Indie game developers have delivered some memorable titles, mainly downloadable, in recent years. While blockbuster experiences can be terrific, there's a growing market of determined programmers and game designers going their own way, and 'A Game By Its Cover' is a competition that's encouraging people to take early, tentative steps.

It's currently half way through a two month submission process, and was inspired by the Famicase Exhibition run by Satoshi Sakagami, in which artists create fictional cover art for Famicom (NES) titles; this naturally leads to some peculiar designs. This competition encourages entrants to choose a cover, from the hundreds that are available, and to quickly produce a basic game inspired by the artwork. Winning entries will receive prizes but also be showcased at GameCity7, a one week games festival in Nottingham at the end of October.

Details and links can be found below, and we've also included a video showing the games from the 2010 competition: plenty of strange entries, along with a few that also look rather fun.

Today marks the halfway point in the ongoing A GAME BY ITS COVER (AGBIC) competition. Between June 17th 2012 and August 18th 2012, the competition challenges game makers to create new games based on fictional game artwork. There is still plenty of time to enter and the prizes that can be won have just been announced.

Prizes include: a copy of Game Maker Studio; a copy of the Monkey programming language; graphics applications Acorn, Sketch and Pixelmator; T-shirt vouchers from Insert Coin Clothing and GamePaused; vouchers for iTunes and the Nintendo eShop; and a whole host of prizes courtesy of Steam, including a Valve Key and DOTA 2 beta keys.

Inspired by the Famicase Exhibition run by Satoshi Sakagami from his METEOR shop in Tokyo, for which he invites a select number of artists from around the world to create artwork for fictional Famicom/NES games. The AGBIC competition flips the Famicase concept on its head - we take these fictional games and make them a reality!

Game creators from around the world have come together for two months of game development, either alone or in teams, to create games inspired by fictional game artwork. All playable games will be made available for download after the competition has ended and the AGBIC and TIGsource communities will then vote on the final list of games. Prizes will be awarded to the overall top three games, best visuals, best audio, and finally there will be a runner-up prize to the most anticipated game that wasn't completed. In addition, the winning games will be shown at — Europe’s biggest and best-loved videogame culture festival — between October 20th and 27th. Full details of the competition are available at the official website:

Already for 2012 we have a total of 38 entries. The previous AGBIC competition saw 67 entries, covering a wide range of genres, play styles and graphical themes. 2012 marks the movement of the competition to its own domain name which enables it to gain focus and presence, with the goal of attracting more game creators to take part. Game developers, media, and industry luminaries from around the world, will join the general public to view and play the AGBIC games — offering unprecedented exposure for the selected game makers.

For more information visit

Prize list
1 x Game Maker Studio

1 x Monkey programming language

3 x Acorn bitmap image editor

1 x Sketch vector graphics editor

1 x Pixelmator bitmap image editor

£20, £10, £5 T-shirt vouchers

Steam: Valve Key, DOTA 2 Beta Key, Portal, Portal 2

TBC Vouchers

TBC Vouchers
For iTunes and the Nintendo eShop

AGBIC is an ongoing event to inspire and present diverse, experimental and fun game content to a wide public audience. In doing so, it is part of a larger international movement that recognises the future of the videogame industry lies in the hands of todays independent game creators.