Kongregate Developers Blog

January 2019 Contest Winners

Each month, developers win cash prizes for having the highest-rated new games! Click here for official rules. Check out the official contest page here.


We reached out to the top 5 winners to ask about their inspirations and experiences developing last month's top games on Kongregate!

  • First-Place Winner

Kodiqi, developer of Idle Breakout: Happy new year! This is my third game on Kongregate and my second idle game. Some players might remember my previous game Religious Idle. I've been making games for a few years, mostly doing game jams such as Ludum Dare.

I'm not sure exactly where the idea for Idle Breakout came from, but I've always had an interest in arcade classics and adding newer mechanics to them. Early versions of Idle Breakout were a lot closer to the classic Breakout/Arkanoid games, with a single ball and the moving paddle for the balls to bounce off. However, I didn't find upgrading the paddle very satisfying and decided to ignore the paddle and walled off the entire play area. This led to the balls becoming the main focus, and I realised they worked in a similar way to resource generators in other idle games (e.g. buildings that produce resources/money). I initially based the ball types on the guns you see in shooter games; the standard ball is a weak pistol, scatter balls deploy small balls like "shot" from a shotgun, sniper ball snipes, etc.

The trickiest part of making Idle Breakout was definitely the combination of idle game mechanics with so many moving parts. Most idle games don't need a collision system of any kind; I needed one to handle 1,000 balls and 100 bricks colliding at any one moment. I've rewritten the collision system twice and made many changes and tweaks along the way. It's not something I had any significant knowledge of beforehand, so it definitely made development slower than I would have liked. I was actually considering shelving the game entirely a few days before I published it on Kongregate. Luckily I was able to find a workable balance between accuracy and speed with the collisions and I decided to upload it. I figured that I would at least get some valuable feedback if nothing else. So I was very surprised when the game was as highly rated and as highly played as it has been.

I'd like to thank everyone who has played it, and I appreciate the feedback and suggestions players have given me. I'm currently working on some new content for the game, and there is a small preview of Boss Bricks included in the latest update. Boss Bricks are bricks with a lot of health and a few special abilities that players will have to build up their arsenal of balls to take on. New rewards and upgrades are also planned, including new abilities that can be added to existing balls. Idle Breakout is my main focus right now but I have some other idle games in the works for 2019, so stay tuned!

  • Third-Place Winner

say892, developer of Light the Way: Hey all! First, I want to thank everyone who played Light the Way! This game was actually created for Kongregate's Game in Ten Days (GiTD) competition, which means that I only had ten days to think up and create what you all enjoyed so much. As a result, it was a bit shorter than most games, which you all noticed, but it let me focus in on a single simple idea. At this point I feel obliged to mention to other developers who want to try out making a game in 10 days that they can check out the Game Programming forum for the latest GiTD information. There's one every month, and we are all willing to help out anyone who wants to learn! By participating, you'll always be coming up with new ideas and constantly developing, and maybe one day you'll end up on the top of the charts! Exhibit A: Me!

Like I said, Light the Way was a quick game due to the time constraint. With that, though, there is definitely a lot of things that could have gone into the game, and there were a lot of ideas that I had to pull out due to the time limit. Rest assured, though, there are plans for a sequel, which I've already started to work on! I have a few ideas, but I've also been reading every single comment that you all post, looking for suggestions that you may have. I don't make games for myself; I make games for all the players to enjoy, so they all should have a say! I hope that when the sequel is released, you'll all love it even more than the original.

Again, thanks so much for playing my game!

  • Fourth-Place Winner

WayWayStudio, developer of RowRow: Hello! We are developers of RowRow. We really want to thank everybody for playing and giving us so much feedback for our first-ever game. It’s a great honor for us to be recognized as one of the best games this month! We also want to congratulate all the games and developers behind the games that are selected this month.

We are the indie developer team Wayway Studio. Each of us didn’t start as developers but worked in different areas like architecture, structural design and graphic design. The name of our team reflects our roots, meaning we came together from different paths and are going on a journey of diverse ways (way+way). For us, RowRow was an experiment of how a small group like us could make an enjoyable but challenging game in a short period of time.

RowRow was actually a mini game inside a 3D Number Sequence Puzzle Game we were making called “Sequence.” So it naturally inherited the mathematical side of the former game. Math can be boring, tiring and annoying. We wanted to give a relaxing experience that was at the same time somewhat challenging and puzzling. We are now preparing some more small games like RowRow and also something new and bigger. Thank you again for playing our game, and we hope games we make in the future can be fun and interesting enough for you guys! Peace out.

  • Fifth-Place Winner

AraGames, developer of Feed the Mouse: First of all, we want to thank the Kongregate team. We've loved your website as players for many years, and since about one year ago we are with you as developers with ARA Games Germany.

With Feed the Mouse we wanted to develop an action game without shooter elements. The game combines a cute game design with a hungry mouse looking for food on the one hand and bloody dangers in the surroundings of a modern house mouse on the other hand.

During the development we had to think about what to do with the mouse when it runs over the metal bracket of the mousetrap. Instead of killing the cute rodent, it is now catapulted through the air in a high arc.

Finally, we would like to thank all the players who support us with their comments and feedback and their ratings.

Congrats to the rest of the winners below!