ProtoStar is a new fund designed to provide game developers with early stage funding support for original game projects. The ProtoStar fund helps indie game makers take promising ideas from the concept phase to the point where they have a working interactive prototype.

If you have an idea for a game project that you want to get off the ground, we want to hear about it! We will be holding our next ProtoStar Pitching Contest in December 2023. Read on for info about how you can pitch your concept for an opportunity to win $5,000 in project funding. Participants in the contest will also receive invaluable feedback on their pitch from a panel of expert judges.

When & Where:

Tech Valley Game Space (30 3rd Street, Troy NY)

December 17th, 2023 (in-person pitches) and December 28th, 2023 (virtual pitches)



What are the eligibility requirements?

Participants must be 18 or older, and must be willing and able to travel to Tech Valley Game Space in Troy, NY on a regular basis. In addition, at least one member of the game’s development team must be a current resident of New York State.

How much does this cost?

ProtoStar is free for all participants.

What does the contest winner receive?

If your pitch is selected by the judges as a winner, you will receive a funding award of $5,000 to help you complete your game prototype. Each of your team members will also receive a complimentary coworking membership at Tech Valley Game Space. Even if your pitch doesn’t win, you will still receive invaluable feedback from our panel of expert judges.

How long should my pitch last?

Your pitch should last no longer than 10 minutes. Pitches will be followed by a 10 minute Q&A session with the judges.

What information should my pitch include?

You can download a slide deck template for pitching here. Your pitch should cover:

  • A brief summary of your game concept
  • What you intend to create for the prototype version
  • How you would use the funding award to help create your prototype
  • Background info on yourself and/or your team
  • Your plan for using the prototype to secure additional funding and bring the game to market

Are you looking for any particular types of games?

We are looking for projects that are currently in the early-mid stages of development (e.g. concept, pre-production, pre-Alpha) and would demonstrably benefit from receiving the funding award. The purpose of ProtoStar is to help developers create more polished game prototypes and demos, which they can then use to secure additional funding from external sources. If your project is already fully funded, then it isn’t suitable for this contest.

If you are uncertain whether your game is appropriate for ProtoStar, we encourage you to apply anyway! We will evaluate the information you provide and let you know whether we consider your game to be a good fit.

What criteria will the judges be using to evaluate my pitch?

The judges will be considering both the artistic and commercial potential of your game concept, as well as the overall feasibility of the project and how achievable your plan appears to be.

We want to support original ideas that push the medium forward, and open up games to new audiences. At the same time, we also want to see evidence that you have considered the target market for your game and the economic prospects for the project as a whole.

Ultimately, the judges will be favoring game pitches that demonstrate a greater likelihood of garnering additional funding, moving beyond the prototype phase, and eventually achieving a successful launch.

What support resources are available to help me refine and polish my pitch?

We recommend taking a look at the following talks and articles for pointers on how to craft your pitch:

30 Things I Hate About Your Game Pitch

Pitching to publishers: How to impress and what to avoid

How to pitch to publishers at GDC

Pitching to perfection: 7 reasons why your game pitch fails

What a pitch: Rami Ismail on talking to the press, publishers, platform holders and players

How to properly describe a video game: a helpful lesson from GDC

How To Pitch Your Project To Publishers

How To Pitch Your Indie Game

What if I need information about my pitch to be kept confidential?

If you require a written guarantee of confidentiality, such as a non-disclosure agreement, please contact us at and we will be happy to discuss your circumstances in greater detail.

Does TVGS/ProtoStar claim any ownership stake or make profit from my work?

Nope! You retain full ownership of everything you pitch or create as a part of ProtoStar.

Where should I direct additional questions?

Please email any additional questions to


ProtoStar 2023 is made possible by the generous support of the RPI Center of Excellence in Digital Game Development.