The competition ran for 3 months between May and July earlier this year. Entrants were required to use GameMaker Studio to develop a game for Windows 8, and then submit their entry to the Windows Store. The entries were judged throughout August.
First place and the ‘Best New Game’ prize went to Shaun Spalding for his puzzle adventure game ‘Another Perspective‘, a solid success for the developer who earned a total of $15,000 USD for his efforts.
Spalding was elated by the announcement and says he plans to port the game to Android and Windows 7. The British developer works at Ubisoft Reflections and runs a YouTube channel which features video tutorials about indie game development and GameMaker Studio.
In a post on his blog in August, Spalding revealed he was challenged to balance the development of his game with other demands, and decided to base his entry on a game he had previously designed.
“There were a lot of hurdles, certainly not the least of which was balancing dev time with a full time job.
“I changed my original plan of developing a brand new game, to finally getting around to finishing the remake of Perspective. So thus, I’ve created Another Perspective,” he wrote.
Spalding says revisiting a previous project allowed him to implement game mechanics to a quality he was not able to achieve when he originally created Perspective in 2011.
In second place for $5000 was ‘Meanwhile, In a Parallel Universe‘ developed by ZIH.
Runner-up prizes of $200 and GameMaker Studio Master Collection licenses have been awarded to an additional fifty entries. You can read the entire list here.
Throughout the competition, YoYo Games gave away coupons and reimbursed participants for the first year of their developer license, a required part of selling a game on the Windows Store. The first 200 developers who had their game pass Windows Store certification will also be gifted an upgrade code to Windows 8 Pro.
Despite the large prize pool, many developers expressed their dissatisfaction at how the Win Big competition was organized and executed. Several prominent entrants have also publicly complained about the results of the competition and questioned the integrity of the judging process.