During Round 1, you’ll be asked to submit the following materials:

  1. Overview Video to compete against other students from around the U.S. This video presentation should address what your game’s premise is and what makes it innovative and desirable, as well as illustrate its key features including genre, style and platform.
  2. Game Prototype playable by the judges (e.g. the playable game)
  3. Game Play Instructions document explaining how to play your game
  4. Game Trailer video of thirty seconds to promote your game online

Need more details on the items above?

In addition, all entries must meet the following requirements for the Overview Video, Game Prototype, Gameplay Instructions, and Game Trailer


Overview Video
The Overview Video is a video in .WMV format that depicts the functionality of your Team’s game and provides an opportunity for your Team to reiterate what you are trying to achieve and why it’s great, as well as to demonstrate some of the key features. The emphasis of the video should be on the game itself; video production quality will not be scored in the judging process. Your Team should show the game in action.
If you have not captured video of software before, we recommend creating your screen capture using Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 Screen Capture which is available to students for free at DreamSpark.
The Overview Video must be submitted as a .WMV file which meets the following requirements:
1. Your Team’s video content must clearly address each of the Judging Criteria outlined in these rules.
2. The audio of the video can be in any language, but if the audio is not in the English language, the video must have English subtitles in order to be eligible. If a translator is needed, you are responsible for procuring one.
3. The video must include the Imagine Cup Intro Clip (the clip can be found and downloaded from here).
4. The video must not exceed ten minutes, including the Imagine Cup Intro Clip.
5. The final .WMV video file must not exceed 250 MB.
6. Your Team’s game shown in the video must be fully functional and implemented. Previz, storyboards, concept art, and other mock-ups are not acceptable for the Overview Video.

Game Prototype
We need to be able to play your game in order to judge your game! The Game Prototype is defined as an installable and playable Game in the appropriate format for your chosen platform(s).
The Game Prototype must meet the following requirements:
1. Your game must be in one of the following formats for installation:
a. SETUP.EXE or an .MSI file: a standard Windows Setup application to install your game on a Windows PC.
b. CCGAME file: an XNA set up application configured to deploy on a local Windows PC (and NOT configured to deploy to an Xbox 360 Console).
c. ZIP file: this ZIP file must contain your games application and all dependencies required to play your game. Judges will extract your game to a local folder on a Windows PC and run the game from that folder.
d. XAP file: A Windows Phone setup file for deployment to phone devices.
2. The game must be no more than 300MB. No source code is permitted and games will be disqualified if they are submitted as development projects.
3. The game must be comprised of at least one (1) playable level, however more than one is permissible and they do not need to be sequential levels. The playable portion of the game submitted must illustrate the game play and features of the final Game that your team would like to develop.
4. The Game Prototype must represent the conceptual art direction of the game you are developing, but final graphics are not required.
5. If your game includes and/or requires Kinect support you must include this as a requirement in the Game Play Instructions document.
6. If your game includes and/or requires touchpanel/slate capabilities, you must include this as a requirement in the Game Play Instructions document.
7. If your game requires internet access, you must include this as a requirement in the Game Play Instructions.
8. The installation process of your game must not require the internet to complete successfully, if you use ClickOnce you must ensure it includes your entire game and does not attempt to retrieve components from online.
9. It is acceptable to support multiple languages in your game as long as English is one of the represented languages.
10. The content of the game must be equivalent to an Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating of “T” for Teen or lower (i.e. Mature games that would be rated above “T” for Teen will be disqualified and will be ineligible to continue in the competition). You can read the ESRB’s rating guidelines on their site at http://www.esrb.org.


Game Play Instructions
The Game Play Instructions document is an electronic document that informs the judges and prospective players how to setup and play your Game.
The Game Play Instructions must meet the following requirements:
1. The instructions must be submitted as either a document in .DOC, .DOCX, .PDF, .PPT, or .TXT file formats or a graphic image as a .JPG file.
2. It must be submitted in English.

Game Trailer
The Game Trailer is a video that can serve to advertise your game on the Imagine Cup website to showcase your entry and must meet the following requirements:
1. The video must not exceed thirty seconds in duration.
2. The file must not exceed 50MB in size.
3. The video must be in .WMV or .MP4 format.