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About the Independent Games Festival

Please note: this information refers to GDC 2015, check back for updates.


The UBM Tech Game Network (producers of, 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 Developers 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.

Watch the 2015 ceremonies on twitch or GameSpot!

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

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)
  • 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
  • Independent Games Summit @ GDC
  • IGF Pavilion @ GDC
  • IGF Awards Ceremony (Winners Announced!)

Award Categories - 2015 Finalists listed below

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

WINNER: Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wilds)

80 Days (inkle)
Invisible, Inc. (Klei Entertainment)
Metamorphabet (Patrick Smith of Vectorpark)
Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wilds)
The Talos Principle (Croteam)
The War of Mine (11 bit studios)
Nuovo Award

WINNER: Tetrageddon Games (Nathalie Lawhead)

BECOME A GREAT ARTIST IN JUST 10 SECONDS (Andi McClure and Michael Brough)
Bounden (Game Oven)
Desert Golfing (Captain Games)
Elegy for a Dead World (Dejobaan Games & Popcannibal)
how do you Do It? (Nina Freeman, Emmett Butler, Jonathan Kittaka, and Deckman Coss)
Plug & Play (Mario von Rickenbach and Michael Frei / Etter Studio)
Rooftop Cop (Stephen Lawrence Clark)
Tetrageddon Games (Nathalie Lawhead)
Excellence in Audio

WINNER: Ephemerid: A Musical Adventure (SuperChop Games)

Ephemerid: A Musical Adventure (SuperChop Games)
Phonopath (Kevin Regamey)
The Sailor's Dream (Simogo)
Shovel Knight (Yacht Club Games)
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts)
Thumper (Drool)
Excellence in Design

WINNER: Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wilds)

80 Days (inkle)
FRAMED (Loveshack)
Invisible, Inc. (Klei Entertainment)
Killer Queen (Joshua DeBonis and Nikita Mikros)
Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wilds)
The Talos Principle (Croteam)
Excellence in Narrative

WINNER: 80 Days (inkle)

80 Days (inkle)
Coming Out Simulator 2014 (Nicky Case)
Ice-Bound: A Novel in Reconfiguration (Down to the Wire)
PRY (Tender Claws)
This War of Mine (11 bit studios)
Three Fourths Home ([bracket]games)
Excellence in Visual Art

WINNER: Metamorphabet (Patrick Smith of Vectorpark)

Donut County (Ben Esposito)
else Heart.Break() (Niklas Åkerblad, Erik Svedäng, et al.)
Lumino City (State of Play Games)
Memory of a Broken Dimension (XRA)
Metamorphabet (Patrick Smith of Vectorpark)
Oquonie (xxiivv and kokorobot)
Best Student Game

WINNER: Close Your (Goodbye World Games - University of Southern California)

Student Showcase Finalists:
a•part•ment (Team a•part•ment - University of Southern California)
Close Your (Goodbye World Games - University of Southern California)
Downwell (Ojiro Fumoto - Tokyo University of the Arts)
Even the Stars (Pol Clarissou - Supinfogame / Nicholas Gavan - University of Bialystok)
Gemini (Echostone Games - Tisch School of the Arts, New York University)
Interloper (Monogon Games - HKU Utrecht School of Art and Technology)
Rooftop Cop (Stephen Lawrence Clark - NYU Tisch School of Art)
Stellar Smooch (Alec Thomson and Jenny Jiao Hsia - NYU)
Audience Award

WINNER: This War of Mine (11 bit studios)


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

For information on IGF sponsorship opportunities, please click here.

For more information on IGF's 2015 finalists, 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!

IGF Platform Sponsor
We started with Half-Life®, the first-person, sci-fi shooter game that's won more than 50 Game of the Year and a few "Best Game Ever" awards. We expanded the Half-Life franchise with a sequel and Half-Life 2 Episodes 1 and 2. Then we added the horror titles Left 4 Dead® and Left 4 Dead 2, the multiplayer combat franchise Team Fortress®, the #1 online action game Counter-Strike® and the award-winning puzzlers Portal™ and Portal 2. And we're just getting warmed up.