Earlier this year, Activision awarded a total of $250,000 to two independent game developers for their promising-looking prototypes Dstroyd and Rigonauts: Broadside. The program is apparently designed to "foster innovation" and offers the money as a means of assisting aspiring game makers with the development of their pet projects.

Submissions opened for a second phase of the competition yesterday, with another $250,000 up for grabs for two lucky winners -- $175,000 to first place and $75,000 to second place. It's open to all independent developers with a headquarters in the United States, and will be promoted, vetted and juried by representatives from IndieCade, the international festival of independent games and a prominent organization in support of the indie community.

"This competition underscores Activision's commitment to fostering creativity in the independent development community," said Dave Stohl, executive vice president of studios at the publishing giant. "Many of us began our careers as indies, so we are very proud to offer this kind of support and encouragement to a couple of the industry's young visionaries." It also, of course, gives Activision a head start on spotting hot new up and coming developers and innovative new projects which it might want to nurture in the future.

The competition runs until December 31 2011, with the two prizes to be awarded in mid-February of next year. Find out more here.

This article originally appeared on GamePro.com as Activision Launches Second Independent Games Competition