Announcing October Challenge 2012

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
September 27th, 2012 4:02 pm

October is nearly here, so it’s time to kick off for October Challenge 2012!

The October Challenge is a special Ludum Dare event I started two years ago. More and more people are making games today thanks to Game Jams and events like Ludum Dare. And more and more people talk about selling games, but don’t do it. Well, it’s time to start doing it. Put simply:

Finish a game — Take it to market — Earn $1

That is your goal. That is the October Challenge.

Disregard all the usual Ludum Dare rules (no restrictions). Finish any game you previously made during a game jam, something else you’ve been working on, or heck, something entirely new. Your goal, if you choose to accept it, is to not only make something, but to finish it and do everything necessary to start earning money from it. That’s all. No specific rules or platforms. Make good on that goal or promise to start selling games.

Finish your game before November 1st, and submit it to your respected market. That is the challenge. And once you earn your $1, you’ve done it! Easy as that. You’re now a pro.

I’d like to invite everyone to share resources and discuss markets, business models, advertising, and anything related to making that $1. I’ve collected a list of marketplaces, vendor services, and even some opportunities you can take advantage of over here:

October 2012 Resources and Opportunities

If you need a place to start, you can check out this guide I wrote for our first event. Selling games isn’t just finishing it, but there is often paperwork and fees to take care of, and those take time. Do them early to make the most of your time.

Also, do share your progress on your upcoming game with us here on the site. I’ll be opening a submission form soon to collect a list of completed games as they happen.

Keynote Invitation

What’s a Ludum Dare event without a keynote? On deck for the 3rd October Challenge event is Breakdance McFunkypants. Check out what he had to say here:

I’ve posted a few FAQ answers in the comments, so look below. Good luck everyone!


71 Responses to “Announcing October Challenge 2012”

  1. PoV says:

    * * * * * FAQ * * * * *

    Q: Do I need to earn my $1 in the month of October?
    A: Nope! The goal of the challenge is to take all the steps necessary to finally earn money from a game. And when you earn your $1, whenever that is, you win.

    Q: Does my game have to be a Ludum Dare or Gamejam game?
    A: Nope! It can be something you’ve been working on outside of Gamejams. Like Ludum Dare, we run the challenge in hope that having a shared deadline encourages more of us to finish.

    Q: Can I earn more than $1?
    A: Yes, we hope you do! Rather than aiming for “Minecraft Money”, we recommend starting small. Because $1 comes before $10 comes before $100 comes before $1000 and so on.

    Q: I’ve been working on a game for weeks or months prior to the Challenge. Can I participate too?
    A: Absolutely! The more the merrier.

    Q: Can I work in a team?
    A: Yes, absolutely! Work with as many people (or as few) as you like.

    Q: Do I need to release source code?
    A: No! Definitely not! You can if you really want to, but I actually discourage it. :)

  2. zakchaos says:

    I Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who makes these events possible, as a fledgling developer, the Jams, and events that you put on are so educational, socially positive, and invaluable that i’d be hard pressed to put a price on it, I don’t know what else i can say but, thanks X 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 etc

  3. Balooga03 says:

    I’m in, I’ve been working on a game for some months in my sparetime, time to make some money :)

  4. Henry McLaughlin says:

    This is my time to start my career for real! Time for action, adventure, passion, and love for my craft!


  5. theomnis says:

    This gives me a reason to get my crap together. I’m in!

  6. CNIAngel says:

    I gotta say, this challenge is just what I needed. Now I can try and do my best to make my first release. I can’t wait to see how everyone else goes about this. Good luck to everyone.

    May the month of October bet he month of the indie game flood! :)

  7. mohammad says:

    Here I am, eating churrios before school and reading this.
    Too bad for child labor laws. :(
    Mabye in 5 years 😀

    • @mohammad
      I don’t know about in your country (wherever that may be), but I think most child labour laws only apply to employment of children. You’re more than free to make money on your own time and with your own means. But then again, I’m not an international labour law expert, so I could be wrong 😛

      • mohammad says:

        In America, you must be 18 or older to acquire money via labor.
        Internet, Lawn-mowing, Ect.
        Besides, I’ll still need a permit if i wish to make money legally.
        Otherwise straight to jail, no questions asked.
        Welcome to communist America.

        • Henry McLaughlin says:

          Actually, here in America you *can* earn money for yourself via labor, just not from an established business. That is, you can make money by your own efforts (such as mowing lawns or walking dogs) but not by being an employee of a company (such as a fast food restaurant or gas station).

