What We Believe
For much of human history, creating a new work of art has been a closed process. The Beatles' Abbey Road was made in private; T.S. Eliot holed away to write; and more recently, videogame developers coded in the basement, away from the prying eyes of the public.
That's all changing.
A new generation of independent gamemakers all around the world are embracing openness. From impromptu hackathons, to Kickstarted projects, to open beta testing and early build sales, game design is growing more transparent and accessible every day. But even as game designers become more creative, the platforms they work with don't often share that same open spirit.
The television — that hearth of sight and sound — is still a closed gaming platform.
OUYA is designed to open the television, once and for all. OUYA, based on Android and priced at $99, is open to any developer, inexpensive enough for any player, and powerful enough to play great games in HD. OUYA is for everyone -- gamers, creators, hackers, and dreamers.
And now, announcing a game jam.
To celebrate the release of the OUYA Developer Console, we are hosting a 10-day online game jam we're calling CREATE. What is a game jam, you ask? It's a focused get-together where teams make playable games insanely quickly. Your mind will be blown at what a game team can do in 10 days. Many world-class games were initially conceived in a game jam.
To reward the most extraordinary submissions, we will award some prizes. A handful of OUYA supporters (who asked to remain anonymous to keep the focus on the game developers) put together a $45,000 prize pool.
How It Works
From January 14 to January 23, we will be accepting playable prototype submissions right here. The game doesn't have to be finished, so give it all you've got.
Any developer or team, from anywhere in the world, can enter. We'd love to see as many teams from as many countries as possible.
We also want you to put together a simple YouTube video showing your game off, so gamers who can't play your prototype can weigh in on the game you've made.
When you complete your submission, we hope some of you will see that it is far enough along to take to Kickstarter -- if you need additional funding to finish the game. Kickstarter enabled both OUYA and Kill Screen to exist, and now it's a great source of financial and moral support for many great games already announced that are coming to OUYA.
Just after submissions close on January 23, we'll post some information about each entry, including its YouTube video. We will announce finalists in each category on February 11, and winners on February 18.
Judges and Judging
The staff here at Kill Screen will review everything and share playable prototypes with a crack team of game designers, journalists and industry professionals:
Felicia Day -- Creator, The Guild
Adam Saltsman -- Creator of Canabalt (itself conceived in a game jam!), Hundreds
Phil Fish -- Creator of Fez
Alexis Madrigal -- Columnist, Atlantic Monthly
Austin Wintory -- Grammy-nominated composer, Journey
Ed Fries -- Co-creator, Xbox; OUYA advisor
Joanne McNeil -- writer, former editor, Rhizome (The New Museum)
Zach Gage -- Interactive artist; Creator of SpellTower
- Our purposely subjective views of the game's sheer greatness
- Community support for the game (i.e., YouTube likes, Tweets, Facebook likes)
- Successful use of OUYA — processor, sound, screen, and the OUYA Development Kit (controller integration, and even clever use of in-game payments if you choose)
We will have five finalists for each category, and 10 for the Grand Prize. All finalists will receive an OUYA Dev Console, and an invitation to a unveiling event with the OUYA team.
CREATE Grand Prize: $20,000
For the game demonstrating the highest level of overall excellence. You will also get a $5,000 you-did-it bonus if you complete the game and launch it on OUYA.
- "Most Surprising" Award: For the game that does something new and unexpected.
- "Four Bright Buttons and Two Joysticks" Award: For the game demonstrating the best controls.
- "Most Immersive" Award: For best demonstration of how a game feels in your living room, instead of your pocket.
- "Pop Your Eyes Out" Award: For the game that astounds, visually.
- "Best Couch with Friends" Award: For the game that makes us most nostalgic for the days of all-nighters and Goldeneye in our friend's basement.
Special Prize Category Sponsor: Unity 3D (*New Addition*)
Unity is the premier engine partner of CREATE and an exclusive prize category sponsor for "Best Game Created Using the Unity Engine". The category winner will receive a Pro Unity License and a $2,500 prize. Extended trial licenses (non-standard trials allowing access to all Unity pro, iOS pro, Android pro and Team Server features) are available at no cost to all participants. Email email@example.com for a code if interested.
So start forming your teams and keep an eye on this space!
How to Make an OUYA Game
To learn about developing for OUYA, and to download the OUYA Developer Kit, visit http://devs.ouya.tv.
"The Fine Print"
We'll publish the formal contest rules just before January 14 when CREATE officially begins (though you are welcome to start working immediately). For now, a few things you should know:
To enter, you'll need to confirm that you developed the game, have the rights to publish it, that it's a new game (not already released somewhere else, or raising money on Kickstarter), and that it doesn't have any no-no content (you know, hate speech, promotion of real-life violence, pornography, etc.).
You'll need to show that you pre-ordered an OUYA or backed OUYA's Kickstarter (this is to prevent spam entries, without us having to charge an entry fee). We want winners to have the genuine intent to bring their game to OUYA.
Don't have your OUYA yet? Pre-order one here!
And that's it... now get CREATE-ing!
If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org