Association calls game on for new startup contest

Association calls game on for new startup contest

The Kiwi games sector is getting a startup competition that will give an emerging company funding, software, marketing, legal and mentoring support worth $25,000.

As well as $5000 cash, the winning business gets $5000 when they reach their next development milestone, licenses for the 3D animation software package Maya LT and the Unity game engine and PR advice.

Judges of the competition, named KiwiGameStarter, will be looking for the game with the best chance of commercial success, say organisers the New Zealand Game Developers Association.

But it says it understands that "indie and wildly original projects" can also be commercially successful - and that prototypes can be early or late stage.

“Our intention is to give a boost to a team who are already developing a product and business plan. Funding for a few extra months’ development and professional advice can be the difference between a good and a great business launch," says chairperson Ben Kenobi.

Teams enter a playable demo or prototype, along with a four page pitch proposal. Three finalists will present to judges during the NZGDC conference in Auckland next month.

The people and companies that enter have to be members of the association, and companies must have fewer than the equivalent of 10 full-time staff and made less than $100,000 in the 2013 financial year.

Finalists will be decided according to the appeal of the concept, commercial potential, point of difference and originality, design and graphics, business strategy and gameplay experience.

The game cannot be available for sale at the time of submission, but it can have been a reward as part of a crowdfunding or charity campaign, the association says.