If you’re not familiar with Game Maker, it’s a simple development platform, which allows anyone from the age of around 9 to build games, without having to know how to code, or understand fiendishly complex programming languages (if you’re still unconvinced, how about the fact that 2013’s most highly rated mobile game, Ridiculous Fishing, was built using Game Maker?)
The company has $35,000 in prizes to be won, as well as hundreds of dollars worth of software (OK, they’re using dollars, but it’s a big market out there and everyone in this world and others, knows the power of the almighty dollar…) Games can be new and original concepts, or existing, previously released titles.
Here’s a break down of the prizes on offer:
- Best game overall – $10,000
- Second place – $5,000
- The best ’New Game’ (any previously unpublished game) – $5,000
- Third place (there will be 5 x third place winners) – $1,000
- 50 runners up prizes – $200 – plus GameMaker: Studio™ Master Collection (valued at $499)
Since the competition is limited to GameMaker: Studio™ users, YoYo is offering GameMaker 7, 8 and 8.1 customers the unique opportunity to upgrade to GameMaker: Studio™ Professional (Normally $99) for only $50 across the whole of May 2013.
Finally, the first 200 developers who do not have Windows 8, who submit a game that passes Windows Store Certification will win a Windows 8 Pro upgrade code (valued at $199.99).
You can be a professional developer, an amateur, a student or anyone with a decent idea and access to Game Maker i.e. every last man jack of you.
You can enter as many games as you wish, there’s no charge for entering, but each game can only be submitted once. From a quick read through the Ts & Cs, you retain full ownership of your game, but YoYo is allowed to use materials from it for marketing purposes.
For the deliberately hard-of-thinking out there, this is a GOOD THING. It will help your game(s) find players, acceptance and love.
This is a perfect opportunity for schools, coding clubs and young people to show the old guard in the games business how it’s done.
Students: You really need to be thinking very hard about this one. It’s a golden opportunity to make the games you’re building as part of your course commercially available AND win a modest barrow-load of cash.
It’s also a huge opportunity for studios and games out there that perhaps didn’t meet your expectations, or achieve the levels of commercial and critical success expected, to dust off and polish it for a fresh and excited new audience.