2014 Independent Games Festival opens call for submissions

igf-image.jpgSubmissions are now officially open for the 2014 Independent Games Festival, the signature competition for indie games, to be held for a 16th year during GDC 2014 in San Francisco next March. This directly follows a record-breaking year which saw nearly 900 entries for the 2013 event, including top prizewinners like FTL: Faster Than Light, Cart Life, and Kentucky Route Zero.
The deadlines for the Main and Student Showcase categories for the 16th IGF are October 19th and October 31st, 2013 respectively, with finalists announced in January 2014. Finalists’ games will once again be playable at the packed IGF Pavilion on the Game Developers Conference 2014 Expo Floor, and will compete for nearly $60,000 in prizes.
These plaudits include the Excellence in Visual Art, Audio, Design, and Narrative Awards, which will have an expanded amount of six finalists each, with the winner getting $3,000 in each category. There will also be an expanded six finalists for the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.
This year also sees the return of the Best Student Game award, with eight finalists ($3,000 prize), and the special Nuovo Award ($5,000, eight finalists) will again honor ‘abstract, shortform, and unconventional’ games. Finally, the IGF Audience Award ($3,000) will be decided by a public vote from all of the Main Competition finalists.

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IGF 2013 sees record entries for its Student Competition

igfexpo.jpgThe organizers of the 15th 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 2013’s Student Competition.

In total, this year’s Student Competition took in more than 300 game entries across all platforms — PC, console and mobile — from a wide diversity of the most prestigious universities and games programs from around the world.

Together with the record Main Competition entries, this year’s IGF has taken in nearly 900 total entries — the largest number in the festival’s history across the Main and Student competitions.

This year’s Student Competition includes entries such as the DigiPen-developed Perspective, which combines 2D platforming with 3D first-person navigation, and Nevermind, an experimental horror title that uses biofeedback to manage player stress and change difficulty on the fly.

Other entries include the physics-based tower defense title The White Laboratory, the stealth horror game Blackwell’s Asylum, and the experimental narrative title Snowfall.

The above are just a small selection of the games now available for browsing via IGF.com, where you’ll find more information, screenshots and video for each of the IGF Student Competition entries.

The festival’s organizers have added an official Student Competition JSON feed, added to the existing Main Competition feed, updated every 30 minutes from live back end data. Teams can update info on their games and have the official entry page change, and third parties are welcome to use this feed to make their own custom IGF entry lists and pages.

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Two days left to enter 2013 IGF’s Student Competition

igf-student.jpgWith record Main Competition submissions for IGF 2013 announced, organizers are reminding that student submissions for this year’s GDC co-located festival are closing on Wednesday.

The longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit and showcase will continue to accept student entries until 11.59pm PT on October 31st, and finalists in both the Main Competition and Student Competition will be announced in January 2013.

This year, the show will select a total of eight student teams, all of which will receive the opportunity to show off their games at the IGF Pavilion at GDC 2013 in March. All teams in the IGF Student Showcase will also be eligible to receive an enhanced $1,000 cash prize.

In addition, the IGF student finalists will also compete for the IGF Best Student Game Award. The recipient will be revealed during GDC’s prestigious IGF Awards ceremony, and the winning game will receive an additional cash prize of $3,000.

The award ceremony will take place Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and the IGF Pavilion will remain open from March 27-29. The sister Independent Games Summit event, meanwhile, will be held on March 25 and 26.

All of the Independent Games Festival events take place as part of the 2013 Game Developers Conference, which is held March 25th – March 29th, 2013 in San Francisco, and the IGF continues as the most vital showcase of independent game talent across the wide spectrum of artistically- and commercially-aimed development.

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2013 Independent Games Festival submissions now open

IGF2013polysquare.jpgOrganizers are now officially opening submissions for the 2013 Independent Games Festival, to be held at GDC 2013 in San Francisco next March.

The longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit and showcase is now accepting entries to the 15th annual Festival, with deadlines in the Main and Student Showcase categories by October 17th and October 31st respectively, and finalists to be announced on January 2013.

