2011 Independent Games Festival Announces Record Main Competition Entrants

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.

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2010 IGF China Competition Reminds On Pan-Pacific Festival Deadline

The Independent Games Festival China, which runs in conjunction with Shanghai’s GDC China this December, is reminding that September 15th is the final entry date for the pan-Pacific indie games festival — which allows entries from any Asian or Australasian independent game.

Following on from its 2009 success, the Game Developers Conference China — part of the UBM TechWeb Game Network — will continue to host the three main elements of IGF China, including the Independent Games Summit, which provides valuable conference sessions specializing in the challenges of independent game development.

These include the Independent Games Festival China Pavilion, an onsite exhibition of the very best in local indie games, and the Independent Games Festival China Awards, which honors the work of the talented pool of local independent game developers.

The 2010 IGF Main Competition will give out awards in five categories, including Best Game, Mobile Best Game, Excellence in Audio, Excellence in Technology, and Excellence in Visual Arts. Finalists in all categories will receive VIP and expo passes to attend GDC China and the IGF awards ceremony on December 5, 2010.

Finalists — who will compete for RMB 20,000 ($3,000) will be chosen
by a panel of expert jurors including Kevin Li (CEO, TipCat
Interactive); Monte Singman (Main Coordinator, IGDA Shanghai Chapter);
Xubo Yang (Director of Digital Art Lab and Assistant Professor; Shanghai
Jiaotong University’s School of Software), and jury chairman Simon
Carless, IGF Chairman Emeritus and Global Brand Director of the UBM
TechWeb Game Network.

Last year’s event saw more than 200 entries for the Main Competition
and the Student Competition, including entries from China, Hong Kong,
Taiwan, the Philippines, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Pakistan, Australia,
South Korea, India and more. Winners from last year include titles like
acclaimed Best Game winner Captain Forever (Farbs – Australia), Donovo (Magic Day Studio – China) for Excellence in Art Direction, HurricaneX2 (You Yun Tech – China) for Technical Excellence and Armor Valley (Protege Production – Singapore) for Excellence in Audio.

Key dates for IGF China include:

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2011 Independent Games Festival Opens Submissions, Adds Mobile Category, Expands Experimental Focus

igf2011.jpg The UBM TechWeb Game Network, organizer of the industry-leading Game Developers Conference events, is pleased to announce that submissions are now open for the 2011 Independent Games Festival — to be held at GDC 2011 in San Francisco next March.

The longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit and showcase is now accepting entries to the 13th annual Festival, with deadlines in the Main and Student Showcase categories by October 18th and November 1st respectively, and finalists to be announced on January 2011.

All games selected as finalists will be available in playable form at the IGF Pavilion on the GDC show floor, and will compete for nearly $50,000 in prizes, including the Nuovo Award, Excellence in Design, Art, Best Student Game, the Audience Award and the $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize. Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

The Independent Games Festival Awards are held immediately before the
wider Game Developers Choice
Awards
, and both multi-thousand person attendee award shows are
part of the 2011 Game Developers Conference, taking place February
28th-March 4th, 2011. GDC 2011 also includes the 2011 Independent Games Summit,
which is entering its fifth year and offers two days of inspiration and
practical lectures and rants from the top minds in the independent
games world.

Continuing to honor the best and brightest of the indie gaming
community, the Independent Games Festival is expanding in its thirteenth
year to recognize the new opportunities open to mobile and handheld
game developers. Responding to developer feedback, games made for
Apple’s iPhone, Android, Nintendo DS/DSi, PlayStation Portable, and all
handheld devices will compete in the same traditional IGF categories.
They will also be eligible for a new Best Mobile Game award, honoring
innovation, achievement and artistry in handheld gaming.

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GDC Gallery: IGF Awards, Pavilion, Indie Games Summit, More…

Organizers of this year’s Game Developers Conference and Independent Games Festival have been documenting the March 9th-13th San Francisco event in visual form, with the independent game-specific content at last week’s show first to be examined.
The events — part of the UBM Techweb Game Network, as are this website — have put together a gallery of the Awards, Pavilion, Indie Games Summit, and more, highlighting this year’s crop of top indies at work and play.
Independent Games Festival Awards
First, here’s a look at pictures from the the 12th Annual Independent Games Festival Awards, where Pocketwatch Games’ stylish co-op caper Monaco was the big winner of the night, nabbing the Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game in front of a crowd of over 3,000 GDC attendees.

The 2010 IGF hosts, Kyle Gabler (2D Boy) and Erin Robinson (Puzzle Bots)

igfbefore.jpg

IGF and Game Developers Choice Awards guests.

