developers.
This year’s runner up will receive $5,000 and mentoring.
To enter, teams must submit a playable demo or prototype for any popular platform, and a five page pitch proposal by 5pm on Monday 15 August. Four finalists will be chosen to present to the judging panel before the NZ Game Developers Conference at AUT University on 7 September. The presentation will be 7 minutes, followed by 7 minutes of judges’ questions. This year the pitch sessions will be open to the public and streamed via Twitch.
Originality, technical and creative innovation and commercial prospects will be key judging criteria. Games can be developed for any platform: mobile, PC, or console. The judges will be looking for the game and team with the best chance to succeed commercially and for whom the prize may make the most difference.
Each entrant must be an individual, or a group/company based in New Zealand and at least 18 years of age or older, and members of the NZGDA. The game cannot be available for sale or pre-sale at the time of submission. However, it is able to have been provided as a reward as part of a crowd-funding or charitable campaign.
The full competition Terms and Conditions are available here: KiwiGameStarter-Terms and Conditions2016
2015’s winner, Rox Flame says, “Before winning KiwiGameStarter, my game Dynacorp was a hobby project. Winning the award gave me the capacity to prioritise game development as a career, and get the project Kickstarter ready.” The NZGDA is looking forward to supporting the Dynacorp Kickstarter in July!
Video games have become New Zealand’s fastest growing ICT export sector, earning over $80 million last year, but there is little support for gaming startups which combine creative and ICT skills. The worldwide video games market will be worth USD$111 billion this year according to Gartner Research, larger than the film or music industries.