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New York State Game Dev Challenge

Game Challenge 2018 Rules

Legal Agreement

These rules constitute a legal agreement between entrants of the NYS Game Challenge (the “Game Challenge”) and Rochester Institute of Technology (“RIT”), which organized the Game Challenge with underwriting support from New York Empire State Development (collectively, “Sponsors”). Read these rules carefully before entering the Game Challenge. By entering the Game Challenge you are indicating your acceptance of and agreement to be bound by and comply with these rules.

RIT reserves the right to modify these rules, and entrants will be deemed to have received notification of such modified rules and accepted such modified rules by virtue of such entrant’s continued participation in the Game Challenge. Should an entrant not wish to continue to participate in the Game Challenge pursuant to the prevailing rules, as modified, the entrant may terminate participation in the Game Challenge upon notice to RIT.

Individual and Team Eligibility

The Game Challenge is open to individuals and teams who satisfy the criteria set forth in these rules.

Independent Developers: Independent developers who are legal residents of the US and residents of the state of New York and who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry are eligible to enter the Game Challenge. Entrants may be asked to provide documentation for proof of age and residence.

Student Developers: Student developers who are legal residents of the US and are attending an accredited New York State two or four year college or university and who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry are eligible to enter the Game Challenge. Entrants may be asked to provide documentation for proof of age, residence and current enrollment.

Teams (Student or Independent): Groups of up to five individuals who all satisfy the criteria set forth above are eligible to enter the Game Challenge as a team (each, a “Team”). Each Team must designate one team member to represent the Team in entering the Team submission (the “Team Representative”). The Team Representative is responsible for identifying all Team members and will have to provide documentation of dividing prizes among the Team (if awarded). The Team must have the permission and consent of all Team members to act in this role and must confirm the Team’s and each Team member’s agreement with these rules with a signed document stating the division. During registration, the Team Representative will be asked to indicate the size of the Team and to identify the Team members. Teams are solely responsible for their own collaboration and cooperation with respect to their participation in the Game Challenge. Without such documentation each Team will receive equal parts of prizes award (if awarded). In no event will RIT officiate in any dispute regarding the activities and participation of Team members.

Game Eligibility and Requirements

Requirements for submission:

Pitch – Entrants must provide a video pitch of their project. The pitch should demonstrate gameplay and include voice-over explaining the game, concepts, intended audience, and why the developers chose to make this type of game. Pitch videos must not exceed 3 minutes.

Game Prototype – Entrants must submit a working prototype that demonstrates a rudimentary model of the game. The prototype must be a stand-alone application that can run on Windows or iOS and Android. Refer to judging criteria for what the prototype will be judged on. Prototype must include a controls/instruction screen and/or PDF document.

Business Plan – Entrants must submit a business plan describing how their game would impact the proposed market. Consider marketing, clear objectives, and your intended audience. The business plan document must be in PDF format.

Mentorship Plan – A submitted mentorship plan would identify what needs and knowledge the team requires to bring their vision to a reality and what type of mentor would provide those needs. Consider all aspects, from game design and art to marketing and publishing. The mentorship plan must be in PDF format.

Development Timeline – A timeline outlining development and publishing must be submitted. The main aspects to consider here is scope. Is your timeline accurate given the scope of proposed development? We will be looking for teams who have considered all aspects of development and how they will manage their time. The timeline document must be in PDF Format.


Games that have been commercially published are NOT eligible for submission.

RIT reserves the right to refuse any entered game for any reason at any time in its sole discretion. All decisions are final.

