Goliath Wuvs David: Activision’s Indie Compo

That just looks cruel. CRUEL.

If there’s one name you don’t entirely expect to associate with indie games, it’s Activision. But the giganto-publisher did indeed elect to set up an indie developer competition earlier this year, the first winners for which were announced a couple of days ago. They’ve earned themselves a big pile of cash for their efforts, not to mention the approval of gaming’s biggest fish. You can see both winners below.

Walking home with the $175,000 first prize is Dstroyd, a sort of real-time take on Scorched Earth. Looks a lot more elaborate however, involving as it does stuff like terrain capture.

That’s from Peter Angstadt, who plans a PC and XBLA release later this year. More about it can be found right here.

Bagging the still surely life-changing amount of $75,000 is Engient’s Rigonauts: Broadside, which throws in spots of World of Goo, Meccano and the Impossible Machine with a rather more war-like agenda:

More on that here.

As for the competition itself, and Activision’s involvement – they’re not hoovering up ownership of the games or their IPs, but they do want first refusal of publishing rights. Hard to imagine Activision publishing small, left-field games like these, but it is something I’d welcome ’em trying their hands at. They’ll be announcing a second stage of the compo soon.

Oh, and there are some interviews with the winners, conducted by Activision’s blogger One of Swords, here and here.


  1. Text_Fish says:

    These both look super fun.

  2. kikito says:

    rigonauts broadside looks really cool.

    • Chaz says:

      Yep, that really tickles my fancy too.

    • Lambchops says:

      Yeah, it’s really cute, looks iike it could be fun, although for some reason I’m unequivocally rubbish at any game that requires me to build a functioning machine (unless it’s nice and simple like Bob Came in Pieces!).

    • CaspianRoach says:

      Indeed and it’s so smooth!

  3. somini says:

    I would say tax evasion…
    1)File the expense as donations

  4. Burning Man says:

    I think they’re just angling for some good PR. Limited financial investment, lots of good feelings, more leeway to be a right bastard in plain sight.

    (I hate Activision ’cause it’s fun. No real reason.)

    • The Sentinel says:

      Shockingly I can’t think of anything that Activision have done recently that has upset me….unlike their rivals who seem to do something weekly. They publish a lot of super hero games, too, which also makes me a very happy man, although I do wish Ultimate Alliance 2 had been ported across to our machines. Ah well. Never mind.

    • Barnaby says:

      Probably because there hasn’t been a new CoD release and a reason for Kotick to open his stupid mouth and spew nonsense.

      Man I’m so bitter towards Activision I don’t even want to watch the videos. Maybe when I’m less grumpy and not at work.

  5. Juan Carlo says:

    Shucks. I thought this was going to be a post about a new game called “Goliath wuvs David”–an indie platformer about the untold gay romance between everyone’s favorite Biblical metaphors for the little guy taking on the big guy. I’d play that game in a second.

  6. noom says:

    I’m always attracted to these build-your-own-vehicle types of games, but generally find that my sense of creativity is outweighed by my sense of pragmatism, and all my vehices come out quite stoically functional and nothing like the outlandish contraptions you see in trailers such as these.

    Referring to Rigonauts, obv.

  7. Xercies says:

    You see more publishers should do this, fund a few indie games. Maybe we can get some decent games with decent budgets so they can do something other then a platformer.

  8. wererogue says:

    Nice; just casually throw in a reference to Scorched Earth. Hands up if you already knew scorch, and both hands if you spent any real time playing it.


    • DarkNoghri says:


      Scorch was one of the games of my youth, and I dearly loved it. My favorite memory of it was based on the price adjusting that occurred based on how many purchases were made. We had bought so many death’s heads that the pricing had bugged out to something like -4 kerjillion. Basically, if you bought one, it gave you so much money that you could then buy ANYTHING. FOREVER.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Our physics teacher had a project where we used scorched earth to learn vector math.

    • bill says:

      \o/ <— does this mean both hands up? ooh.

      Ahem, anyway…. Scorched Earth was so awesome. I spent so much time playing it as a kid on my 286.

      It was one of the few games circulating in our school (seriously, did ANYONE buy games back then? Who bought the original floppy that got copied by the whole school?) that could be played by several people together.

      I tried getting into worms later, but it wasn't half as fun.

      Was Scorched Earth the first game of this type?

    • Jackablade says:

      Both hands raised here.

      10 Bonus points if you can name the games sole developer without looking it up.

  9. Carra says:

    I’d play these :)

  10. Spacewalk says:

    Fresh victims for the evergrowing army of the undead.

  11. Jackablade says:

    It’s not going to work, Activision. I’ve worked on games under your filthy boot. It’s going to take a damn sight more than a little indi game competition to make me believe you’re anything but unconscionably villainous.

  12. dellphukof says:

    If it works, it may be one of the most interesting things to ever happen to video games (something not all that uncommon with things related to EVE).

    However, I can’t help but feel that by making a PS3 exclusive, they’ve slightly shot themselves in the foot. Console shooters don’t have the same shelf-life as PC MMOs – EVE has been going since ’03 and will likely be going for a long time to come. I can’t see Dust lasting long enough for it to become an integral part of the game.that lung