We're now on our third game development competition. For those of you who are new, I wanted to sort of lay out how these competitions have worked in the past.
The Goal: The goal of the competition is to make a complete game…
1. On your own (teams are allowed, but this should be your own creation, not stolen or half stolen from the Internet)
2. In the allotted time frame (usually 31 days, see here for more info)
3. Preferably sellable (bug free, usable, and keeping an eye on the licensing and copyrights of the art assets you… ahem… "borrow" from the Internet.
Non-Requirements: Aside from that, things are pretty casual. There are no limits on…
1. Team size. While most people have been going alone, if you've got a friend or 10, you're still allowed. (More people isn't always better though.)
2. Tools/frameworks/engines. This site has a pretty heavy XNA/MonoGame focus, but if you want to use SharpDX, C++, WebGL, Unity or anything else, go for it.
3. Type of game. We often chose a theme of some sort, but it's never enforced, and only occasionally followed. Naturally, some types of games are more complicated than others (RPG, RTS, FPS, or anything with MMO in the description). Most people pick casual or arcade style games, but feel free to do whatever you want.
Winning: So how do you "win"? On the last day of the competition, you log into the forum and you say, "I won!" Seriously. Nobody is really going to enforce it. However, most people tend to post periodic updates. We all like sharing our progress and getting feedback in the forum and chat room, but all of that is optional.
What Do I Get For Winning? Five million dollars. But first, you have to give me $10K so I can get it from my bank in Nigeria. Honestly though, what you get out of it is a working game, that you could theoretically sell! That's a huge deal! It looks great on a resume, it feels great as a developer, and if you actually sell it, you might actually make a little cash on the side.
We've talked about some sort of other small prizes. That's a possibility, but the real prize of the challenge is in creating a game. So lying about winning only hurts yourself.
Signing Up: Usually, we post an official signup page in the last week or two before the competition starts. There, you can tell us about yourself, introduce us to the game you want to make, and we can get an idea of how many people will join. (The last two times, there have been 6 or 8 people who signed up.)
If you have questions about how these challenges work or what to expect, feel free to ask!