Following over 850 entries to IGF 2012, the Festival has expanded each existing category to six finalists, all of which will be available in playable form at a larger, expanded IGF Pavilion on the GDC show floor, and will compete for nearly $60,000 in prizes.

These include the $5,000 Nuovo Award, honoring ‘abstract, shortform, and unconventional’ games, as well as the Excellence in Art, Audio, Design, Technology, Student Game and Audience Award prizes, each worth $3,000, and the crowning $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

Notable former Independent Games Festival winners over the previous 15 years include Spelunky, Fez, Minecraft, Limbo, World of Goo, Braid, Castle Crashers, Everyday Shooter and many more of the game industry’s breakthrough independent titles.

Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with the IGF Pavilion open from March 27-29, and the sister Independent Games Summit event taking place on March 25 and 26.

All of the Independent Games Festival events take place as part of the 2013 Game Developers Conference, which is held March 25th – March 29th, 2013 in San Francisco, and the IGF continues as the most vital showcase of independent game talent across the wide spectrum of artistically- and commercially-aimed development.

“All of us here at the IGF are eager to see this year’s selection of games. Each year, the community manages to outpace itself in innovation and artistry, and we expect nothing less for this 15th anniversary Festival,” said IGF Chairman Brandon Boyer.

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Epic’s Bleszinski, Monaco‘s Schatz to host GDC, IGF Awards

gdc12.jpgEpic Games’ Cliff Bleszinski (pictured), one of the key visionaries behind the Unreal and Gears of War games, will take the stage during the 2012 Game Developers Conference to host the 12th annual Game Developers Choice Awards.
In addition, Pocketwatch Games’ Andy Schatz, creator of 2010 Independent Games Festival Grand Prize winner Monaco will return for his fourth stint as host of the Independent Games Festival awards, now celebrating their 14th edition.
The two award ceremonies will take place at 6:30 PM on the evening of Wednesday, March 7th during GDC 2012 in San Francisco. For the third consecutive year, enthusiast video game site GameSpot will exclusively live stream both award shows via its official site, YouTube, and other streaming channels.
Once again, the Independent Games Festival will return to GDC to encourage the rise of independent game development and to recognize the best independent game titles. The 12th annual Game Developers Choice Awards recognizes the creativity, artistry and technical genius of leading industry professionals and games released in 2011.
As design director at Epic Games, Cliff Bleszinski has been a key visionary behind the award-winning, multimillion-selling Unreal series, as well as Gears of War, which has become a billion dollar franchise. The series’ original title received top honors at the 2007 Game Developers Choice Awards, and was crowned the winner of the Best Game, Best Technology and Best Visual Arts categories.

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2012 Independent Games Festival announces Student Showcase winners

2012studentigf.jpgThe Independent Games Festival has announced the eight Student Showcase winners for the fourteenth annual presentation of its prestigious awards, celebrating the brightest and most innovative creations to come out of universities and games programs from around the world in the past year.

This year’s showcase of top student talent includes the lithograph-sketched 2D logic puzzler The Bridge, from Case Western Reserve University, Art Institute of Phoenix’s magic-moth platformer Dust, and DigiPen Institute of Technology’s part-psychological-evaluator, part-boot-camp-instructor, possibly-part-malware action game Nous.

In total, this year’s Student Competition took in nearly 300 game entries across all platforms — PC, console and mobile — from a wide diversity of the world’s most prestigious universities and games programs making the Student IGF one of the world’s largest showcases of student talent.

All of the Student Showcase winners announced today will be playable on the Expo show floor at the 26th Game Developers Conference, to be held in San Francisco starting March 5th, 2012. Each team will receive a $500 prize for being selected into the Showcase, and are finalists for an additional $3,000 prize for Best Student Game, to be revealed during the Independent Games Festival Awards on March 7th.

