The organizers of the 13th Annual Independent Games Festival — the longest-running and largest festival relating to independent games worldwide — are proud to announce another year of record entry numbers for IGF 2011’s Main Competition, following its submission deadline this week.
In total, this year’s Main Competition, which will see finalists showcased and winners announced at GDC 2011 in San Francisco next March, took in just under 400 game entries — many of them new titles from leading indie developers — across all platforms.
This includes 150 entries for mobile hardware like the iPhone, iPad, DS, PSP and Android devices, with all mobile entries now eligible for all IGF 2011 prizes, including a unique Best Mobile Game award.
In-depth information and entrant-provided screenshots and videos on each of the IGF Main Competition entries are now available on IGF.com, a feature unique to the contest.
This total entry tally for the event comprises almost 30 percent more games than last year’s record 306 Main Competition entries. This is itself a 35 percent rise over the previous year — emphasizing the continued popularity and importance of both independent games and the IGF itself.
Some of the titles entered in the IGF Main Competition this year include SuperMono’s real-life RPG tasklist EpicWin, Monobanda’s zen-like Bohm, indie party game hits like Copenhagen Game Collective’s B.U.T.T.O.N. and Messhof’s NIDHOGG, Vblank Entertainment’s parodic 8-bit revival Retro City Rampage, and Matt Gilgenbach’s A Mobius Proposal, a game created specifically to (successfully!) propose to his girlfriend.
In addition, a number of returning developers previously honored at the Independent Games Festival have entered new games, including Life/Death/Island, the latest from 2010’s Nuovo Award winner Cactus, and both Kometen and Shot Shot Shoot from 2009 Grand Prize winner Erik Svedang. This year also sees a number of prior IGF Mobile winners and finalists joining the main festival — with entries like Steph Thirion’s Faraway, Mobigame’s Perfect Cell, and Gaijin Games’ new console port of Different Cloth’s Lilt Line.
Some of the other games previously known to the indie community and entering this year include two entries in the BIT.TRIP series by Gaijin Games, Rolando creator HandCircus’ first non-iDevice game, Okabu, Nicalis’s re-imagined version of foundational indie title Cave Story, and Mojang’s recent headline-grabbing surprise-hit MineCraft.
In addition, several teams made up of formerly ‘mainstream’ developers have also chosen the 2011 Independent Games Festival to debut new indie works — with SuperGiant’s Bastion, Haunted Temple’s Skulls of the Shogun and former Maxis developer Chris Hecker’s Spy Party being just a few of the entered titles.
These titles are just a fraction of the games that are debuting for the first time as an Independent Games Festival submission. In fact, history has shown that some of the most notable and award-winning games — from Audiosurf through World Of Goo and beyond — were relatively unknown at the time of their submission, so indie game aficionados should carefully browse all titles to find the many hidden gems.
“I’m thrilled with both the growth and the diversity that the Independent Games Festival has shown in its 13th year,” said festival chairman Brandon Boyer. “This year’s entrants happily cover the entire spectrum from more polished and commercial works to smaller, more personal and artistic statements to entries geared toward the resurgence of more social, new-arcade-type play. We’re all looking forward to sitting down with each game and starting the conversation as we determine finalists!”
This year’s IGF entries will be distributed to more than 150 notable industry judges for evaluation, and their highest recommendations passed on to a set of elite discipline-specific juries for each award, who will debate and vote on their favorites, before finalists are announced in January 2011.
In turn, winners will be awarded at the IGF ceremony during the Game Developers Conference 2011 in San Francisco next March, and all finalists in the Main Competition (including the art-centric Nuovo Award) and the Student Showcase (which is due for submission by November 1st) will be showcased on the GDC Expo Floor from March 2nd-4th, immediately following the 4th Annual Independent Games Summit on February 28th and March 1st.