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About the Independent Games Festival


The UBM Tech Game Network (producers of Game Developer magazine,, and the Game Developers Conference) established the Independent Games Festival in 1998 to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers. Just as the Sundance Film Festival benefits the independent film community, the IGF creates a similar event for independent game developers in addition to the student population of game developers.

Located at the Moscone Center at the Game Developers Conference, and open to any members of the public or game professionals who have passes with access to the Expo Floor, the IGF Pavilion showcases every single finalist for this year's Festival in playable form. Game submissions are also browsable on the official IGF site before and during GDC. Members of the development team for each IGF finalist are on hand to discuss and demonstrate the title and talk to top game publishers and distributors attending the show.

The IGF Awards will take place on Wednesday, March 4, at the Game Developers Conference, with thousands watching the awards presentation before the Game Developer's Choice Awards are presented. In its 17th year, the IGF has given away hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes and major recognition to innovative and independently created video games from all over the world.

GDC Ballroom, West Hall, Street Level
Wed., March 4, 2015
6:30-8:30 pm

View video of the Awards Ceremony here

Expo Floor

March 4 - March 6, 2015


March 2 - March 3, 2015

IGF Contest Overview

IGF Competition
The main IGF Competition will give out eight major awards:

  • Seumas McNally Grand Prize ($30,000)
  • Excellence in Audio ($3,000)
  • Excellence in Design ($3,000)
  • Excellence in Narrative ($3,000)
  • Excellence in Visual Art ($3,000)
  • Technical Excellence ($3,000)
  • Nuovo Award ($5,000)
  • Audience Award ($3,000)
There are six specifically named finalists for each award, with the exception of the Nuovo Award, which has eight finalists. All finalists will be invited to the IGF award ceremony at GDC 2015, and will have their games showcased at the IGF Pavilion. The IGF Audience Award will be voted from the finalists in all other categories.

IGF Student Showcase winners ($1,000)
The IGF's Student Showcase will highlight a total of eight games this year.

IGF Best Student Game ($3,000)

In addition there will be a prize for best overall IGF Student Game awarded as part of the IGF Awards, with the finalists comprised of all the Student Showcase winners.

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Key IGF Dates & Deadlines

Here are specific submission deadlines for the 2015 event:

  • Aug. 6, 2014
  • Oct. 22, 2014
  • Oct. 31, 2014
  • Jan. 8, 2015
  • Late Jan., 2015
  • Mar. 2 - 6, 2015
  • Mar. 2 - 3, 2015
  • Mar. 4 - 6, 2015
  • Mar. 4, 2015
  • Submissions are Open
  • Submission Deadline, Main Competition
  • Submission Deadline, Student Competition
  • Finalists Announced, Main Competition
  • Finalists Announced, Student Competition
  • Game Developers Conference 2015
  • Indie Games Summit @ GDC
  • IGF Pavilion @ GDC
  • IGF Awards Ceremony (Winners Announced!)

Award Categories - 2014 Finalists and Winners listed below

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

WINNER: Papers, Please

Dominique Pamplemousse in "It's All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!"
Don't Starve
The Stanley Parable
Nuovo Award

WINNER: Luxuria Superbia

Dominique Pamplemousse in "It's All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!"
Papers, Please
Perfect Woman
Save the Date
Excellence in Audio


Crypt of the NecroDancer
Dominique Pamplemousse in "It's All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!")
The Stanley Parable
The Yawhg
Excellence in Design

WINNER: Papers, Please

Crypt of the NecroDancer
Don't Starve
Mushroom 11
TowerFall Ascension
Excellence in Narrative

WINNER: Papers, Please

Dominique Pamplemousse in "It's All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!"
Papers, Please
The Stanley Parable
The Yawhg
Excellence in Visual Art

WINNER: Gorogoa

Perfect Stride
The Banner Saga
Best Student Game

WINNER: Risk of Rain (Hopoo Games - University of Washington)

Student Showcase Finalists:
Museum of Simulation Technology (Albert Shih - Carnegie Mellon University, Entertainment Technology Center)
Engare (Mahdi Bahrami & Moslem Rasouli - NHTV University of Applied Science)
Symmetrain (Philipp Beau & Daniel Goffin - University of Amsterdam / University Kassel)
Westerado (Ostrich Banditos - HKU)
Rhythm Doctor (Hafiz Azman & Winston Lee - University of Cambridge)
Foiled (Unblanched Peanuts - NYU)
Cyber Heist (Hack n' Hide - University of Utah)
Audience Award

WINNER: The Stanley Parable


If you have further questions, check the IGF FAQ or contact the IGF Chairman.

For information on IGF sponsorship opportunities, please click here.

For IGF's 2014 contest winners, click here


IGF Student Showcase Platinum Sponsor
DigiPen Institute of Technology is an innovator in the field of game development education. It's the first college to offer a bachelor's degree in video game programming, the winner of more IGF awards than any other school, and the source of some of the industry's most skilled and creative programmers, artists, and designers.

IGF Platinum Sponsor
ID@Xbox is Microsoft’s self-publishing program for independent developers on Xbox One. Developers can get two dev kits at no charge as well as full platform access to all of Xbox One’s features from 8-controller support to Kinect, Smartglass, Xbox Live and more!