How to Start Your Own Contest in Gamestar Mechanic

Gamestar Mechanic users create contests because they consider the process fun and interesting, much like game designing. If you want, you can make a contest yourself. Just follow these easy tips:

  • Decide how to restrict entries. How do you want entries sent in? Are you looking for a particular sort of entry, such as platformer games or games with a limited selection of sprites? Consider your own skill level because you want to be able to complete all the submitted games — if you’re a beginner player, for example, request some easy games.

    Also consider whether you want users to design new games for your contest, or allow them to enter games they’ve already published. Requesting new games ensures more topical — but fewer — entries.

  • Build a game that provides all necessary information about the contest. Use message block sprites, as well as the Level Intro and Level Win messages, to tell players how to participate in the contest. Ask yourself what your entrants need to know:

    • When are the games due?

    • What restrictions did you decide on?

    • How should the games be submitted?

    • How are the results published?

    Think about these questions ahead of time so that you can organize this information to make it as clear and concise as possible.

  • Evaluate your own ability to manage the contest. Always carry out what you promise: Play the games submitted to your contest, publish the results in a timely fashion, and issue any rewards you might have offered. Don’t run a contest that gets you in over your head — for example, you might limit the number of entries to your contests or enlist help in the judging process.

Running a contest can be a great way to meet interesting people, and to get people interested in you. In particular, contests are good at attracting users who like to share interesting games. However, remember that users often play your games for a fun challenge, so if you run too many contests, people may not want to follow you or visit your workshop as often.

Delete games that pertain to contests you’re no longer hosting, and use these no-challenge games sparingly to keep people coming back to your workshop. Adding one or more fun little levels to your contest game doesn’t hurt, either.