Declaration of intent

The general goal of the Fun & Serious Games Festival is to celebrate the cultural and artistic achievements of video games, as well as to contribute to its spread as one of the most innovative and relevant genres of our time. With this principles as a starting point, the Festival calls for a new edition of the International Award for Indie Games FS Play 2019, devoted to presenting and promoting independent titles with a special focus on originality, creativity, and innovation — both technical and in the fields of art, interactive narrative, music, etc.

FS Play calls for this international contest with the following TERMS:


1. Goal

The International Contest for Indie Games FS Play 2019 (hereinafter, FS Play or the Contest) declares its intent to be the acknowledgment, promotion, and support of creativity and innovation in independent video games development, by offering economic support through its monetary awards, as well as visibility and public recognition.

2. Categories and awards

The Festival establishes the following categories and awards:

2.1 FS Play Award to the Most Innovative Game, with a monetary award of €7,000.

2.2 FS Play Award to the Best Basque Game, with a monetary award of €5,000.

3. Requisites of the Participant Developers

3.1 FS Play is intended for independent game developers from all over the world, regardless of their age, gender, origin, political affiliation or religion, and with no restrictions but for those stated in the articles below, and for the requirements specified in Section 4.

3.1.1 The category FS Play Award to the Most Innovative Game (Section 2.1) will accept submissions from all over the world.

3.1.2 The category FS Play Award to the Best Basque Game (Section 2.2) will only accept submissions from development studios located in the Basque Country.

3.2 The natural person, group of natural persons or legal person (including, but not limited to, organizations, companies, and all other legal forms) who submits their game to FS Play must be considered an independent developer or independent studio under the definition available at Wikipedia.

3.2.1 The Festival keeps the right of interpreting individual cases in order to decide whether a candidate is accepted or not.

3.3 Participants must own (and be capable of proving ownership of) all the legal rights of the games they are submitting, including the intellectual and industrial property of the brands and content, rights of use, exploitation, and reproduction, as well as have permission from owners of third-parties licenses included in the game.

3.3.1 Games which fail to meet this requirement will be immediately disqualified and will not be eligible for any of the FS Play awards.

3.4 Participants can submit as many games as they want to the contest.

4. Requisites of the Games

Genre, topic, and setting of the games are free. To be eligible, a game has to meet these criteria:

4.1 The game has to be fully playable, from beginning to end, and must have been published after October 1st 2018. Failing this, it must have finished its development (i.e. to have gone gold) after this date.

4.1.1 The build of the game must be made available for the jury to test it.

4.1.2 Alpha, beta, or development builds will not be accepted.

4.1.3 Hands-off demos (based exclusively in videos or trailers) will not be accepted.

4.2 The game must be available to at least one of these platforms:

4.2.1 Personal computers (Mac or Windows)

4.2.2 PS4, Xbox One or Nintendo Switch

4.2.3 Mobile platforms (smartphones and tablets)

5. Development of the contest

5.1 In order to participate in FS Play, participants must apply here:

5.1.1 The application process ends on Sept. 31st at 11.59 pm (GMT+2).

5.2 Once the application process ends, the Jury will nominate approximately 10 games as finalists in the Most Innovative Game category, and approximately 5 finalists for the Best Basque Game award.

5.3 Nominees will be announced on October 14th 2019 in the website of the Fun & Serious Game Festival and in the media outlet FS Gamer.

5.4 Nominees will showcase their games in the Indie Zone at the Fun & Serious Game Festival from December 6th to 8th.

5.5 Nominees will present their games to the Jury in a live final round to be celebrated during the Fun & Serious Game Festival.

5.5.1 The format of this presentation (duration, accepted assets, etc.) will be communicated to the nominees at least 1 month prior to the event.

5.6 Attendance to the showcase and final round in the Festival is compulsory, and games which do not participate in it will be disqualified.

5.6.1 Should a nominee be disqualified, the Jury keeps the right to choose another game as a replacement or declare the place vacant.

5.6.2 The Fun & Serious Game Festival will provide support to games for their attendance as stated in Section 7.

5.7. After attending the presentations of all nominees, the Jury will meet in secret to choose (by simple majority) the winners of each category.

5.8. The winners will be announced, and the awards handed over, during the Titanium Awards gala on December 9th 2019.

6. Jury and evaluation criteria

6.1 The members of the Jury will be selected by the organization of the FS Play, and will all be acknowledged games industry professionals.

6.2 The Jury keeps the right to declare the awards vacant should they consider that none of the participant games meet the standards of quality and innovation of this Contest and the Fun & Serious Game Festival.

6.3 The Jury cannot be a direct relative of any of the participants, nor have any interest (economic or of any other type) in any of the participants.

6.4 The Jury will assess the innovation, originality, and artistic quality of every participant, paying special attention to the following areas:

6.4.1 Game design: originality and innovation in game mechanics, control schemes, level design, etc., as well as the user experience and technical quality in its implementation;

6.4.2. Interactive storytelling: innovation in interactive storytelling and literary quality in its texts, including but not limited to the script, dialogues, world-building, etc., as well as their relation with the game mechanics;

6.4.3 Artistic design: innovation and artistic quality in the visual aspects of the game, as well as their relation with the game mechanics;

6.4.4 Music and audio design: innovation and artistic quality in the sound and music of the game, as well as their relation with the game mechanics.

8. Support for participants

8.1 FS Play covers the accommodation costs of 1 natural person per game nominee during their stay in Bilbao for the final round of the Contest during the Fun & Serious Game Festival.

8.2 The trip to Bilbao and back for the aforementioned final round will be borne by the nominee.

8.3 Under previous approval of the organization, nominees unable to travel to Bilbao for the final round due to force majeure (including but not limited to illness or lack of funds) can design another indie developer as their representative to defend their game to the Jury in the final round, as well as to participate in the Indie Zone of the Fun & Serious Game Festival.

8.3.1 To all intent and purposes, this representative will be considered a member of the development team of the game they represent, and will have to accept all its original obligations of presenting the game to the Jury, attending the showcase in the Indie Zone, and receiving the award in the Titanium Awards Gala should it be necessary. Failure to comply with these obligations will disqualify the game.

8.3.2 Under a nominee’s requirement, FS Play will mediate with the Spanish indie scene to find an appropriate representative.

9. Final considerations

9.1 Submitting a game for the FS Play means accepting the conditions of entry, terms, and decisions of the organization of the Contest and its Jury.

9.2 Any doubts that may arise in relation to the interpretation of these TERMS will be resolved exclusively by the organization of the FS Play contest.

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