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GDC: Monaco Takes Grand Prize at 12th Annual IGF

Pocketwatch Games’ stylish co-op caper, Monaco, was the big winner at the Twelfth Annual Independent Games Festival Awards, which was hosted by the Game Developers Conference 2010 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.
Monaco received the top award at the ceremony, earning the $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game, as well as the award for Excellence in Design.
Other IGF award recipients for 2010, as judged by over 170 industry veterans, independent developers and indie-friendly journalists, also include PlayDead’s starkly beautiful silhouetted platformer, Limbo, which won the awards for Excellence in Visual Art and Technical Excellence. Closure Team’s puzzle platformer, Closure, earned the award for Excellence in Audio.
Noted independent developer Cactus received the inaugural Nuovo Award for his abstract visual puzzle game, Tuning. The Nuovo Award honors “abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development which advances the medium and the way we think about games.”

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2010 IGF Reveals Mobile Category Winners, Audience Voting, Award Hosts

2010 Independent Games Festival organizers have revealed the five IGF Mobile category finalists battling it out for Best Mobile Game at GDC, also debuting the IGF Audience award and revealing the hosts for this year’s IGF Awards.
IGF Mobile Category Winners
After announcing finalists and honorable mentions late last month, the 2010 Independent Games Festival Mobile has named the category winners that will show their games at GDC and battle for the Best IGF Mobile Game prize.
After battling it out from a field of 170 top-notch entries, winners thus far include Secret Exit’s physics-heavy Stair Dismount for iPhone, Powerhead Games’ cunning color-based puzzle game Glow Artisan for DSi, and Tiger Style’s acclaimed action game Spider for Apple’s handheld.
The category winners for the 2010 IGF Mobile competition — an event that celebrates excellence in games for the iPhone, other cellphone and smartphone OSes, Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, and other handheld devices — are:

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Independent Games Festival 2010 Announces Main Competition Finalists

The Independent Games Festival has announced the Main Competition finalists for the twelfth annual presentation of its prestigious awards, celebrating the most innovative creations to come out of the independent game development community this year.
Nearly $50,000 in prizes in various categories, including the $20,000 Seamus McNally Grand Prize will be awarded on stage at the Independent Games Festival Awards on March 11, 2010 during the 2010 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
The record-setting 306 Main Competition entries represent a 35% increase over last year’s record 226 entries, many of them striking new titles from leading indie developers.
This year’s finalists are led by multiple nominations for several notable games, including three nominations for innovative light-centric puzzle platformer Closure, and two nominations each — including a Grand Prize nomination — for Pocketwatch Games’ stylish co-op heist game Monaco, Hello Games’ polished stunt motorbike title Joe Danger, Ratloop Asia’s cinematic avian action title Rocketbirds: Revolution!, Krystian Majewski’s gestural photographic adventure game Trauma, and Team Meat’s cartoon-gory 2D action title Super Meat Boy!.
To ensure the highest-quality judging for the IGF, more than 150 leading indie and mainstream game industry figures — from 2D Boy’s Ron Carmel through Spore‘s Soren Johnson to ThatGameCompany’s Kellee Santiago and beyond — were recruited to choose finalists via a carefully constructed empirical process.
The Festival is particularly keen to give constructive, written feedback to Main Competition entrants — even if they did not place as a finalist. As a result, over 1500 written, anonymized judge comments will be passed along to entrants in the next few days, an important part of deriving value and takeaway from entering the IGF.
In addition, for the first year, the IGF’s Nuovo Award, intended to “honor abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development which advances the medium and the way we think about games”, was judged by a separate, smaller juried panel of notable game and art world figures. These spanned previous IGF Nuovo winner Jason Rohrer (Passage), Area/Code’s Frank Lantz, N+ co-creator Mare Sheppard, EA division head and art-game creator Rod Humble, and more.
The jury for the $2,500 Nuovo Award, which allows more esoteric ‘art games’ to compete on their own terms alongside longer-form indie titles, has released a statement about the chosen Nuovo finalists, including several ‘honorable mentions’, on the official IGF website.
The finalists for the 2010 Independent Games Festival are:

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2010 Independent Games Festival Announces Record Main, Student Entries

