Kiwi Game Starter 2017 is coming!
7 June 2017

Entries for the New Zealand Game Developers Association startup programme for interactive games businesses, the Kiwi Game Starter, will be opening sooner than usual this year. We are finalising some details, but wanted to give potential entrants enough time to prepare their playable prototypes and business plans. We will open up entries as soon as all details have been confirmed, however the final day of submissions will be Monday, June 26th.

What is Kiwi Game Starter?

Kiwi Game Starter is the NZGDA’s annual game development award and startup programme for interactive games businesses. Each year there is a prize pool including financial, legal, and mentoring support for start-up game businesses. The competition aims to help early-stage games businesses to develop prototypes ready for investment or crowdfunding.

Four finalists will be chosen to present to the judging panel before the NZ Game Developers Conference at AUT University on Wednesday, September 6th. Your presentation must be delivered in 7 minutes, followed by 7 minutes of judges’ questions.

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 acceptable for it to have been provided as a reward as part of a crowd-funding or charitable campaign.

What are we looking for in entries?

  1. A playable demo which gives the judges an understanding of the core of the game (this does not need to be feature complete, but it should provide confidence in the concept and ability of the team to execute)
  2. A business plan that explains what the game is, a prospective timeline for the project, and where funding is going to be allotted among other details. For a good example of how this can look and the level of detail we are looking for, see the entry from last year’s winners, Team Ninja Thumbs (Grabity):

After being selected as a finalist Grabity was pitched in person with more detail:

The full competition Terms and Conditions will be available when submissions open.

If you have further questions, please contact Navi at