2021 Game Challenge Rules
2021 Rules updates
- The 2021 MassDiGI Game Challenge will take place in a virtual setting. Please keep that in mind when reading below and adjust accordingly.
2020 Rules updates
- Team size limit raised to 15 for college and university entrants, 8 for all others.
- Games that make use of third party game engines, middleware, or other software or technology are only eligible if the entrant promises that when the entrant distributes its game the entrant expects to have all proper licenses and has all necessary rights to commercially publish the game.
MassDiGI Game Challenge Rules
- Legal Agreement
- Individual and Team Eligibility
- Game Eligibility and Requirements
- Dates, Deadlines and Entry
- Judging, Awards, and Prizes
- Permissions, Consents, and Waivers
- Release and Limitation of Liability
- Delay or Cancellation of Game Challenge
- Notice and Procedure for Making Claims of Copyright Infringement
These rules constitute a legal agreement between entrants of the 2020 MassDiGI Game Challenge (the “Game Challenge”) and the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (“MassDiGI”), which organized the Game Challenge with underwriting support from sponsors and donors (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.
MassDiGI 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 MassDiGI.
Individual and Team Eligibility.
The Game Challenge is open to individuals and teams who satisfy the criteria set forth in these rules.
Individuals: Individuals who are legal residents of the US and who are 13 years of age or older at the time of entry are eligible to enter the Game Challenge. Entrants under the age of 18 may be asked to provide evidence of parent or legal guardian consent satisfactory to MassDiGI. Entrants may be asked to provide documentation for proof of residence.
Teams: Groups of up to fifteen individuals for college and university entrants and up to eight for all other entrants who 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”). Any prize awarded to a Team will be presented to the Team Representative. The Team Representative is responsible for identifying all Team members and will have final authority in dividing prizes among the Team (if awarded). The Team must have the permission and consent of Team members to act in this role and must confirm the Team’s and each Team member’s agreement with these rules. During registration, the Team Representative may 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. In no event will MassDiGI officiate in any dispute regarding the activities and participation of Team members.
Each entrant may submit no more than one game. However, a Team member who is not a Team Representative may be on an unlimited number of Teams.
Team Representatives and Team members are required to register as part of a team prior to March 12, 2021 at 8pm ET on the registration form page in order to participate.
Game Eligibility and Requirements.
Only games that have been published as of February 28, 2021 are not eligible for submission.
MassDiGI 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 MassDiGI’s sole discretion, unless entrant has prior written approval from the applicable copyright holders to use such materials.
Games that make use of third party game engines, middleware, or other software or technology are only eligible if the entrant promises that when the entrant distributes its the entrant expects to have all proper licenses and has all necessary rights to commercially publish the game. Entrants may be required to identify all third party software and tools used for creation of entered game.
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.
Entrants must supply all end-user hardware necessary to demonstrate the game.
Entered games that do not comply with these rules or that otherwise contain prohibited or inappropriate content as determined by MassDiGI, in its sole discretion, will be disqualified and will not be considered for a prize.
Dates, Deadlines and Entry.
The Game Challenge will be open on March 26, 2021 at or about 8:00 a.m. ET and will end on March 27, 2020 at or about 4:30 p.m. ET. Finalists and grand prize winners will be announced on or about March 27, 2021.
Eligible individuals and teams may register and enter at https://www.massdigi.org/gamechallenge (the “Game Challenge Website”) no later than January 17, 2020 at 8:00pm ET. At the time of registration, 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 (High School, College, or Indie), Competing Category (Entertainment Game or Serious Game), a Game Description of up to 150-words, as well as a description of the Game Technology. Team Representatives must provide MassDiGI with all of the above information prior to the Game Challenge Website.
MassDiGI 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) originality (uniqueness of concept); (2) creativity (implementation and innovation in mechanics); (3) art style (the impact of the art and how well it fits the game concept); and (4) business model, technology audio and design (5) presentation skills. 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 announced on March 27, 2021 at the closing ceremony for the 2021 Game Challenge. A potential finalist may be required to obtain releases from all members of their respective team and/or any and all third parties appearing in or implicated by their respective entered game. If any potential winner is considered a minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, all consents, waivers and releases required by MassDiGI must be signed by his/her parent or legal guardian; failure to obtain any such items will result in disqualification. 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 three different levels (high school, college, or indie/professional) based on the age range and experience level of their team members. Each Team’s game will also be entered into one of two categories (entertainment game or serious game).
In a first round of judging at the event, all qualifying Teams will meet with various judges one-on-one for a period of up to 8 minutes. Teams are encouraged to prepare their pitches prior by fine-tuning their game prototype or concept and finalizing key message points to be used in their meetings with the judges and to best describe their game without going over the 8 minute limit. No more than 12 finalist teams will be selected by the judges, with 2 finalists in each “level.”
In a second round of judging also at the event, all finalist teams will be required to provide an abbreviated pitch / presentation (5 minutes ONLY, including any required setup time) to all attendees of the Game Challenge, including the judging committee. Teams are encouraged to prepare for their finalist pitches by fine-tuning their game prototype or concept, preparing the necessary presentation technology needed to present in front of a large room, and finalize key message points to be used in their pitch without going over the 5 minute limit. One winner will be named in each level and category (5 total winners) with one overall Grand Prize winner. Honorable Mentions may also be named. See Prize page on massdigi.org for more information.
Detailed prize list will we presented on https://www.massdigi.org/gamechallenge on or about February 28, 2021.
MASSDIGI MAKES NO GUARANTEE THAT ANY FINALIST GAMES WILL BE PUBLISHED. PARTICIPATING GAME PUBLISHERS WILL HAVE NO OBLIGATION (EXPRESS OR IMPLIED) TO USE OR PUBLISH FINALIST’S OR GRAND PRIZE WINNERS’ GAMES.
Prizes are non-transferable and no substitutions are allowed except by MassDiGI, 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 MassDiGI is not responsible for any disputes arising among Team members regarding prize dispersal.
All MassDiGI, Sponsor, and judging panel decisions are final.
Permissions, Consents, and Waivers.
You hereby grant to MassDiGI 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 MassDiGI.
By participating in the Game Challenge, you hereby consent to MassDiGI 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, MassDiGI, and/or the Sponsors for advertising, promotional, and other like purposes without notice or compensation.
You represent and warrant that:
- You 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, or 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 MassDiGI and the Sponsors, which will be final and binding in all respects. MassDiGI 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 MassDiGI 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 MassDiGI, 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 MassDiGI 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 MassDiGI 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.
ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE GAME CHALLENGE MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, THE SPONSORS RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES OR OTHER REMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON(S) RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ATTEMPT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.
Delay or Cancellation of Game Challenge.
MassDiGI 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, MassDiGI may select the finalists or winners from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by MassDiGI.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that this procedure is exclusively for notifying MassDiGI 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; and
- 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.
All of the above is subject to change.