IC-Logo_300pxWideRound 1 has passed for Windows Phone Game Design, Round 2 entries must be submitted by March 13th! Read on to find out more about the next steps to make sure YOU have a chance to attend the Canadian or World Finals!

Round 2 Deadline: March 13 23:59 GMT

To save you the hassle, I looked up GMT that works out to 20:59 Atlantic, 19:59 Eastern, 16:59 Pacific

Are you one of the Canadian teams who have entered Round 1 of the Windows Phone Game Design category? If so, you’ve taken the first step towards appearing on stage for the Canadian or maybe even World finals. The next step is to complete the requirements for Round 2.

Round 1 is just a way for us to get an idea of who has entered, there is no judging of Round 1 entries. But you must meet the requirements for each round to advance, so here’s a summary of what you need to prepare for Round 2 with more details below.

The official rules and regulations are here Game Design: Phone Rules 

  • Playable Game – we can’t judge it if we can’t try it, get at least one level completed, graphics can be rough for now
  • Game Play Instructions – an electronic document that informs the judges and players how to set up and play your team’s game
  • Game Video – a video capture of your team’s game in action
  • Game Design Storyboard OR Game Summary Document (You did this for Round 1 already)

Here are a few resources that might help you get that First level of your game completed: 

Divvy up the work among teammates to share the workload. Many of these tasks can be done in parallel: One person can start writing up the Game Play instructions before the game is completed; Collect Screenshots as you go; You can start working on your video before the game is completed. I got all this from the Game Design Rules here.

Playable Game

In order to judge your team’s game, we need to be able to play it! So we need an installable and playable game in the format for Phone

Technical Requirements:

  1. All games must have been developed using Microsoft® XNA Game Studio 4.0 or later or using Silverlight technology. Visual Studio is no longer required but still an optional technology for you to use.
  2. Since your Team’s game is designed for the Windows Phone platform, it must be playable on a commercially available Windows Phone device, not only a phone emulator.
  3. Your team must include a. XAP file: a standard Windows Setup application to install your game on a Windows Phone.
  4. No source code is permitted and games will be disqualified if they are submitted as development projects.
  5. The game must be comprised of at least one (1) playable level, more than one is permissible and they do not have to be sequential levels. This playable level must illustrate the game play and features of the final game that your team would like to develop; final graphics are not required, but the Game Demo must represent the conceptual art direction of the game that you would like to develop.
  6. Your game may target any commercially available version of Windows Phone that is released by the end of Round 3 (Worldwide Qualifying), 3 May 2012.
  7. It is acceptable to support multiple languages in your game as long as English is one of the represented languages. If a translator is needed, you are responsible to procure and to make use of one.
  8. The content of the game must be equivalent to an Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating of “T” for Teen or lower. Mature games that would be rated above “T” for Teen will be disqualified and ineligible to continue in the competition).
  9. Remember: The content of the game must address a social cause connected to the Imagine Cup 2012 Theme: “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems”.

Helpful Hints:

  1. If your game supports multiple languages, you are advised to ensure the default language is English even if it’s changeable in the Options of your game.
  2. If you provide multiple levels and want the judges to play them, consider supplying “save game” files for the judge/player to be able to load from different points in your game.
  3. For more information on the ESRB Game Ratings and Descriptor Guide, please visit the ESRB website.
  4. Note that the rules clearly state that your game MUST be playable on an actual Windows Phone device, not just the development environment emulator.
  5. Review the scoring criteria to best optimize your gaming experience.

Game Play Instructions

Technical Requirements:

  1. Include either a game screen (.JPEG file) or text document in .DOC, .DOCX, .PDF or .TXT file format in a readme file.
  2. The Game Design Summary must be submitted in the English language. If a translator is needed, you are responsible to procure and to make use of one.

Helpful Hints:

  1. The content of the Game must address a social cause connected to the 2012 Theme: “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems”.
  2. This is an important element of your entry so the judges know how to play your game. If your game is complex, then make sure you take the time to explain how to play every aspect
  3. If your game is installed in a particular location or under a particular name or folder, ensure you list out the instructions on how to find and start your game.

Game Video

The Game Video is a video file showcasing your game. It must include a video screen capture of your Team’s game in action. This video can include narration, team introductions, and game presentation information to convey your game’s premise and intent as well as intended gameplay experiences. At a minimum, this must show your game in action.


Technical Requirements:

  1. The video must include the Imagine Cup Intro and Imagine Cup Outro Clips. Clips can be downloaded at imaginecup.com.
  2. The Game Video length must not exceed seven (7) minutes, including the Imagine Cup Intro and Outro Clips.
  3. The Game Video must be submitted as an electronic file in one of the following file formats: .AVI, .WMV, .MPEG, .MP4, .XESC.
  4. The Game Video can be submitted in any language, however, if not in English, it must include English subtitles. If a translator is needed, you are responsible to procure and to make use of one.

Helpful Hints:

  1. We recommend creating your screen capture using Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 Screen Capture which is available to students for free at DreamSpark.
  2. Regardless of language used, consider using subtitles to ensure judges can fully understand your video’s audio portion.
  3. While you must include some screen capture of your video in action, you should also showcase other elements that show your game in a positive light. For example:
    • If you have performed play-testing with your intended audience, you might include some video of that experience.
    • If you already have future plans for expanding on your game, you could provide samples or show off your models or storyboards in your game video.
    • You could introduce each of the team members and what their specialties or contributions were in the creation of the game.

Game Design Summary or Game Storyboard

You already did a first draft of this for Round 1, so this is just a chance for you to update that document. The Game Summary Document is an electronic text document that describes your Team’s game, the intent of your game, and details the unique game play features and how it aligns to the Imagine Cup 2012 Theme. You must include additional attributive information relating to third party content per the technical requirements below

Technical Requirements:

  1. You must use the Game Design Summary Document Template.
  2. The summary must be a minimum of 600 characters including spaces.
  3. You must provide a name for your game. The name must be in the English language.
  4. The file format must be either a .DOC, .DOCX or .PDF, .RTF or .TXT file. This option does not allow .JPEG submission files.
  5. The content of the Game must address a social cause connected to the 2012 Theme: “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems”.
  6. The Game Design Summary Document must be submitted in the English language. If a translator is needed, you are responsible to procure and to make use of one.
  7. The file may include images if you feel it conveys your message better, however, images are not required for the Game Design Summary Document.
  8. Important note about Copyright: Your Team’s entire entry must only include material (including source code – both open source and third party sourced, user interface, music, video or images) that you own or that you have permission from the copyright/trademark owner to use. Your Team’s entry may not include copyrighted materials (such as source code, user interface, background music, images or video) unless you own or have permission to use the materials. Ownership is not defined as purchasing a CD at a music store for replay, playing a copyright recording on your guitar or repurposing an application’s user interface - your Team’s entry will be disqualified if copyrighted materials, including but not limited to these examples, are a part of your entry without appropriate licensing or permissions. If you do use permissible copyrighted materials, you must include the permissions information by citing the artist/creator and license information in the Game Summary Document. Note that even material released under sites such as Creative Commons, common open source code licenses, and other similar licensing may need permission or acknowledgement as per the specific license. Note: your team’s entry will be disqualified if permissions information is not included as per the requirements in the specific Competition

Andrew Parsons is the Game Design Captain this year, he can’t wait to see your entries and neither can we!