Contest FAQ


Where do I find a list and links to the 2014 contest Apps and the winners?

There was an amazing variety of awesome, creative, and "worthy" apps and games submitted, many more than the number of available awards. Descriptions and links to all can be found on the Contest Gallery 2014 page. Submissions for this year will be added to the Contest Gallery 2015 page.

How do I "submit" my awesome app?

Full instructions and links are found on the Contest Submission 2015.

Remember, even if you have already "registered", everyone must still complete the Contest Submission 2015 process beginning in early September and ending September 18, 2015!

May I personally demonstrate my app at the LDSTech Conference?

  • Apps may be demonstrated at the conference but no judging will take place. You must have your app available online before the conference for everyone to view and vote.
  • Winners will also be determined by selected judges prior to the conference.
  • Those that wish to demonstrate their apps must give adequate notice that they wish to do so.
  • Attendance at the conference will have no bearing on regular prize determinations, which will be finalized before the Conference begins.

Note that apps which are not deemed appropriate for this Contest in the judges' sole discretion (see the Rules and discussion on this FAQ page) may not be demonstrated.

What is LDSTech?

LDSTech is part of the Information and Communication Services (ICS) department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. ICS is responsible for most Church technology, and LDSTech manages the volunteer and Church Service Missionary efforts which support and enhance the work of ICS. LDSTech also helps promote LDS technology to be used by members to learn, grow and serve, including technical forums such as the Contest Forum where members can share information.

Each year, LDSTech sponsors the LDSTech Conference, an opportunity for everyone interested in any aspect of Church technology to learn and share. In conjunction with the 2015 Conference, LDSTech is hosting the Gospel App & Game Development Contest to encourage independent developers to “create something worthy” to give our families better choices in the online world.

The LDSTech Conference will be held October 15, 2015 at the University of Utah Institute of Religion in Salt Lake City.

I have a great idea, but I’m not a programmer. What can I do?

Great apps start with great ideas, but “idea” skills and “programming” skills aren’t always found in the same person. Here are some things you can do:

  • Share your ideas on the Starter Ideas page. It may be just the idea a programmer is looking for.
  • Talk to friends, neighbors, ward members, or high school and college students. You might find someone nearby who may be willing to work or even partner with you.
  • Search online for a local developer. For example, the search “app developers Utah” will return a broad listing of professional, local developers.
  • Several countries have developed good reputations for low-cost application development. For example, you could do a search for “app developers India”.
  • Look in the Contest Forum for developers or artists who are available.

Whichever approach you use, the better your preparation, the better the development process will be (faster, less expensive, better results). Create a “storyboard” for your application, showing screen mockups, menus, program progression, and so on. Identify the scoring or tracking process. Think through and document in advance as much as you can.

What themes or images would be appropriate?

The Contest theme is "Create Something Worthy". That leaves a vast range of possibilities. Topics could be specifically gospel-oriented (most anything related to Christ, the Church, or the scriptures, for example). Or they could be values-oriented, educational or self-improvement (within a values or gospel context), or simply inspirational or uplifting.

Topics, themes, or art which would not be considered Contest appropriate include items such as anything offensive or demeaning, anything irreverent or that makes light of or criticizes leaders or sacred topics, anything that showcases or promotes worldly values (even if only inadvertently), and anything overly violent.

For this Contest, think positive. A great guideline is found in the 13th Article of Faith: "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

Must my app be “new”?

The purpose of this contest is to encourage the creation of new, engaging, and “worthy” games and apps that will help make a difference in our families and in the world. Thus, entries should not have been available prior to November 2014. However, entries that represent a significant change or enhancement to an existing program are eligible.

How do I find the photos and artwork my application needs?

If you are not creating your own artwork or other media, intellectual property (copyright) law requires that you hire out the creation of the media you need, or that you purchase or license the media from the copyright holder. This is discussed further in the next question. Never use the work of another for which you do not have proper authorization.

Quality artwork is available from many sources. Licensable works of independent artists, illustrators, and photographers can be found on the Internet, including a wide variety of LDS-themed media and free “open source” media. Another alternative is to hire an illustrator to create line drawings, simple pictures or portraits, or other artwork you may need; you may find very reasonable pricing. Check the Contest Forum for artists who may be available.

What are “Intellectual Property” rights? How do I comply with them?

Generally, “intellectual property” is any work created by a person. Photographs, illustrations, music, software, and text are all examples. The person who created such works or for whom a work was created is the usually the owner (the “copyright holder”); others are not allowed to use those works unless the copyright holder specifically allows it and authorizes or licenses its use.

In order to use the creative or copyrighted work of another person, you must be authorized to do so. For example, using a photograph or illustration made by someone else in a software program you create requires a license or permission from the photographer or illustrator. You would need to contact that person to request or purchase a license.

Some works are available to use under a form of general license that might not require an individual request. For example, much of the media on is freely available for noncommercial, personal, and Church-related purposes. However, an app which you intend to distribute, whether free or not, would be considered “commercial” and not subject to this general license. Note that the Church is not currently able to consider copyright permission requests from Contest participants.

There is a large variety of open-source (free general license) media available on the internet. For example, search for “free graphics” or similar. Read the license description on the site; you may find the artwork available for your application at no cost.

Keep track of the license you obtain on any intellectual property, whether open-source or paid. If you hire someone to create artwork for you, make sure that your agreement identifies you as the owner and copyright holder. In any event, make sure that you respect the intellectual property rights of others!

Why do I need to include a disclaimer?

Your app should always include a statement that you are the owner and copyright holder of the app you have created.

If your app has uniquely LDS-identifiable content that could make it look like the app has some endorsement by, affiliation or relationship with, or ownership by the Church, it must also include the following disclaimer:

This Application was not developed by or in association with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or any affiliate of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Accordingly, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its affiliates are not responsible for the content or the functioning of this Application. Rather, the developer of this Application is solely responsible for its content and functioning. Further, you should understand that this Application is neither owned by nor endorsed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, any trademarks or service marks associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that may be displayed in this Application are owned by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. or other entity affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"No Church membership data is allowed." Why?

The Church has a sacred (and legal) duty to protect the privacy and confidentiality of information about Church members. Applications which access Church membership data, whether through MLS, LDSTools, or other methods, are beyond the scope of this Contest. They may be worthwhile, but require appropriate channels of authorization.

Why do I need to both “register” and “submit”?

The “register” process (from now through July 18, 2015) is simply an optional pre-registration which gives us some advance notice to help plan for the judging and review process, as well as the ability to contact early participants regarding rules, changes, or other important information.

The “submit” process (beginning in early September, 2015 and ending September 18, 2015) is required for ALL applicants and requests additional information such as developer ages (for award purposes), app name and location, and acknowledgement of compliance with all rules.

Information provided in the registration and submission processes will not be shared with any other party outside of LDSTech, except as required for judging purposes, and will be used strictly for purposes of the Contest unless otherwise required by law.

What prizes will be awarded?

All participants will derive incredible personal satisfaction knowing that they helped make the world a better place by creating something worthy that can impact the lives of family, friends, and strangers across the world.

And of course, there will be awards. Plaques will be awarded in Primary, Youth, and Family and Other categories, as well as for teen, senior, and first time creators. There will be an “LDSTech Conference 2015 Attendee Favorite” and other awards.

Winners will be recognized on the LDSTech website, and we anticipate Conference, Contest, and winner coverage from various media (such as ChurchNews and local papers).

This page was last modified on 28 September 2015, at 15:27.

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