          However, most places where you would market an indie game *do* require a PayPal account. I’m not sure PayPal lets minors have accounts with them.

          You serious misunderstand child labor laws, though. 😛

        • Balooga03 says:

          Don’t let laws stop you! If you really want it you can find a way.
          Ask your dad or someone else who is old enough to stand in for you.

          I know a few who have done it like that.

        • 7heSAMA says:

          Yeah… no. As a recently-turned-18 American, this is BS.

  8. TomK32 says:

    I’m wondering how many scenes I have to finish of my adventure game Planet Pongo so people think it’s worth that dollar (or euro to make it more challenging). 1,5 scenes right now and I think 5 scenes for 1 (currency unit) should be fair, no?

  9. Domantas says:

    Wow, this can make me to finnish at least one my game (or I will get bored like always) :)

  10. Sayajin says:

    So, for the two last October Challenge, i tried out to finish a game i started for ages . . . as it is usually said Everything comes in threes. This times i’ll make it (and monetize it 😉 ) or break it.

  11. Whitenickel says:

    After missing the last two competitions, I’m definitely doing this! 😀

  12. Anickyan says:

    A shame that I can’t receive the money directly :( … Well, I guess I’ll just have my dad receive them or something.

    Sounds like a fun challenge, though!

  13. mocker says:

    I have no idea what game i’ll make or finish to monetize but I love this challenge. Question: if someone makes a kickstarters or similar page for their game (and receives at least 1 dollar) does that count?

    • mohammad says:

      I guess, but that makes you a big lazy baby whose asking the people of the internet (AKA: Your dream dad.) to give you money.

      • Jezzamon says:

        ^ this guy

        nah but seriously kickstarter money isn’t really profits, it’s more of funds.

        And yeah you’re a baby, dream dad, etc

        • mocker says:

          The way most kickstarters work they are essentially pre-sales since they usually include a discounted copy of the game as one of the reward levels. I’m not really if calling me a lazy baby is a reaction towards kickstarters in general or meeting the october challenge using kickstarter. If you don’t already have game ready to be released than getting funds to finish develop something in progress via kickstarter would be an equally great way. Kickstarter only releases the funds if you meet your funding request so it wouldn’t count if you just started a lame ass kickstarter without showing any work and getting a couple pledges from some buddies without meeting the funding level.

    • panda says:

      I’m not official or anything, but to me kickstarter money would count as winning as long as by the end of the month you actually deliver the game you promised your backers. That said, I hear it’s really hard to get kickstarter money without some sort of track record, so this may not be the best way to monetize one’s first game.

  14. grobert9 says:

    Let’s do this! I’m in.

  15. Puzzlem00n says:

    Well, you know I’m in! Although the idea that most of the month should be setting up the money making stuff is sort of discouraging… That’s not at all how I planned my month. On the bright side, this new knowledge makes me less likely to fail!

  16. kddekadenz says:

    I will use a pay-what-you-want system with no minimum (so you can still get the game for free), so it’s is less selling a game more receiving donations for a game.

  17. AlwaysGeeky says:

    Hey, I released Vox a couple of weeks ago on Desura and this has been getting a lot of attention, and I am completely overwhelmed by the support from people.

    So far it has made more than $1 from player purchases., although I haven’t been on there long enough for a payment yet.

    Vox started out as my first entry to a Ludum Dare competition, number 23… see if you can find my LD 23 game. 😛

  18. Leebo86 says:

    Sweet, gonna start a game from scratch and have it polished like hell by the end of the month.

    $1, here I come!

  19. MegaBrutal says:

    I like this idea! I’m going to release a game shortly, just by coincidence. So I think I’ll submit that. :)

    Question: Do I need to publish the source code of the game, like I’d need to in a Ludum Dare Compo?

  20. Porter says:

    I had already created a very strict deadline for myself to finish a game by Halloween, and now I have the backing of my favorite game jam; mission accepted.

  21. kddekadenz says:

    I wonder if donations do count.

  22. Boi says:

    Hi, does the dollar need to be made online? Can I go hustle people in the streets?

  23. NerdsWBNerds says:

    Does it count if I have it on my own website and got ad-revenue of 1$?

  24. Aiursrage2k says:

    Well I guess I am down for it.

  25. Fenyx says:

    I believe I have finally completed this challenge. 😀

  26. makuto says:
    I think I will just embed one of these buttons onto my website in order to sell my game (then just sell it by WOM)

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