2021 Incubator applications are now closed!
Since 2014, the NYU Game Center Incubator has helped transform small independent game projects into polished, launched games. With the help of our faculty as well as a dedicated group of industry advisors, the program provides time, space, guidance and resources to help set teams up for success. This year, the NYU Game Center Incubator is restructuring to increase support for a wider variety of games and a wider variety of end goals, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach to success. We want to connect teams to the support they need to launch games, start studios, and to build strong game communities.
Selected teams will be invited to pitch their projects on the evening of Thursday, May 27th to the Game Center Advisory Board. We invite and encourage applications from folks with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. Thanks to the Bigglesworth Family Foundation, Incubator participants whose team is composed primarily of developers from groups under-represented in the game industry will be eligible to apply for up to $25,000 of additional funding in Fall 2021.
This year we are accepting applications from teams that meet at least one of the following criteria:
– At least 1 core developer is a student graduating from NYU (regardless of current location or permanent residency)
– At least 1 core developer is a resident of New York State (regardless of current location)
– The majority of the game’s production will happen in New York state (regardless of current location or permanent residency)
Contact Toni Pizza (email@example.com) with questions. Please note, we are unable to meet with teams individually prior to application submission.
INCUBATOR 2021 FORMAT
The 2021 Incubator is a part-time program that runs over the course of a full year. The program runs remotely through May 2022, with all required events and curriculum taking place remotely and over Zoom, Slack, and other online platforms. Please see the table below for dates of required events. Community coworking hours will be determined in early June, by the teams selected for the program.
Participants of the 2021 Incubator receive:
- Funding – $10,000 per team/game
- Mentorship – A committed Executive Producer
- Workshops – 2 days of workshops with industry experts
- Community Coworking – Bi-weekly community coworking with other Incubator teams
- Public Showcase – A public showcase alongside other Incubator games in Spring 2022
- Advisory Board – One-on-one or small group meetings, pitch practice, playtesting, etc with Incubator Advisors throughout the year
We expect the following from participating teams:
- Attendance and participation in program workshops, events, & Community Coworking sessions (schedule below)
- Quarterly communication with Project Coordinator & Executive Producer
- Participation in public showcase at end of program
- Progress & financial reports submitted via email bi-annually (June 30th, December 30th)
- A revenue share on project income
2021 INCUBATOR SCHEDULE OF REQUIRED EVENTS
- Thursday, June 10 — 5-7:30pm EST — Program Orientation & Group Playtesting
- Friday, June 11 — Full-day — Workshops with Incubator Advisors
- Thursday, July 8 — 5-7:30pm EST — Group Check-in & Playtesting
- Friday, July 9 — Full-day — Workshops with Incubator Advisors
- Spring 2022 — TBA — Public Showcase & Project Share
- In addition to these events, teams will participate in bi-weekly Community Coworking sessions (scheduled by teams during Orientation), and have quarterly check-ins with their EPs & the Incubator Director
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
To apply, complete the online application by 5/12. Projects will be selected by the Incubator Advisory Board with guidance from the Game Center Faculty and Staff. Online applications will be reviewed first, then a small subset of the online applications will be invited to pitch via video conference on the evening of 5/27.
The Incubator selects projects that demonstrate a mix of artistic excellence and commercial potential, made by teams or individuals who want to continue working on their games in a collaborative environment. We want to support teams that can clearly articulate what success looks like for their game, and we evaluate applicants with the following questions in mind:
- Production Capability: Can this team clearly articulate goals for their game and do they have a plan to achieve them? Can this team get the game from its current state into a completed project?
- Innovation: Does this game have an interesting/experimental/innovative mechanic, story, or style that could benefit from time in the Incubator?
- Community Contribution: Much of this year’s Incubator is focused on coworking with other participants. Will this team thrive in and contribute to a collaborative coworking environment?
- Wednesday, May 12th — 9am EST — Applications Due
- Monday, May 17th — Notification via email — Applicants Invited to Pitch Night on Zoom
- Thursday, May 27th — 5:30-7:30pm EST — Pitch Night on Zoom
- Monday, May 31st — Notification via email — Program Acceptance Sent
- Thursday, June 11th — 5:30pm EST — Program Begins
Thanks to continued support from New York State’s Empire State Development program, the Game Center continues to offer seats in the Incubator to game developers located in New York state. We invite and encourage applications from folks with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. At this time we are only able to provide funding to teams graduating from NYU Game Center as well as residents of New York state or teams who will complete the bulk of production in New York state.
Continuing into 2021, we will provide up to $25,000 of follow-on funding to at least one project whose team is composed of one or more developers from groups under-represented in the game industry. The Bigglesworth Family Foundation is the source of the funding for this exciting new initiative. The Foundation supports programs and projects that help create systemic change by strengthening the capacity of non-profit organizations and addressing delivery system and historic challenges.
PAST INCUBATOR GAMES & SUCCESS
Since its start, the Incubator has provided financial support and guidance to more than 40 games and over 70 developers. Learn more about the projects we’ve supported each year: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020.
Since the first cohort in 2014 the Incubator has generated a wide range of success stories, from running successful crowdfunding campaigns, to signing with publishers, to launching games independently. Games from the Incubator have been backed by Indie Fund, and published by Devolver Digital, AMC, and WhiteThorn Games to name a few. Beyond just financial success, Incubator games have won awards at the IGF and Indiecade and have been featured in the Indie Megabooth as well the front store of the App Store, Steam, and on Humble Bundle. Finally, our projects have been written about and praised in Kotaku, Killscreen, and more.