Skillz Blog

The Indie Ignite Developer Competition Is Here

Skillz is proud to announce that the 2018 Indie Ignite Game Competition is live, and we are eagerly scouting for the next big hit mobile game! This exciting competition aims to power multiple new Skillz-enabled titles and host competitive tournaments for the growing Skillz player base – currently totaling 18 million people. With that said, there will be one Grand Prize winner, who will walk away with a game optimization package including items such as user acquisition spend, which is valued at $50,000.

We will be closely evaluating all submitted games to determine performance success and trajectory. For games with strong indicators of success, the Skillz team will reach out with partnership opportunities in order to facilitate performance growth. With that in mind, let’s outline how you can enter and key items to help increase your chance of winning!

How To Enter

Entering and qualifying for the competition will be conducted in two simple phases. Each phase has a few basic requirements with deadlines that must be completed for your game to be deemed eligible:

  • Phase 1 by Monday, December 31, 2018:
  • Phase 2 – by Thursday, January 31, 2019:
  • Submit your game to the Apple App Store
  • Provide the Apple App Store URL in the Skillz Developer Console

Competition Eligibility

If you are entering the competition, we recommend that you read the full list of terms and conditions for eligibility, which includes:

  1. The game must be developed solely by an independent game developer
  2. The entered game must be for a mobile iOS build
  3. The entered game must be submitted as a new game to the Skillz network, not an existing published Skillz-powered game. Please note that if you have created a game in the Developer Console but it hasn’t gone live with Skillz, this game will still qualify.
  4. You may not be a Skillz employee, a relative of a Skillz employee, or geographically located in an ineligible territory.

Again, please read our terms and conditions for the full list of eligibility requirements.

How To Win

All games that have completed both phases of the competition and are compliant with all eligibility requirements as outlined in the terms and conditions will be evaluated by the Skillz judging committee during the Judging Period. It is during this period that Skillz will evaluate your game holistically. The committee will evaluate all games using a uniform standard, including the key criteria outlined below:

  1. Game Design – Fairness is a core component of having a fun, competitive, and engaging player experience in a Skillz-powered game. Therefore, all games submitted will undergo a fairness check to ensure they meet the necessary fairness requirements.
  2. Player Retention – Making sure that new players return to play a game is another key indicator of a game’s potential success. Skillz will evaluate the performance of a game based on both Day 1 and Day 7 retention rates.
  3. Game Replayability – Ensuring that players are highly engaged is another important KPI for evaluating the success of a game. Therefore, the judging committee will look at the number of Z (virtual currency) matches completed per player.
  4. DAU Volume – Making sure that a game has a high number of Daily Active Users (DAU) is important for a number of reasons. Therefore, all games will be evaluated by their average DAU during the peak 7-day period.

A winner will be selected and announced on February 18, 2019. For a full list of judging criteria, make sure to check out the complete terms and conditions.

What Does The Grand Prize Winner Earn?

As mentioned previously, the Skillz team will be considering partnerships for any game that shows a strong performance and success trajectory. Therefore, by producing a high-quality Skillz-powered game, developers are not only competing for the Grand Prize – but they can also get on the path to creating the next big mobile gaming hit! For any game that has strong performance indicators, Skillz will be reaching out with partnership opportunities to cultivate the success of the game.

With that said, the top winner will receive the Grand Prize package, valued at $50,000. This package includes:

  1. User Acquisition budget of up to $25,000
  2. Skillz Game Launch and Optimization Services (GLOS)
  3. Publicity across Skillz channels, such as the official company blog and social media channels
  4. Two (2) Expo Plus Passes for the 2019 Game Developers Conference (GDC), valued at approximately $460
  5. An award trophy
  6. A license to use a version of the official competition name and winner logo in promotional materials relating to the winning game.

See our complete terms and conditions for details on the full prize package and its value.

A Few Hot Tips For Winning!

There are a number of high-performing independent game developers that have seen sweeping success on the Skillz platform. In fact, Tether Studios’ “Solitaire Cube” recently hit the number one spot in the Card Game category on the App Store. Here are a few key tips to consider when creating a Skillz-powered game:

  1. Genre – The Skillz competition engine supports a wide range of genres. But when creating a game, it’s important to think about the unique qualities your game has compared to others in that genre. What is really going to make your game stand out? Also, how do you create a game that will match a player’s initial expectations when downloading it?
  2. Gameplay – This is one of the first questions that you should ask yourself: “Is the game easy to pick up, but difficult to master?” If the game is too challenging at the beginning, you’ll run into new player retention issues. Meanwhile, if the game is too easy to master, then it will be difficult to build up a group of highly engaged players (something that is critical for monetization).
  3. Attract & Retain Your Audience – Going live with a Skillz-powered game is the first step in creating a successful eSport. But once the game is live, how are you going to attract and retain the right players? Check out our webinar “Player Acquisition on a Shoestring Budget” for additional tips and tricks!

We’re expecting a number of successful entries, so don’t miss out on your chance to win the competition and develop the next big Skillz-powered mobile game!