The full list of Student Showcase winners for the 2012 Independent Games Festival, along with ‘honorable mentions’ to those top-quality games that didn’t quite make it to finalist status, are as follows:

The Bridge (Case Western Reserve University)
Dust (Art Institute of Phoenix)
The Floor Is Jelly (Kansas City Art Institute)
Nous (DigiPen Institute of Technology)
One and One Story (Liceo Scientifico G.B. Morgagni)
Pixi (DigiPen Institute of Technology – Singapore)
The Snowfield (Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab)
Way (Carnegie Mellon University, Entertainment Technology Center)

Honorable mentions: Be Good (DigiPen Institute of Technology); Lilith’s Pet (University of Kassel); Nitronic Rush (DigiPen Institute of Technology); Once Upon A Spacetime (RMIT); Tink (Mediadesign Highschool of Applied Sciences)

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2012 Independent Games Festival Announces Main Competition Finalists

The Independent Games Festival (IGF) juries have announced their Main Competition finalists for the 14th annual presentation of its awards, celebrating the brightest creatives and the most influential game designs to come out of the independent community in the past year.
This year’s finalists for the most prestigious indie game awards, each picked by a discipline-specific set of expert juries after recommendations from almost 200 top independent game experts, are led by multiple nominations for several standout titles.
These include thechineseroom’s experimental first person game Dear Esther — picking up nominations for Visual Art and Audio, as well as the Nuovo Award and Seumas McNally Grand Prize — and Mossmouth’s procedurally generated platformer Spelunky, which was nominated for the Design and Technical Awards on top of a nod for the Grand Prize.
Other multiple-nominated titles include Polytron’s highly anticipated puzzle adventure Fez, Mode 7’s turn based tactical shooter Frozen Synapse, and Die Gute Fabrik’s digitally-enabled folk game Johann Sebastian Joust, all of which saw nominations for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize on top of nominations for Technical Excellence, Excellence in Design, and the Nuovo Award, respectively.
The Nuovo Award, once again honoring ‘abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development’ of all kinds, also saw some standout games in addition to some of the above titles among its eight nominees for the $5,000 prize. These include Bennett Foddy’s fiendish climbing game GIRP, Daniel Benmergui’s evocative title Storyteller, and Terry Cavanagh’s two-player puzzle title At A Distance.
Now in its second year fully integrated into the IGF Main Competition, the Best Mobile Game Award saw nominations for Tiger Style’s sci-fi action gardening game Waking Mars — also up for an Excellence in Audio award — Simogo’s rhythm-stealth game Beat Sneak Bandit, Steph Thirion’s constellation-crafter Faraway, Powerhead’s color-puzzler ASYNC Corp, and Vlambeer’s fishing/shooter Ridiculous Fishing.
All finalist games will be playable at the IGF Pavilion on the Game Developers Conference 2012 Expo floor from March 7-9, 2012, at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, as part of a week of independent game-related content that also includes the Independent Games Summit (March 5th-6th), and the IGF Awards ceremony itself.
The IGF Awards, where this year’s IGF winners will be unveiled, will be held on the evening of March 7, alongside the Game Developers Choice Awards. IGF award recipients will receive $60,000 of prizes in various categories, including the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.
The full list of finalists for the 2012 Independent Games Festival, with jury-picked “honorable mentions” to those top-quality games that didn’t quite make it to finalist status, is as follows:

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Reminder: 2012 IGF Student Competition Submissions Close Today

IGF2012.jpgOrganizers
are reminding that there are less than 24 hours until the Student
Competition deadline for the 2012 Independent Games Festival, being held
at the Game Developers Conference 2012 in San Francisco next March 5-9.

The Independent Games Festival is
the longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival,
summit, and showcase, and the deadline for the IGF 2012 Student
Competition is Monday, October 31st at 11:59pm PT.

The IGF has already revealed
record numbers of entrants for the Main Competition, with nearly 570
games competing, a more than forty five percent jump over 2011’s total
entries.

Student Competition finalists will be announced in January 2012, and
will be available in playable form at the IGF Pavilion on the GDC show
floor from March 7-9, 2012.

