Microsoft want to encourage game publishing on the Windows 8 Store, and so are looking to shower developers with gifts as they come through its pastel-coloured gates. The top prize includes a month’s promo from Train2Game and mentoring from UKIE chairman Andy Payne, Eidos life president Ian Livingstone and Rebellion head Jason Kingsley.
Games will be judged on their originality, audio design and artwork, use of Windows 8 features and playability – though hopefully not in that order. Doing the judging are Microsoft, game development distance-learning types Train2Game, GameMaker creators YoYo Games, Nokia, Dolby, trade site GamesIndustry International, and games industry bodies UKIE and TIGA.
The promo is equivalent to 15 hours’ PR support over the month, and is accompanied by a trailer courtesy of Trailer Farm, them responsible for agreeable typographical nightmares like this. In addition to the promo and quality time with Ian, Andy and Jason, the winner will receive a £500 VISA gift card.
“With the very recent launch of Windows 8, the innovative Microsoft Surface and announcements on Windows Phone 8 there has never been a better time to develop game apps for the Windows platform and be seen potentially by millions of consumers in the UK,” said Andrew Webber, UK marketing lead for UK Indy Game App Builders.
“We hope to attract new and existing game developers to publish their Windows 8 game app in time for Christmas to the Windows 8 Store and also stand the chance of winning a great prize bundle which is focused on helping both the developer and their game title be as successful as possible.”
The developers of the top ten games submitted will be invited to a VIP event at Dolby Sound Studios – merely a cinema splash ad in my head, but also reportedly a real place in Soho. All of the runners up will receive a Nokia Lumia 920 Windows 8 smartphone, a £250 VISA gift card and mentoring from Philip Oliver, CEO of Blitz Game Studios.
A team of 30 can’t very well share a smartphone without a rota and a lot of patience; I surmise that Microsoft are swinging for the indies with this one. But will it work?
Submissions must be in before December 14th, to be judged by January 11th 2013. You’ll need to be in the UK to take part, I’m afraid.
Games submitted before December 8th will also have a shot at YoYo Games’ own $500 prize.