All content of each entered game component must be the entrant’s original design and creation. Each entered game must not contain any copyrighted works, including, without limitation, images, characters, logos, names and trademarks (other than as owned by the entrant) or code that infringes on any third party rights. Any elements appearing in an entered game, including, without limitation music, audio, speech/voiceovers, stills, video, supers or other audiovisual materials must be entirely original, created and performed by the entrant, or be in the public domain. Use of any elements, including, without limitation, music, audio, speech/voiceovers, stills, video, supers or other materials that are not original may result in disqualification of the entered game, at RIT’s sole discretion, unless entrant has prior written approval from the applicable copyright holders to use such materials, discloses the copyright materials, and provides RIT with a copy within 7 days of submission to rob@magic.rit.edu

Games that make use of third party game engines, middleware, or other software or technology are only eligible if the entrant has all necessary rights to commercially publish the game. For instance, if an entrant does not have full legal rights to commercially release a game using a third party game engine, that game is not eligible for the Game Challenge. Entered games must not contain obscene, indecent, hateful, or other offensive or inappropriate content, including, but not limited to, nudity, pornography or profanity. Entered games must not contain defamatory or disparaging statements (including, but not limited to, words or symbols that are considered offensive to individuals of a certain race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or socioeconomic group) and must not promote the use of alcohol, illegal drugs, or tobacco. Entered games must not include threats to any person, place, business, group or nation, invade privacy or other rights of any person, firm or entity, or any other way violate applicable laws and regulations.

Entered games may be reviewed for content before being judged; however, such review does not relieve entrants from responsibility for compliance with these rules.

If language is a vital component of gameplay, the entered game must be able to be played in English. Instructions and all supplemental materials necessary for playing entered game must be provided in English.

Entered games must not require the use of hardware or operating system alterations (hacks) to console or portable devices, including, but not limited to, hardware, software or firmware. Entered games must run on the latest version of the source game platform. Entered games must be playable on commercial end-user hardware and must not require use of a console development kit.

Entered games that do not comply with these rules or that otherwise contain prohibited or inappropriate content as determined by RIT, in its sole discretion, will be disqualified and will not be considered for a prize.

Dates, Deadlines and Entry

The Game Challenge submissions will be open on Monday, February 12th and will close on Thursday, March 1st at 11:59 pm. Winners will be announced on Thursday, April 12th at The Strong National Museum of Play. If you are a finalist, you will be notified in advance.  It is expected than one member of your team attend the award ceremony to accept your prize.

Eligible individuals and teams may submit their entry at http://www.magic.rit.edu/nysgamechallenge (the “Game Challenge Website”) no later than Thursday, March 1st at 11:59 pm. At the time of entry, entrants will be required to accurately and truthfully provide all mandatory registration information specified on the Game Challenge Website for participation, and indicate agreement to these rules.

Each Team Representative will be responsible for providing his or her Team Name, List of Team Members (with defined role – i.e. artist, producer, etc.), Competing Level (Student or Indie), and all required materials as listed in the Game Eligibility and Requirements section. Team Representatives must provide RIT with all of the above information Thursday, March 1st at 11:59 pm via the Game Challenge Website.

RIT reserves the right to close registration at any time and to limit the number of entrants.

Judging, Awards, and Prizes

Games will be judged by a panel of judges considering the following criteria (“Judging Criteria”): (1) Pitch; (2) Game Prototype; (3) Business Plan; (4) Mentorship Plan; and (5) Development Timeline. Please refer to the Game Eligibility and Requirements section for more information on the judging criteria. Application of the Judging Criteria will be at the judges’ sole discretion. The judges’ decisions are final and binding in all matters relating to the Game Challenge.

Finalists and winners will be notified ahead of time and publicly announced on Thursday, April 12th at the closing ceremony for the 2018 Game Challenge. All potential finalists are required to sign a release and financial paperwork. At least one team member must be present at the closing ceremony to win prizes.

Teams will enter their game demo/alpha OR beta/near release in two different levels (college, or indie/professional).

All entries will go through a preliminary screening process. This process will ensure that: 1) all entries meet our requirements for competition; 2) no entries violate any of the stated rules; 3) all incomplete submissions will not be reviewed or judged and 4) all builds are playable at the time of submission.


Prizes are non-transferable and no substitutions are allowed except by RIT, which reserves the right to award a prize of equal or greater value should any prize become unavailable for any reason. Taxes, meals, gratuities, travel upgrades, duties or other costs, if any, relating to receipt, acceptance and or use of prizes are the sole responsibility of the prize winner, and RIT is not responsible for any disputes arising among Team members regarding prize dispersal.

All RIT, Sponsor, and judging panel decisions are final.

