Mad, Beautiful Ideas
Independent Game Competitions

Since Revision 3 picked up Bytejacker about four months ago, I've been watching it weekly, and really enjoying the show. Bytejacker is a web show, that's been on for over a year now, that every week takes a look at what's going on in the world of independent games. Part of the reason I took interest, was because a lot of these games are playable in Linux, either via native builds, or that they're flash-based browser games. It's been a great source of cool little games I probably would have never found otherwise.

Part of why it's so cool, is that a fair number of the episodes highlight the games from The Independent Gaming Source's competitions, which they've been doing for a little over a year now. These games are typically created by very small teams (or individuals), and while most aren't going to be blockbuster titles, there are some really awesome games available there.

I'm a fan of these sorts of competitions, having usually watched PyWeek fairly closely, though I have yet to participate. PyWeek is cool because developers have 1 week to create their game using PyGame, pyglet, or PyOpenGL.. TIGSource's games tend to be a bit more polished, since they don't have the week-long deadline, but PyWeek's entries are a pretty exciting example of what's possible in a short period of time.

To date, I haven't seen any competitions like this targeting the iPhone (which would be hard to do, given the cost of entry and difficulty deploying), or Android (which would be much easier), but I expect as mobile devices become more and more common we'll start seeing them as well, and frankly, that's pretty exciting.