Notable former student game finalists include Narbacular Drop, the precursor to the acclaimed Portal, as well as Cloud from the embryonic Thatgamecompany team, recent cult hit Octodad, and more.

Newly submitted student titles will compete for $7,000 in prizes,
which includes prizes for eight Student Showcase Winners and one prize
for Best Student Game. 2012 Independent Games Festival prizes for both
Main and Student Competitions total more than $50,000.

As noted above, submissions to the Student Competition are still open to all student game developers,
with many entrants waiting until the last minute to polish versions of
their game for more than 150 IGF judges. A full list of student entrants
will be released on the IGF website in the days following the
submission deadline, as also happened with the Main Competition.

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Reminder: 24 Hours To 2012 IGF Main Competition Deadline

Organizers are reminding that there are 24 hours until the Main Competition deadline for the 2012 Independent Games Festival, being held at the Game Developers Conference 2012 in San Francisco next March 5-9.

The Independent Games Festival is the longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit, and showcase, and the deadline for the IGF 2012 Main Competition is Monday, October 17th at 11.59pm PT.

Finalists will be announced in January 2012, and will be available in playable form at the IGF Pavilion on the GDC show floor from March 7-9, 2012. The titles will compete for nearly $60,000 in prizes, a significant increase from last year.

This includes the high-profile $5,000 Nuovo Award, honoring abstract, short-form, and unconventional video game development, as well as a $30,000 Grand Prize and a host of other notable awards.

Submissions to the competition are still open to all independent game developers, with almost 260 games entered already, and many entrants waiting until the last minute to polish versions of their game for more than 150 IGF judges. A full list of entrants will be released on the IGF website in the days following the submission deadline.

Important dates for IGF 2012 are as follows:

– June 30, 2011 – Submissions are Open
– October 17, 2011 – Submission Deadline, Main Competition
– October 31, 2011 – Submission Deadline, Student Competition
– January 5, 2012 – Finalists Announced, Main Competition
– January 12, 2012 – Finalists Announced, Student Competition
– March 5 – March 9, 2012 – Game Developers Conference 2012
– March 5 – March 6, 2012 – Indie Games Summit @ GDC 2012
– March 7 – March 9, 2012 – IGF Pavilion @ GDC 2012

Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The Independent Games Festival Awards are held immediately before the wider Game Developers Choice Awards.

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Letter From The IGF Chairman: The Six Week Warning

boyer.jpg[Continuing his posts on the 2012 Independent Games Festival competition, IGF Chairman Brandon Boyer reminds on the upcoming deadline for the IGF competitions, also detailing some important specifics on entries.]

Hello everyone! As we did last year, we’re dropping a quick note here that the deadline for Independent Games Festival 2012 Main Competition entries is October 17 at 11:59pm PST — that’s six weeks from today.

For our part, we’ve been quietly working behind the scenes — as promised — to make your experience with the IGF even smoother than it has been before.

To that end, you may have already spotted that the initial
“submission received” emails you get on successful entry into the
festival contain a new link. It’s just above the information for
uploading your entry.

This new page — look for a link, and mail us
if you didn’t get it — will be your personal hub throughout the
remainder of the festival. That way, you can update your entry’s public
and private description, modify instructions for judges, link to newer
videos and trailers, and upload updated screenshots with ease.

We’re still working on making other updates to this page, to keep you
better informed about the festival’s process & progress throughout
the judging and jurying period. You’ll be hearing more about that in the
coming weeks as they’re completed and added.

As an additional reminder, (because it’s a question I still get asked
quite often): that initial deadline does not mean your IGF-entered game
has to be content complete by the 17th. It simply means that your
initial, playable game submission needs to be in our system by that
time. Judges may play the game at any time from that date onwards.

Throughout the judging process, you’ll be free to polish and upload
newer builds of your game, and judges will play the newest version
available. (However, we can’t guarantee exactly when they will get to
play a title, so try to submit early, near-finished, and update often if
not!)

That’s all for now — very much looking forward to seeing what you’ve been cooking up over the past year! As usual, don’t hesitate to get in touch at [email protected] with any questions or concerns!