The organizers of the GDC 2010 event the 12th Annual Independent Games Festival — the longest-running and largest festival relating to independent games worldwide — are proud to announce record entry numbers for both IGF 2010’s Main Competition and the IGF Student Showcase, with almost 500 games in total.
This year’s Main Competition — just one of the three IGF competitions taking place this year — amassed 303 game entries, many of them new titles from leading indie developers. Information, screenshots and videos on each of the IGF Main Competition entries are now available on IGF.com. This total entry tally comprises 35% more games than last year’s record 226 Main Competition entries, itself a 30% increase on the previous year — showing the continuing popularity of independent games and the IGF.
Following the record Main Competition entries, organizers have also revealed 193 Student Showcase entries, a record 33% more entries than last year, and bringing the total entries across these two competitions to almost 500. Previous IGF Student Showcase honorees have included DigiPen’s Narbacular Drop (evolved into Valve’s acclaimed Portal), USC’s The Misadventures Of P.B. Winterbottom (now signed by 2K Games for XBLA), Hogeschool van de Kunsten’s The Blob (made into a console title by THQ as De Blob), and early USC/ThatGameCompany (Flower) title Cloud.
This year’s IGF entries will be checked and distributed to the more than 160 notable industry judges for evaluation, before finalists are announced in January 2010 and winners awarded at the IGF ceremony during Game Developers Conference 2010 in San Francisco next March. This year’s IGF Student Showcase entries will be judged by an opt-in subset of the judges.
More than twenty Main Competition finalists and ten Student Showcase winners will be given all-access GDC 2010 tickets to show their games at next March’s event, which encompasses the IGF Pavilion on the GDC 2010 Expo floor (March 11th-13th), the high-profile IGF Awards (March 11th, and for which highlights footage is available on the official GDC website), and the related Independent Games Summit (March 9th-10th).
Finally, IGF 2010 organizers are reminding that entries to the IGF Mobile competition — encompassing iPhone, mobile phone, PSP, DS, Android and other handheld games — are due by December 1st, 2009.

2010 Independent Games Festival Opens Submissions

Think Services, organizer of the industry-leading Game Developers Conference (GDC) events, is pleased to announce that submissions are now open for the 2010 Independent Games Festival. Entries to the 12th annual festival are due in both Main and Student Showcase categories by November 2009, with Main Competition finalists to be announced January 4, 2010.
Games selected as finalists will be available in playable form on the GDC show floor and will compete for nearly $50,000 in prizes, including awards for Excellence in Design, Art, the Audience Award and the coveted $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.
Winners will be announced on stage at the prestigious Independent Games Festival Awards on Thursday, March 11, 2010, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
The Independent Games Festival Awards are held alongside the Game Developers Choice Awards and both award shows are part of the 2010 Game Developers Conference. GDC 2010 also includes the 2010 Independent Games Summit, which is entering its fourth year and offers two days of inspiration and practical lectures and rants from the top minds in the independent games world.
Over the years, the Independent Games Festival has recognized the best and brightest indie game developers and their games. As the indie game mindshare continues to grow, thanks to the rise of digital distribution and a compelling aesthetic, the Independent Games Festival has played a key role in putting a well-deserved spotlight on these games. Notable former IGF winners include Everyday Shooter, Audiosurf, World of Goo, Blueberry Garden, Darwinia, Castle Crashers, and many more.
Notable evolutions to this year’s Festival include a substantial increase in the number of hand-picked IGF judges – chosen, as always, from notables practicing both mainstream and indie game development, as well as discerning indie-minded games journalists.
The judging pool has more than doubled over last year’s event, allowing each individual game entry to be played in much greater depth. The IGF is also adding compulsory (previously optional) written judge feedback alongside scores, an important part of deriving value and takeaway from entering the Festival, even for non-finalists.
Simon Carless, Chairman of the IGF, commented of this year’s event: “We’re delighted to return for our twelfth year of the Independent Games Festival, and we’re really looking forward to see what the independent game community comes up with this time around. Good luck to all entrants!”
Submissions to the competition are now open to all independent game developers; important dates for IGF 2010 are as follows:
July 1st, 2009 – Submissions are Open
November 1st, 2009 – Submission Deadline, Main Competition
November 15th, 2009 – Submission Deadline, Student Competition
January 4th, 2010 – Finalists Announced, Main Competition
January 11th, 2010 – Finalists Announced, Student Competition
March 9th-13th, 2010 – Game Developer’s Conference 2010
March 9th-10th, 2010 – Indie Games Summit @ GDC
March 11-13th, 2010 – IGF Pavilion @ GDC
March 11th, 2010 – IGF Awards Ceremony (Winners Announced!)
Sponsors already confirmed for the 2010 Independent Games Festival include Official Download Partner Direct2Drive and Platinum Student Showcase sponsor DigiPen Institute Of Technology. For a complete list of IGF 2010 event information, please visit the official IGF website.

11th Independent Games Festival Awards Topped By Blueberry Garden

Erik Svedang’s Blueberry Garden, a charming exploration game set in an ever-changing ecosystem, received top honors – the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game – at the 2009 Independent Games Festival Awards.
The winners were announced this evening at the eleventh Annual IGF Awards ceremony, hosted by the Game Developers Conference at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.
The IGF awards are often referred to as the Sundance Festival of the video game industry, and offer both global exposure and over $50,000 in cash prizes to each year’s winners.
Previous breakout IGF award-winners include titles such as Braid, Audiosurf, Castle Crashers, and World Of Goo, and this year’s awards saw 226 Main Competition entries from all over the world – and over 450 entries in total.

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