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'Road to the IGF' Pt.1: the stories behind this year's top indie games

Gamasutra's 'Road to the IGF' series is in the process of highlighting every 2013 Independent Games Festival finalist - and here's the first batch of interviews, including Kentucky Route Zero, Cart Life and Incredipede.

All finalists will be playable at an expanded IGF Pavilion on the Game Developers Conference 2013 Expo floor from March 27-29, 2013, at San Francisco's Moscone Center.

This year, the 'Road to the IGF' series has already shared stories of innovation in indie gaming such as Q-Games' Move-controlled audio experiment PixelJunk 4AM, Blendo Games' 10-minute long adventure Thirty Flights of Loving, and more.

The full highlights so far from this year's finalists are as follows:

- Simogo discusses its haunting and intentionally-mysterious Visual Art nominee Year Walk, a divergence from the studio's familiar, cute tone.

- Cardboard Computer reveals the inspiration for Kentucky Route Zero, and why it's glad that the game's Kickstarter came before the big crowd-funding boom.

- Lucky Frame's Yann Seznec shares insights into the music-and-building mobile game Bad Hotel, which has been nominated for an audio award.

- Q-Games' Rowan Parker, lead designer of IGF Excellence in Audio nominee PixelJunk 4AM, talks about the game's style and inspiration, and the role of indies in the changing video game landscape.

- Colin Northway discusses how the idea for Incredipede came about, and how the game's Greenlight debacle actually benefited the game in the end.

- Santa Ragione's Pietro Righi Riva discusses where the idea for MirrorMoon came from, and why game jams are so important to indie studios.

- Richard Hofmeier discusses the long and arduous road of Cart Life, which has finally received a happy ending after many months of worry.

- Blendo Games' Brendon Chung discusses how Thirty Flights of Loving, a short 10-minute long title, can be nominated alongside more lengthy endeavours, and why his games tend to be just that little more diverse and different.

The 15th annual Independent Games Festival Awards will announce its winners on the evening of March 27 during GDC 2013, alongside the Game Developers Choice Awards. IGF Award recipients will receive nearly $60,000 of prizes in various categories, including the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

The games highlighted above will join over 20 additional titles at the IGF Pavilion on GDC 2013's Expo floor, accessible to all passholders. Discounted early registration for all passes to GDC 2013 itself ends February 13.