Activision has decided the winners of the two top prizes in the first phase of its inaugural Independent Games Competition, an initiative in which the publishing giant hopes to "foster creativity and innovation from the rising talent in the independent game development community" by offering prizes to promising looking projects -- whether they're finished or not.
Developer Peter Angstadt won the first prize of $175,000 for his game Dstroyd, a 2D combat game combining elements of Worms and Scorched Earth with real-time strategy elements. As the winner, Angstadt and his studio Turtle Sandbox retain intellectual property rights to Dstroyd, but Activision gets the first opportunity to publish it if and when the game is finished. In the meantime, you can follow how the developers are spending their winnings at the official development blog.
Second prize -- a respectable $75,000 -- went to physics-based war machine building game Rigonauts: Broadside from independent studio Engient. The game allows players to construct increasingly-complex war machines from collections of parts, load them up with hobgoblins and then march them off to war. The game is reportedly inspired by the kinetic sculptures of Theo Jansen and will likely appeal to anyone who enjoys building things with systems such as Lego or Meccano. Find out more about the game on its official website.
These winners of the prizes are just the first phase of Activision's inaugural Independent Games Competition -- a second phase is set to run in the "near future" with another $250,000 up for grabs to talented independent developers.
Find out more about the competition, which is open to any independent developers in the United States, here.