Netbooks are small, cheap computers. They tend to have lower resolution displays and smaller keyboards and touchpads than larger computers. And most netbooks have relatively slow processors and underwhelming graphics cards. That means that while some older or less graphics-intensive games play quite nicely on netbooks, you’re not going to have a lot of luck playing bleeding edge games.

But Intel and The Games Creators think there’s an opportunity for games that are designed specifically for netbooks. They’re running a contest for game developers with prizes including a $5,000 vacation top prize, $1,000 first place awards in each contest category, and a free netbook for second prize winners in each category. Oh yeah, the games will also be featured int he Intel Atom Developer Program Community, so winners get a bit of recognition which could help increase game sales.

Games will bejduged on graphics, game play, and standout elements. The contest also encourages games that fit with the whole netbook-as-a-travel-companion idea, meaning that you can pause the game anytime you like and play for just a few minutes at a time. Games should clearly be designed for low resolution displays. And they can integrate some of the mobility features people might expect from a netbook including location awareness or social integration.

It’s too early to say whether this contest is all it will take to launch a renaissance in netbook gaming. But it’s a start.

Contest entries need to be in by October 3rd.

via Dual Shockers

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10 replies on “Intel offers $5,000 prize for netbook game developers”

  1. Going by ABI research Netbook sales are already up Yes netbook markets dont have games developed yet but intel doesnt need to promote sales as sfutures for netbooks are amazing for next 4 years

  2. This is a contest using Dark Basic which is an ok language. I would rather use Blitz3D. I haven’t used Dark Basic so maybe its more stable now.

    My top games for netbooks include:
    Plants vs Zombies
    Battle for Wesnoth

    Now… how about a game developer competition for netvertibles or slate PCs? That would definitely bring more attention to Windows based touch computers. Which is what Microsoft is “serious” about right?

    Some games that I have played with my S10-3T netbook convertible/netvertible –

  3. I think it would be a great incentive for game developers; especially ones who have older games that can be adapted for netbooks.

    It would be neat to see some thing similar for touchpad pc’s; ie, games that work with a stylus or touch.

  4. Thank you for the post and the comments! Couldn’t agree more with the comment that there is a great opportunity for games that are designed for the netbook hardware and usage. We’ve seen a great interest in our developer community on apps focused on netbooks. I also wanted to highlight that in addition to the contest mentioned here, we have the Intel Atom Developer Challenge and the Million Dollar Development Fund both programs focused on finding and supporting apps that bring out the best user experiences on netbooks.
    Gunjan from Intel

  5. The sadest day I had last week was looking at the specs to run Civilization V.

    Gadzooks! They made Civ V as half monster & half demon — You’d need to spill blood on a stone and pray to unholy things to run it on anythinmg less then a gaming rig from what I hear. I was thinking I’d buy a 11.5″ machine running a AMD Athlon™ II Neo Processor to run it, but that likely wouldn’t even display the splash screen of Civ V before crashing. |-(

  6. I’ve often thought there should be a thriving business for netbook software in general. Games would be great, and should not be too hard to do. Also software, in general, with screens designed for lower resolution screens, and touch input, such as media players with big buttons. Go Intel!

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