Norwegian game developers are competing for a public grant of 100 000 NOK at the official Norwegian Gameplay Championship
Usually, national cultural support for game development is awarded based on detailed applications, meticulous reviews, long interviews, and very careful consideration. But no rule without exception! Since 2011 the Norwegian Film Institute has handed out a small grant to the winner of the ‘Norwegian Gameplay Championship’ (NM i Gameplay). And this year is no exception. From New Years Eve and 10 days forward, Norwegian developers will have the chance to create a demo impressive enough to warrant a grant of 100 000 NOK (€11 700).
The way it works is that on January 1st, 2015, The Norwegian Film Institute will reveal the theme for this year’s demos. From then on, the approximately 25 participating Norwegian developers will have until January 10th to make the most impressive demo possible for the big showdown that takes place at the game themed Tilt Bar in Oslo.
“Everybody will present their games to a jury throughout the day. Together with the audience and the other participants, the jury will then walk around to the different games to have them all presented to them and try them out themselves,” Section Leader, Kaja Hench Dyrlie explains to Nordic Game Bits. “The jury then picks out 3 to 5 finalists who will be presented on the big screen to all participants and the audience.”
Once the finalists have been chosen however, the audience will also get a say in who will be the final winner of the Gameplay Championship. The final decision will be decided with the jury’s vote and the audience’s popular vote both given equal weight. So both parties decide who will get the support grant of 100 000 NOK to develop the demo further.
This alternative way of giving out support grants began in 2011 as an opportunity for new talents outside of the established game industry, with a lower barrier of entry than normal support programs.
We wanted to create an arena where they would both have an opportunity to present themselves and where the existing industry and those who are on their way into it or want to get into it, have an opportunity to meet.
And according to Dyrlie,the Norwegian Gameplay Championship have succeeded in that mission. “The competition has grown in both popularity and quality. It’s on a really high level, what’s presented on the day of the finals, and there are contributions both from new untested developers and the more established ones.”
Getting the grant through the Gameplay Championship, however, does not mean that the winner is exempt from complying to all the normal rules regarding cultural support for game development. “Since it is a development grant, all the normal guidelines has to be followed, and the use of the money has to be reported to us,” Dyrlie tells Nordic Game Bits. “But it has worked really great so far.”
The competition is open to all Norwegian Game Developers. However, to participate in the Championship, developers will have to sign up here no later than December 24th and pay the entrance fee of 100 NOK. To keep updated regarding the Championship, you can check out the competitions Facebook-page here.