Last Saturday I examined the effects that competitions held by YoYo Games had on their website. I had originally intended to also take a look at non-YoYo Games game making contests and compare their effectiveness but couldn’t find enough information about them.
Competitions held by smaller community sites have fewer resources than YoYo Games and as such their prize pools reflect this. This doesn’t mean the prizes on offer are not worthy though, far from it, some are very good. Especially when you consider that YoYo Games benefits from a general growth in Game Maker usership (through increased games, downloads and potential upgrades) whereas independent sites attract only a small proportion of users.
Because of the smaller prizes and less publicity the odds of winning a prize in the smaller competitions are much greater as far fewer people enter.
The (sadly now defunct) Zerosoft Games held two competitions with cash prizes. A $100 Christmas competition was followed by $225 of prizes for Retro-themed games. But prizes aren’t always in cash.
TheGMRace organised by the MarkUp and GameMakerTech magazines at the end of 2007 offered prizes including USB memory sticks, commercial games and a hosting package. GMArcade offered on-site reward credits, advertisements and free books from a sponsor in their first two competitions.
Their most popular contest with a Time theme attracted only six entries – a one-in-three chance of a winning a book!
In short – Publicity. These smaller competitions attracted only active members of their respective communities and did not appeal to general Game Maker users. Although the prize funds were smaller the cost per game (see table at top) in all the non-YoYo Games competitions is greater than in any of the official competitions.
Another problem is trust. $50 AUD (~$42 USD/£25/â‚¬30) was up for grabs at the YYGF September Competition which is being run by someone using free hosting and a free domain. I questioned the person organising the competition about this and all mention of prizes was withdrawn from the listings. There is no theme and entries can be submitted upto December 1st.
Game Maker Competitions:
- GameMakerStation have $350 of cash prizes, including a $200 first prize, in their Real Time Strategy competition which runs until November 20th. The largest prize pool for a non-YYG Game Maker only contest?
- GMArcade’s third ‘Tycoon‘ themed competition is currently under-way and runs until 1st October.
- The University of Utrecht is planning to hold an Autumn (northern-hempishere!) Game Maker competition.
- Know any more Game Maker-only competitions with prizes that are currently being held? Please post in comments.
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