Just over a year ago, Activision had CEO Bobby Kotick rolled himself out of his money pit and onto the stage at DICE, and announced a competition for indie game developers called—shockingly—the Activision Independent Games Competition. Submissions ended last August and the competition judges have been in deliberation since then.
Well wait no longer, for the winners have been announced. For this first phase of the competition (there will be a second phase “in the near future” for an additional $250,000), Dstroyd by Peter Angstadt took first place for $175,000 and Rigonauts: Broadside by Engient took second place for $75,000.
Dstroyd is, as Angstadt’s studio Turtle Sandbox puts it, “a little like GunBound meets an RTS.” That seems pretty accurate, although Worms was actually the first game that jumped to mind for me.
Rigonauts is more like Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, though, in that it takes the vehicle crafting and turns it into its own game. You create your wrecking machine and take it up against other creations and enemies. Just from the screenshots, I get a very Pixel Junk vibe from the art, which is an absolutely good thing.
According to an interview by Activision’s social media manager Dan Amrich with Angstadt (there’s an accompanying one with Engient’s Ian Slutz), the developers retain the IP to their games but Activision gets first dibs at publishing rights. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
The second phase has yet to be more than merely defined as a reality, but given that it took almost a whole year to come to a consensus for the first phase winners, I wouldn’t hold my breath.