AMAZE 2012 Prize Money, AMAZE 2013 Submissions (now resolved - see update)

Those following the progress of Proteus earlier this year might remember that Proteus won the award for “Most Amazing Game” at the first AMAZE Indie Connect festival in Berlin in April. As a fledgling indie developer burning through savings, one of the most tempting things about this unknown festival was the €5000 cash prize.

Since April we have been waiting fairly patiently for this money, despite one of the terms and conditions of the competition being that this would be given on the actual night of the award. I won’t go into too much detail here, but part of my rationale for patience was that it seemed like the natural deadline for the money to finally be paid out would be the start of preparations for the 2013 festival. Surely everything from the previous festival would have to be resolved before the opening of submissions for the 2013 prize?

I was cautiously optimistic when I was contacted in October in order to arrange that the money be paid in two installments, one in November and one in December. I was beginning to worry about the first installment as December got older, and then was totally shocked to see the press release of 14th December announcing that submissions for the 2013 were open, with the same cash prize and the same entrance fee (€45). At that point, we had not received any of the cash prize. As I write this, we have received half of the money, with the rest promised to be paid by the end of December.

On one hand I’d like to see the festival continue, but on the other I can’t endorse this if the same situation is likely to happen to someone else.

It seems like the fairest course is to make my experience public so that future entrants can make up their own minds. My hope is obviously that this doesn’t happen to the 2013 winner and that AMAZE can move on from this, possibly with some assurances that prize money if offered will be put aside at the time of the event rather than future winners go through this process as well.

Finally, I want to stress how keen I am to see the festival continue as it could and should be a nice addition to European games culture. Berlin is a great city and it feels like the festival really fits in there. I’ve got fond memories of the weekend and would recommend it as an event to meet devs and creators from around Europe. If you’re thinking of submitting your game, approach it like a smaller Indiecade: you’re paying the entry fee for a cool, passionate, creativity-oriented festival with a great atmosphere. The trophy and the award ceremony were both really fun, understated and tastefully done, more so than most. The offer of the cash prize is nice, but you might want to bear our experiences in mind.

I’ll update this post when the situation changes.

Ed

UPDATE:

  • Edge Magazine asked me for a comment on the situation. You can read the article here.
  • Thorsten at AMAZE has temporarily suspended submissions and posted a statement here. I disagree with some key points in the statement: The first time I was given a date for payment of the money was in August when it was given as November 2012 at the latest. I also think it is reasonable to resolve issues from 2012 before opening the 2013 festival, so I'm glad that action has been taken.
  • I've just received an email saying that the final €2500 is on the way, so hope to be able to update this post again in a few days to confirm this.

UPDATE 2:

I'm happy to confirm that we've now received the prize money in full. (To be exact, this came through just after Christmas.) I made a seperate post for maximum clarity.