Q & A With Olli of Game Development World Championship (GDWC)

I am very pleased to share a Q&A I’ve had with Olli of the Game Development World Championship (GDWC).  In it we discuss what the GWDC is all about, how it began and how you can enter to compete.  Enjoy the article and feel free to join in on the action!


Hi Olli! I’m very excited to talk to you about the Game Development World Championship (GDWC), and what that means for indie developers around the world! In a short elevator pitch, could you tell me what GDWC is all about?

Hi Chris! Thanks for having me! GDWC is of course all about awesome games and game developers! It’s the largest competition for game developers in the world, reaching to all corners of the earth, and is completely open and free for anyone to join in. Our goal is to bring more exposure to as many awesome indie games as possible, and find other cool and interesting ways to support the developer community.


When did you get started and how many developers have submitted their projects in GDWC?

The GDWC has been running in this current form, which we are constantly developing and iterating on by the way, since 2016, so this year (2021) would be our sixth. The competition does have an ancient history dating back to 2012, but it was under a different name and scope back then, so we consider that to be sort of the prototype phase for GDWC.

The total developer count that’s participated throughout the history of the event is beyond 20 000. Last year was our biggest thus far, with over 1800 development teams taking part in the competition, which is phenomenal, and we’re definitely taking that as a challenge for this year to go way beyond that.


What is the criteria used for judging the submissions?  Is it judged by the GDWC group only, do you bring in any celebrity judges? 🙂

Our official judging criteria culminates on three key pillars, Fun, Feel, and Novelty. There’s a more in-depth description of these in the rules section of the GDWC website. Our team does pre-qualifying for the games in multiple steps throughout the competition, but the final say is in the hands of our Jury, which consist of industry professionals. We rebuild the Jury each year and reach out to a wide range of industry people around the world to bring in a wide range of experience and perspectives to the jury.

The exception of course is the Fan Favorite category, where the winner is decided by the players in an open vote. Once the competition launches, each week we’ll have these Weekly Vote events, where a handful of games are up on vote in the GDWC front page, and the winning game moves on to the final round at the end of the championship.


When does the competition run? (i.e. the deadlines)

The competition is live right now! You can go and enroll in our website at thegdwc.com! We actually just launched on Monday 22nd (of February). The enrollment will be open all the way to the end of the year though. That way we enable all games released this year to participate. The winners for GDWC 2021 will be picked and announced in early 2022.


On that note, we will soon have a live streaming awards event where we’ll announce the winners of GDWC 2020 so stay tuned for that.


We will also launch the weekly votes very soon in the coming weeks, so there’s lots of stuff coming up.


The question probably on the top of everyone’s mind, what can you win?!

Fame and recognition of course! And we also fly representatives from the winning teams in main categories to Finland to visit some of our top game studios and see the country. Of course the global pandemic has presented some challenges to this in recent times, but we’re looking forward to organizing the reward trip to the latest winners.

We also give out other awesome prizes provided by our sponsors in many categories and official GDWC Care Packages filled with all kinds of goodies to the winners in bonus categories. We actively add new rewards to different categories so remember to check out the Categories section on the GDWC website.


Do you run any live events as well?

Yes! We took a bit of dip into the live streaming events last year when we held the 2019 Awards Ceremony on twitch (twitch.tv/thegdwc) which was tons of fun. We also started live streaming the Weekly Vote games. But this year we’re taking a proper dive into the live streaming side. We’ll have the 2020 Awards Ceremony live stream coming up soon, and we also had our first ever GDWC Talks speaker event at the end of January. That really cool to do. We did it in collaboration with the Oulu City Library, and we had three awesome indie developers share their experiences and knowledge live in the stream with a really nice Q&A afterwards. We’re looking to do more of these in the future. Who knows, maybe we can have you as a guest speaker someday Chris?

We also just recently kicked these GDWC Plays live gaming streams with developers. We check out some of the games that are or have been in the competition and have the developers themselves join us live, tell us about the game, and their team, and plans and so on. It’s a lot of fun! We’re currently looking to turn this into a weekly thing, probably happening every Thursday evening around six pm (Finnish time, GMT+2), but this could still change as we’re setting things up.


I hope everyone found this informative, I sure did! Now let’s get to submitting your latest projects!  It’s super simple! All you need to do is go to the GWDC website (here!), create an account and submit your latest game project!  It only takes a few minutes.  See you all on judgment day! 🙂

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