Permissions, Consents, and Waivers

You hereby grant to RIT an irrevocable, royalty free, fully paid, worldwide, nonexclusive license to use, reproduce, publicly perform and publicly display the entered game and portions thereof in connection with the review, assessment, test and analysis of the entered game in connection with the Game Challenge and the promotion of the Game Challenge and RIT.

By participating in the Game Challenge, you hereby consent to RIT and each Sponsor using your name, address, likeness, photograph, picture, portrait, voice, biographical information, entered images, video submissions and/or any statements made by you regarding the entered game, the Game Challenge, RIT, and/or the Sponsors for advertising, promotional, and other like purposes without notice or compensation.

Any personal information submitted by you will be subject to RIT’s Privacy Policy. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in such privacy policy, by entering the Game Challenge, you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information for the purposes of administering the Game Challenge, including without limitation for making announcements to you and otherwise communicating with you regarding Game Challenge and RIT matters, events, and news.


You represent and warrant that:

All team(s) and/or individual(s), and the entered game fully comply with all eligibility requirements and all other provisions of these rules.

In preparing the entered game and entering and participating in the Game Challenge, you have complied and will continue to comply in all respects with all applicable laws, regulations, and rules (including any applicable rules and policies of your employer or academic institution if you are representing your employer or academic institution in the Game Challenge) and have not violated nor will violate any agreement or understanding by which you are bound, including, but not limited to, any confidentiality, employment, consulting, intellectual property assignment, and/or license agreement.

The entered game consists entirely of your own original work.

Neither the entered game, nor the duplication, use, display, performance, nor distribution of the entered game, will infringe or misappropriate any intellectual property or other proprietary rights of any person or entity.


Failure to comply with these rules may result in disqualification from the Game Challenge. You agree to comply with and be bound by decisions of RIT and the Sponsors, which will be final and binding in all respects. RIT and the Sponsors reserve the right at their sole discretion to disqualify any individual they find to be (a) tampering or attempting to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Game Challenge or any Sponsor web site, (b) violating these rules, (c) violating the rules of service, conditions of use and/or general rules or guidelines of any RIT property or service, or (d) acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person.

Release and Limitation of Liability

You agree to release RIT, the Sponsors, other entrants, attendees, advisors, and mentors, and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, and related entities (collectively, “Releasees”) from any and all liability, claims and actions of any kind whatsoever for injuries, damages and/or losses to persons or property that may be sustained in connection with the receipt, ownership, or use of any prize from or arising out of participation in the Game Challenge. Neither RIT nor any Sponsors assume any responsibility or liability for (1) any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries, (2) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, printing errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Game Challenge, (3) any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or telephone lines, computer on-line systems, servers, or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any e-mail or entry to be received by RIT or Sponsors on account of technical problems, human error or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to participants or any other person’s computer relating to or resulting from participation in the Game Challenge, (4) technical or human error which may occur in the processing of entries, or (5) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrants’ participation in the Game Challenge or receipt or use or misuse of any prize.

You agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Releasees from and against any and all liability, claims, and actions of any kind whatsoever for injuries, damages and/or losses to persons or property that may be sustained in connection with your violation of these rules or any applicable laws, rules, or regulations or your negligence or misconduct.


Delay or Cancellation of Game Challenge

RIT reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify, extend or suspend the Game Challenge should (in its sole discretion) any cause beyond its reasonable control occur, including but not limited to, acts of God, hurricane, war, fire, riot, earthquake, acts of public enemies, actions of governmental authorities, viruses, bugs, non-authorized human intervention, and fraud, corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness or proper conduct of the Game Challenge. In such case, RIT may select the finalists or winners from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by RIT.

Notice and Procedure for Making Claims of Copyright Infringement

If you believe that your work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please provide us with the written information specified below at rob@magic.rit.edu. Please note that this procedure is exclusively for notifying RIT that your copyrighted material has been infringed.

  • An electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright interest;
  • A description of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed upon;
  • A description of where the material that you claim is infringing is located;
  • Your address, telephone number, and e-mail address;
  • A statement by you that you have a good-faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law;
  • A statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner’s behalf.